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Nov 4, 2009 11:54 PM

dining alone in Sydney

I'm from food-obsessed San Francisco, traveling alone in Sydney for a few days. Staying in Newtown, no car. Willing to walk far or train for quality food, particularly if it's something I can't get at home. I've had great hole-in-the wall Chinese out in Ashfield and Thai out at the Rocks - both were nice because the styles were different than in SF.

Since I'm alone, I'd like to go somewhere that serves at the bar, or is very casual. Perhaps a gastropub would fit the bill one night.

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  1. Try Bentley Restaurant and Bar in Surry Hills. You can sit at the bar and have a drink and have some great and original small plates of food as well as the full menu. A great wine and cocktail list makes it as much about the drinking. Has a pretty noisey vibe and atmosphere so much better for dinning alone.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ausrules85

      If you do go to Bentleys stick to the full menu. I recently had a poor tapas meal there. the main menu is much better.

      I'd also recommend Yoshi in the Rocks for great Japanese (with a bar too), but coming from San Francisco you probably do alright for Japanse.


    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. how do you feel about laksa? easy to eat alone - mostly served at lunch. I'd buy a bus ticket, jump on a bus from Newtown to the city and eat at Malay Chinese on Hunter St.

        I like the fancy pub food at Botany View Hotel - Darley St Bistro does the food.

        1. also check out black star pastry in Newtown. So good! closed mondays I think

          1. There are plenty of great places to eat alone. By location:

            NEWTOWN / ENMORE
            Guzman y Gomez - Mexican canteen
            Emma's on Liberty - Lebanese
            Carlisle Castle - pub grub

            SURRY HILLS
            Bodega - Spanish
            Red Lantern - Vietnamese
            Toko - Japanese
            Mohr's Fish - seafood cafe
            Spice I Am - Thai
            Longrain - upmarket Thai
            Billy Kwong - Chinese
            Il Baretto - Italian

            Fish Face - seafood
            Omerta - Italian wine bar
            Lucio Pizzeria - pizza

            3 Replies
            1. re: MaestroSid

              Anyone from SF should not try to eat Mexican food in Sydney, in my opinion. Another easy to eat alone place in Newtown is Kammadehnu, if you like Sril Lankan/Indian food.

              I went to Billy Kwong recently, and I like it, they do not take reservations, which made it easy to go, but we did wait an hour for a table, but a pleasant easy hour at a local wine/restaurant.

              1. re: MaestroSid

                Also, Bird Cow Fish in Surry Hills, Bistro Moncur or Moncur Terrace in Woollahra, any of the Bills

                1. re: MaestroSid

                  I second @debbieann's comment about Mexican in Sydney - don't try it no matter where you're from (tho I happen to be from SF and so am spoiled). It's better in Melbourne, but you'll still be disappointed.

                  As for Surry Hills, I tried Red Lantern but they were a bit ... 'up themselves', as the Aussies say. The hostess treated me as something the cat dragged in (or something the cat had left on the sidewalk and then attached itself to the bottom of my shoe). It did not leave me with the feeling of wanting to eat there, tho in fairness they did call me when my table was ready.

                  But by then I was happily ensconced around the corner at La Tana (, a recent runner-up in Timeout Sydney's 'casual dining' category. This is a great place for Italian. A warm, friendly waiter who knew the food as well as the chef; delicious, inventive, unpretentious food; great wines I'd never heard of before. A handmade pasta with leek, proscuitto and a touch of cream - subtle but gorgeous flavors. Amazing cheeses. It was a Friday night about 8:30 and it wasn't half full. That won't last long. An excellent option for the lone diner in Surry Hills.