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Nov 26, 2011 09:51 PM

LA Hound coming to Sydney for 3 days ...

I've been up on the Gold Coast for the past month working, and have made plans to pop down to Sydney for three days before flying back to the States. Looking for some great recommendations of things I cannot so easily get in LA

I've already booked Momofuku and Quay for dinner, and have a call in to Tet's. From my reading it seemed many would recommend Quay over Tetsuya, is that correct?

I'll be there Monday early afternoon, and will leave that Thursday afternoon, so I'm looking for (at the most) 3 breakfasts (T - TR), 3 lunches (M - W), and 3 dinners (M - W). There's no budget, but I am certainly don't want to limit myself to higher-end, multi-course/tasting-menu type restaurants.

What does Sydney have that you guys feel is outstanding? Any cuisine is up for grabs, and there's not really much I don't eat.


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  1. While on vacation last February, I enjoyed a memorable meal on the Terrace at Bistro Moncur, in Woollahra. Attentive, thoughtful service (I was dining solo), and stellar cocktails. Not sure how to compare to other places, as I only had a few dinners in Sydney during my February visit. (I am in Vancouver, BC, Canada). Lunch at Hugo Manly also a delight; although beachfront dining rarely disappoints.

    6 Replies
    1. re: KarenDW

      Thanks for the response; what restaurants do you particularly enjoy in Vancouver? I just spent almost 4 months there and posted about it in this thread (

      1. re: a213b

        In Vancouver: Yew at the Fairmont, Hamilton St. Grill, La Brasserie, Thai Hang, Two Chefs & A Table, Apron at Wall Centre come to mind. JJ Bean for coffee. Sorry I missed posting in your Vancouver thread.
        While visiting Australia in February, I was in Sydney for three days at each end of a one-month journey. My dining budget is in the "moderate" range. Will you be in Melbourne at all? If so, visit Josie Bones.

        1. re: a213b

          While we're at it, as an ex Montrealer who almost gave up finding an authentic French pastry café, Thierry at 1059 Alberni( near the Hotel Vancouver) is a French pâtisserie-chocolatier. It's open until midnight. I have yet to be disappointed from the hazelnut choux, savarin au rhum, lemon tarts or macaroons:

          1. re: YVR flyboy

            Ehhh, I found Thierry to be very pedestrian ... especially when compared to Thomas Haas. I make better macarons at home, and the madeleines were overly dense and very "floury".

            1. re: a213b

              I never got in to Madeleines, or macarons(or anything that can be consumed in 3 bites) in Montréal or Paris. I'm more into the Paris-Brest, St Honorès, milles feiilles(Napoléons), tartelettes aux citrons.

              1. re: YVR flyboy

                Fair enough; I guess my thinking is that if they cannot get madeleines right, what hope do they have of more complex pastries?

                I did try a few others as well, and simply was not impressed. As always, though, YMMV.

      2. Yes, most people including myself would recommend Quay over Tetsuya. Quay is possibly the best restaurant in Australia at the moment. And the most expensive :-)

        For an alternative to pricey evenings out, I would recommend a regional Chinese restaurant - pick your Province.

        5 Replies
        1. re: mr_gimlet

          Thanks for the advice; with respect to regional chinese, having just spent a good bit of time in Vancouver (and living in LA), I'm wondering if I ought not make something else more of a priority. If I do choose, any specific spots you would recommend?

          I'm a HUGE fan of hand made noodles, and love the heat of Sichuan, so maybe something along those lines? Or anything else you can think of.

          1. re: a213b

            The cuisine hails from Xinjiang, where there are many muslim. This is a hand-pulled noodle restaurant. It is the typical Chinese hole in the wall that's always packed,crammed & where there is a high possibility of sharing tables. It's cash only. The noodles are so long that they use scissors to cut the noodles at your table. Their lamb noodle or Jia Jia Mian are outstanding as well as the onion pancakes. Their Xiaolongbao(little dragon buns) do not have the thin skins which spurt soup as the Shanghai Xiaolongbao , but are a more bready,doughy type. This place can be difficult to find although you know you are in the right area. A colleague never found it & it shares the same address as the #1 southern Thai restaurant Caysorn Thai. It's:Prince Centre, 8 Quay St, Haymarket open 11am-9pm. You'll need a good map of the CBD to find Quay St

            1. re: YVR flyboy

              SO what is your recommendation called? Have you been?

              1. re: mr_gimlet

                It's the most unoriginal name ever" Chinese Noodle Reataurant", but at least you know what your main course will be

          2. A really good place for breakfast is a small place called "2 Good Eggs". The eggs used are free range and the scrambled eggs were cooked to perfection & not the usual overcooked eggs like most places. The kitchen is open and the fruit juices are blended after one orders. They have a rather pricey organic Wagyu burger but it was the best meat for a burger that I ever had. It's at 148 Goulburn(corner of Brisbane) almost across the street from the Travelodge Sydney on Goulburn & Wentworth

            1. This may be surprising, but "the Restaurant" in the rear of the main floor of the Art Gallery of New South Wales is amazing. The food is French-inspired modern Austrslian with all the ingredients beig local with a daily changing menu. 3 walls are glass and give an amazing view of the Domain, Wooloomooloo & Potts Point.. As most Australian museums are free, you enter the main entrance then head to the rear.

              1. You have the best and the hottest booked already. Tets gets mixed reviews these days and given the two you have booked you may not need another big night out. I would add in Gastro Park, Duke Bistro or District Dining as these are quite modern and funky so give a good contrast. For lunch there are lots of great options, head out of town to the beach and try North Bondi Italian Food or Sean's Panaroma (both in Bondi), in town somewhere like Bistro CBD or Pendolino (Italian) are good, or even go for a wagyu burger at the bar at Rockpool Bar & Grill. Food courts are getting funky, the new Westfield in Pitt Street has lots and lots of really good interesting options including Becasses "Quarter24" which is their mid priced option. As MrG says regional Chinese can be OK, Chrfs Gallery is an interesting choice. I would also try Thai with either Chaat Thai or Spice I am for a quick snack.

                Breakfast is all about coffee in Sydney, if in the CBD then look for the queue, and if there is no queue keep looking - I like Workshop in the Galleries Victoria ( near the Hilton). All cafes do food but if you want something substantial the inner city suburbs are the best bet as they do a full set of choices to meet weekend demand - Bill's is the famous one, still good but now expensive and not the leader it once was. Do avoid anywhere near circular quay for breakfast or coffee.

                4 Replies
                1. re: PhilD

                  I still say "2 Good Eggs" for brekkie. Their coffee like most places is great!

                  1. re: PhilD

                    Thanks for the other options; I am meeting a friend for dinner and then a few cheeky ones Monday night, and I believe he wants to hang around the Rocks -- any of those suggestions fit for that?

                    Also, I love, Love, LOVE great coffee; I tend to eat VERY light breakfasts (oftentimes just a juice drink/smoothie), but I am willing to walk for great coffee.

                    As I mentioned upthread, LA has a wealth of phenomenal regional Chinese, as well as amazing Thai, so I *might* stay away, though I do love them so much I may find myself getting it anyway.

                    1. re: a213b

                      The coffee is great in this country & I avoid all chains especially Starbucks & Gloria Jeans like the plague. Even the 7-11 have espresso machines but I have never tried. You won't have trouble in the coffee department.

                      1. re: a213b

                        Coffee in Sydney is an art form so you don't need to walk far. But that said there is good and bad hence the advice to look fr the queue in the morning, and it is tricky to recommend places as Baristas do move and when they do the standard can drop. Another really good one in the CBD I just off George St up the lane towards Wynard St called Steel Espresso. As flyboy says avoid the chins there is no need to try them - I think Sydney is one of the few towns Starbucks practically withdrew from!

                        As to the Rocks, mmmh I would generally say tht drinking there isn't that great (I used to live there) with the notable exceptio of the Lord Nelson (up the hill). As for restaurants it isn't strong esp on a Monday when lots of places take a day off. I would eat elswhere and come in for a beer - a burger at Rockpool Bar and Grill isn't too faraway. Or a meal at Sailor Thai, I understand that you may think LA has great Thai but I encourage you to benchmark a Sydney one. I am pretty certain you will change your mind - they are a revelation and IMO are often better than a lot of those in Bangkok (where I ate last month). Another option is a beer at the "Opera Bar' which will be civilized on Monday and then try the food court next door - sounds dodgy - but OK for a light meal.