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Jul 29, 2010 01:21 PM

Sydney - What is the best Asian food the city has to offer?

I will be traveling to Australia in September and my first stop is Sydney. I love all food but I'm specifically interested in any Asian fare that Sydney has to offer. I will be staying very close to Chinatown so I will probably start my culinary adventures there.

Any suggestions and advice would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. I can tell you some of my favorites -
    gumshara ramen
    laksa - probably on Hunter St at Malay Chinese
    khanom krack (that is probably not how it is spelled!) at Chat Thai at lunch time
    Thai food at Spice I am or House
    Shanghai Tang on George St
    hand pulled noodles

    I'll think about it some more and add things.

    1 Reply
    1. re: debbieann

      oh and roti canai at Mamak - late at night is best, open until 2 am and in Chinatown. also ayam goreng there.

    2. There is lots and lots of choice. For example with Thai you can start formal with Sailors Thai Restaurant (in the rocks, downstairs not the canteen), go modern with Longrain, head north with House and Chat Thai and then go fiery hole in the wall with Spice I am.
      Much he same is true with lots of the food styles with Sydney being able to cover most countries/regions (although Lao seems rare).

      Chinatown is like a lot of Chinatowns, some good places and some pretty bad ones. I find a lot of the second generation Asian's have started to open upmarket places; the parents ran restaurants in Chinatown or Cabramatta and the kids have moved upmarket in prime restaurant areas like Surry Hils or Darlinghurst: Billy Kwong, Xage, Red Lantern. Often these are modern places but still rooted in the ethos of their cuisines, and it is good to try food that is evolving rather than being stuck in the "authentic" space.

      1. My Top 10:

        * Specialties in the City:
        Laksa - Malay Chinese Takeaway (nr Wynyard)
        Pho - Pho 24 (nr Town Hall)
        Sushi - Kabuki Shoroku (nr Town Hall)
        Yum Cha - Zilver (nr Central)

        * Authentic Food:
        Chinese (Sichuan) - Red Chilli 2 (City)
        Japanese - Ju-Rin (Crow's Nest)
        Thai - Spice I Am (Surry Hills)

        * Good food, "Sydney" Atmosphere and Cocktails:
        Chinese (non-Cantonese) - Spice Temple (City)
        Japanese - Toko (Surry Hills)
        Thai - Longrain (Surry Hills)

        3 Replies
        1. re: anarcist

          Also, Korean food is beginning to catch on.

          The best is Madang (nr Town Hall), it's down an alley, so make sure you look it up before you try to find it. If it's too packed, you can try Kozy, in another alley.

          1. re: anarcist

            ok I love everything you listed - do you have a Melbourne list?

            so far on my I'm disappointed list is Gurney Drive and Coconut Kitchen. I did like DonToo, both for lunch and dinner.

            1. re: debbieann

              I'm not too good on Melbourne.
              The one place I go to when I'm in town is a Japanese restaurant called Shoya, which is next to Flower Drum. The unitama, canapes and sashimi are fantastic. There are plenty of other good options as well.

              I also had a good Sichuan meal at Szechuan House (the old Dainty Sichuan).

              Oh! And Hutong Dumpling Bar!

          2. Visitors from HK & Singapore to Sydney Chinatown will not fail to make a beeline for Golden Century Seafood Restaurant, 393-399 Sussex Street. And a fave dish to order there would be the giant Tasmanian King Crab, cooked 2 ways. The catch is: there need to be at least 3 or 4 of you to down this 2-course dish. And one of those monster crabs can cost between A$300-A$400 depending on the size you choose.

            3 Replies
            1. re: klyeoh

              The most popular dishes are the Live pippies in XO and the Live mud crab in ginger and shallot.

              Half a kilogram of each will cost a bit over A$100, before rice or drinks. Not bad for two people at 3am in the morning.

              1. re: anarcist

                I was out in Cabramatta a few weeks ago and had a great vietnamese meal with make-your-own fresh rolls & crispy pancake.

                It's a bit of a trek to get there, so I was wondering if there are any decent places closer to CBD or Lower North Shore.


                1. re: anarcist

                  Thanks! Pippies with XO sounds delish - must try that on my next trip to GC :-)

                  P.S. - First time I was at GC was back in 1995, I still remembered we ordered a large platter of lobster noodles: 3 whole lobsters stir-fried with ginger & scallions and served on egg noodles. It was enough to feed 6 people (we did order 5 other dishes). Absolutely gorgeous!