Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Australia/New Zealand >
May 28, 2009 09:02 PM

sydney itinerary, looking for feedback

Thanks for all the help in Melbourne. I'm looking for some feedback on Sydney as well.

Our first night we have a reservation at *Quay*. Should I request a waterfront table, or are the views from every table good?

For brunch the next day we were thinking yum cha. Either *Zilver* or *Marigold Citymark*. Any suggestions on which to go with? Are reservations required?

For dinner that night I was thinking Thai, but since we're doing fine dining twice in Sydney I was looking for something under 30AUD per person. *Spice I Am* looks like a good choice, but I'd be open to suggestions, even non-Thai, as long as the price range is reasonable.

The next day we'll be at the Blue Mountains for lunch. Are there any worthwhile lunch spots up there, or should we just pack a picnic? I definitely want to visit a Malaysian restaurant while in Sydney, so for dinner we were thinking *Mamak*.

For lunch our last day we'll be visiting the Sydney Fish Market. Can we eat well at the market or is there a good restaurant near by?

Dinner will be at *Tetsuya's*. Have to say I'm looking forward to this one. I've ready nothing but rave reviews.

Thanks again for all your help.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Try for a front row table a Quay, but don't worry too much IIRC they are all pretty good.

    Spice am I for Thai is a good option, I used to love the original which was like a take away with basic seats outside to eat, They have a more upmarket restaurant now as well...but reviews have been mixed (I have not been). A good central option is Sailor Thai Canteen in the Rocks. Sailors Thai has an expensive formal restaurant downstairs but upstairs it is a no reservation, large shared table, restaurant. Very good cooking, genuine flavours and quite inexpensive (get a variety of dishes to share and include a salad).

    In the Blue Mountains I used to love Vulcans in Blackheath. It is a simple, stripped down restaurant/bakery that does some very good food. Philip Searles is an Australia food hero:

    The fish market has lots of cafe's for basic fish and chips. Choose carefully and you should be OK, but don't expect anything to fancy. If you want fancy The Boathouse in Blackwattle bay is good, or Flying Fish on Jones Bay Wharf. Both are about 1.5km away. Also in Pyrmont there are a few Cafe's and casual restaurants on Harris Street, approx 500 metres.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PhilD

      ALot of people do reccomend Vulcans if your in that part of the hills. Chequerboard Icecream at the end is also rather unique, and most people also reccomend it


    2. Re. Quay, you should definitely ask for a window table, but you should get Opera House views from most seats in the restaurant.

      I'd go for Zilver for yum cha. Like most Chinese restaurants, the decor's nothing special and it has quite an uninspiring entrance, but the food's terrific. And you should definitely make a reservation as they get extremely busy and crowded for yum cha.

      At the Blue Mountains, Solitary, Darley's and Vulcans are probably the best restaurants - although a picnic's certainly not a bad option. The Mountain Goat Deli or the Blackheath Deli are both pretty good places to buy picnic provisions.

      Mamak has delicious roti, but isn't really a restaurant - it's more a quick takeaway joint, although there are a few seats you can sit down on to eat. Definitely very cheap and delicious. The Malaya at King St Wharf (Darling Harbour) is a better bet if you're after a proper Malaysian restaurant.

      I've never found good fish and chips at the fish markets - it's all pretty greasy, fried basic fast food. You'd be better off going nearby to Glebe Point Diner or The Boathouse at Blackwattle Bay. Flying Fish in Pyrmont is also really good, and from memory has a more casual outdoor bar where you can eat as well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MaestroSid

        I'd describe both Mamak and Spice I Am as moderately fast food - you sit and eat but you don't hang around once the food is finished

      2. Oh, and in terms of Spice I Am... make sure you go to the Surry Hills one in Wentworth Ave. They don't take bookings, but if you get there before 6pm you should be fine. If that's too early, you could always try Longrain which is just nearby. The restaurant is quite expensive, but you can eat in the bar with their cheaper bar menu. Or otherwise you should try Red Lantern or Sugarcane - both in Surry Hills.

        5 Replies
        1. re: MaestroSid

          Malaya looks terrific. Thanks for the recommendation.

          I think Spice I Am will serve our purposes pretty well.

          1. re: turkob

            Do book at The Malaya. It used to be very popular with lots of afterwork parties meeting up for drinks and food, without a reservation is can be tricky to get a table.

            1. re: PhilD

              Is the Malaya really any good? Authentic? Based on price and location, I've always assumed it's more show than go like most of Cockle Bay / King St wharf ...

              1. re: Tsar_Pushka

                Not authentically Malaysian, but very authentically Sydney-Malaysian! I've been going back to Malaya for over 3 decades (whenever I visit from Singapore) - I just can't get enough of its "Aussie-fied" Laksa (I may be wrong, but I think they are the ones who first introduced the dish to Sydney back in the 1960s) and Beef Rendang. Every meal there had been a wonderful experience for me. The King St Wharf location is also a swanky upgrade from its old George St premises whence journos used to hang out for a beer & get their curry fix.

                1. re: Tsar_Pushka

                  That was the sub-text of my comment.

                  I ate at Mamak a few months ago and thought is was really very good, we went at lunchtime so didn't linger, but I thought the SMH said it was a happening place at night?. You can take-away from there but there are also lots of tables to sit and eat. It is very popular with Malaysians. It doesn't have the glam of The Malaya, as Klyeoh says Malaya is authentically Sydney, good room, good location, good view etc.

          2. I love Tetsuya's and you will be so blown away by everything..there is a reason he is in the top ten in the world..
            Tet's is a great guy too and usually comes out to greet his guests..
            Really enjoy Sailor Thai and I would also add Lord Nelson Brewery in the Rocks for some great gastropub food and beer..
            Fortune of War is one of my favorite pubs and the oldest besides Lord Nelson's..

            5 Replies
            1. re: Beach Chick

              Is the food any good at the Nelson? I went quite a while ago and the food was very average, OK for a pub but no way would I have described it as gastropub and I wouldn't take people there other than for the beer.

              1. re: mr_gimlet

                I would say the same about the Lord Nelson (which was my local whe I lived in the rocks). OK for a quick mid-week meal if we couldn't be bothered to walk far but not a great representation of Sydney pub food especially with stars like: The Four in Hand; The Bellevue Hotel; or Civic Dining to name but three.

                1. re: mr_gimlet

                  when I lived briefly in Rose Bay, we always went to Nelson's and it was good but went recently in 2006 and found the food and beer to be quite superior..I would of qualified it as a 'gastropub' then...haven't been back since I live in San Diego..maybe things have changed.

                  1. re: Beach Chick

                    Seems a bit odd to trek all the way over to the Rocks. Didn't you try any of the pubs in Paddington like The Bellevue; The Four in Hand; or The Grand National....?

                    1. re: PhilD

                      when I lived in Rose Bay, we had our own driver so trekking to the Rocks was not a big deal and we were considered tourists..we did Paddington, Kings Cross and other areas but it was so long ago..the last trip we stayed at the Four Seasons so that was an easy trek..sorry to hear it's not up to par..

              2. as an alternative to spice i am, i would suggest Longgrain.. you cannt book, but the bar is a great place to have a drink and wait, or just get there by aware however, that it is shared tables.
                As an alternative to eating at the sydney fish markets, perhaps go to the restaurant at fratelli fresh in potts point, that has an extraordinary quality italian food at really affordable prices

                1 Reply
                1. re: aussieDan

                  Potts Point is a long way away from Pyrmont, right across the CBD. Fratteli Fresh is good but there are good options far closer to the market