Dallas CH coming to Sydney-Late Night Dinner/Breakfast recommendations?
My wife and I are spending 10 days diving in Far NE Queensland and, on our way back, are spending November 26-November 30 in Sydney and staying at the Park Hyatt at the Rocks. Thanks to the great reviews and recommendations on your board, I've got reservations at EST, Quay, Tetsuya and I'm still working on Oscillate Wildly. I have a couple of questions though I'd like answered that I can't seem find on your board. We arrive after 8 pm on a Wednesday and probably won't get in to the city until 10 pm or so. Where would be a good place for a late dinner close by? I imagine that's too late for fine dining and that's okay, but where could we find a good late dinner nearby? Also, we like to get up early and get out in the city and try out good local breakfasts. Neighborhood, greasy spoons are just fine. Any recommendations for breakfasts? We're looking forward to visiting and thanks in advance for any suggestions.
Given you're staying in the city, it would be easiest to head for Golden Century for a late night dinner. It's a Chinese restaurant in nearby Chinatown with quality food (go for the live seafood here - they do good crab or prawns and also try a white fleshed fish, steamed with ginger and shallot dressing - awesome!!) Very good wine list here too (although i think beer works better here). It's a favoutrite amongst Sydney's Chefs and waiters who finish work late and need a decent bite to eat. If you don't want Chinese, head for Aperitif in Kellett St, Kings Cross. (5 minutes by taxi from the Park H) Its a wine bar with tapas style servings until around 1am. The owner used to be a Sommelier at Est, so you're assured good service and wine choices. In terms of late night options, they're definitely the 2 best in Sydney closest to you.
For breakfast, try Le Petit Creme in Darlinghurst or Bills on Liverpool St also in Darlinghurst. On weekends, you'll have to wait in line for breakfast at these places so try and head there on a weekday if you can. Best advice for Oscillate Wildly is get on their waiting list and keep calling them while you're in Queensland, it's definitely worth the effort.
Brunelleschi, thanks for the suggestions. Chinese may well hit the spot at about that time. Also, I spoke to the owner of Oscillate Wildly. He said he was booked a year in advance but asked that I call him when I get to Queensland and he would see what he could do. Nice fellow; when I told him where I was eating in Sydney, he asked if I was a chef. Thanks again.
the airport is close to city centre so I'd be surprised if it takes you 2 hours to get out and about. either way sydney can be a bit hit and miss for choices later on.
Don't know your tastes, but Memak in Goulburn st (sthrn end of CBD) is open late and serves up great malaysian food although a very short menu (i don't see this as a negative). Roti, malay curries, satay, mee goreng, nasi goreng, and nasi melak are all on the list.
longrain usually serves until late, and as mentioned alrady apperitif is another option. Down your end of town Ivy and establishment have bar menus that run until pretty late.
For breakfast, I'd skip Bills in favour of Bird Cow Fish, danks st depot, Fratelli paradiso, or cafe sopra (waterloo or potts point may be more convenient) - inner city suburban places that have now surpassed the "revolution" that Bill began.
Definitely consider a wander up Victoria St Darlinghurst for inner city breakfast and coffee strip including bar coluzzi - always got an interesting face in there at breakfast time. You could walk up an appetite, round circular quay, botanical gardens and up to potts point ...
have a great time. Good luck with Oscillate Wildly.
^ I'd like to second kmh's suggestions, tho I still like the original bills in Darlinghurst... 433 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
Bar Coluzzi used to have fantastic coffee. Does it still? I used to love the coffee at Tropicana, 227 Victoria Road, next to the Fire Station, and also Andiamo, opposite it (less trendy) but I don't think Andiamo is there any more...
Also, (if you haven't done so already) I hope you can get your hands on a copy of the Syd Morn Herald's Good Food Guide -- it's the eatery bible. It'll fill any gaps.
Great calls on your bookings so far -- Quay is SOOOOO worth it!!!!!!!!!!!! You will not be disappointed.
You are staying in the Rocks, which is the oldest part of town and somewhat central.
Make sure you take a ferry trip over to Watson's Bay and walk up to The Gap. Incredible view of the city from up there! Just don't visit if you are feeling murderous/suicidal (kidding!)
I strenuously recommend you avoid dining at any of the pubs or establishments run by Doyles, unless you're okay with inferior and over-priced fare. Rather, grab a sandwich at a little shop next to the bus stop (above the park). There really aren't many dining options at Watsons Bay...
OR -- take a ferry to Manly for a nice walk along the beach promenade and footpaths and there plenty of great places to eat to choose from, esp cool pubs.
Sorry for the delay in following up, but wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your recommendations.
Golden Century was a nice change of pace after 10 days in Queensland (Not much to eat in and around Cairns (I had barbeque pizza one night, fo rexample ), but the food at Lizard Island was quite good). The szechuan seafood dishes seemed best and the wine list was much better than expected. The wife was a bit uneasy watching the live seafood at the front prepare to meet their fate...but had no problem with wolfing it down.
The second night we went to Est. it was probably the prettiest of the restaurants we went to with a soft inviting atmosphere. You would never know there a loud bar scene just downstairs. The staff was very knowledgable and attentive. The wine list was exceptional (As an aside, I've a new appreciation for Australian wines; I've seen only maybe 2 or 3 dozen Australian wine labels here (mostly white) and the vast majority are the large vineyards such as Penfolds or D'Arenberg. I really had no idea there were so many good smaller Australian vineyards and was surprised most of all by the quality of the Tasmanian vineyards (Rockford, for example). Australian wines do not get the attention here that they should). The food was hearty and the presentation was very nicely done. (By the way, the manager mentioned that he was losing his chef to Oscillating Wildly).
The third night was Quay. Quay was something of a disappointment; the view was incredible (how can you beat the Opera House just outside the window?), but the food and service were nowhere in the league as either Est or Tetsuya. The staff repeatedly confused the dinner and drink orders and were somewhat nonchalant about it. In fact, they said very little to us at all. The portions and quality of the food was acceptable but not inspiring (maybe I'm just comparing it to Tetsuya's) and was overshadowed by the poor service. A couple of people in our party had gotten their orders mixed and had food they had not ordered (and were too gracious to complain). I had read somewhere where Quay may be resting on its laurels. This could be true as I don't see how they're so highly rated. The wine list was an exception, by the way.
Tetsuya's for lunch on the 4th day was, far and away, the best meal of the trip and was perhaps the best I've ever had. The service here was simply not beatable. It was a 13 course meal (an extra one thrown in since it was our anniversary) that took 3 1/2 hours and there was not a single mistep in that whole time. Dishes were removed and wine glasses filled promptly. Our waitress was absolutely delightful. The food made a believer out of my wife, who does not normally eat Japenese or sushi. I had not known what exactly "French Japanese" fusion meant but it reminded me of Le Bernardin in NYC though it is much better and probably less expensive. This was a meal I won't soon forget.
We never did make it to Oscillating Wildly. There wasn't much room left after 13 courses for lunch at Tetsuya.
On the recommendation of the staff at the Park Hyatt, we went for lunch one day to Pony Restaurant. I'd not heard of it but it was close by so we tried it. Very cosmopolitan and the meal was solid.
One last confession: Harry's Cafe de Wheels may be a tourist trap but it was a great place to try my first meat pie. The hot dog was good but I don't think I'll ever forget the Tiger pie. Any good American Southerner knows that any single dish with meat, peas, gravy, mashed potatos, and pastry dough can't be bad.
All in all, a great dining trip. Thank God the exchange rate for the US dollar was so favorable. It would have cost a small fortune at par. Thanks again for the recommendations.
oh, man -- the cuisine, staff, location - ***EVERYTHING*** at Lizard Island is so exceptional!
I am sorry Quay was a disappointment. Perhaps you are right - with their 2nd (or 3rd?) year-in-a-row win for top resto in Sydney -- via SMH Good Food Guide bible -- may indeed have them resting on their laurels. Too bad. The view is, indeed, spectacular.
Thanks very much for reporting back!