Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Australia/New Zealand >
Dec 8, 2011 08:35 AM

Sydney questions, visiting Jan. 5-8.


I'm an expat Melbournian now based in Tokyo and hoping the Sydneysiders here can help me with a couple of eating q's. Have searched previous topix and resources such as Time Out, but am now confused!

We arrive in time for dinner on the 5th and leave the morning of the 8th. May hit the Sydney Fest. opening festivities on the 7th, so unsure what that means vis dinner on Sat. the 7th.

1. Hoping to visit both Chat Thai and Mamak while in town. Is one particularly better for dinner/supper over lunch?

2. Have a booking with friends for Tetsuya's on the 6th. There are some dismal reviews here in the boards; has anyone who's been recently have anything good to say?! Despite living in Japan, we don't really do the high end French/Japonaise thing, so Tets *is* something different for us.

If Tets really is a no-no, would go somewhere cheaper rather than Quay. Unfortunately will miss out on Momofuku Seibo.

3. I'm pregnant, so getting too caffeinated is a no-no, but where in the inner burbs (Surry Hills, CBD) is best for coffee and a decent brekky? NOT interested in Bill's at all.

On that note, has anyone been to Kazbah and had their brekky degustation?

4. Japanese options worth trying? (This may sound silly being in Japan, but we're not eating the fish here at the moment).

Taa muchly in advance!!

Ms. J.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I would say Chaat Thai for dinner as the menu is longer and has better depth. Mamak is great but don't go too far from the Roti section as I find other dishes less good. Mamak also turns tables faster.

    I have not been to Tets for. Long long time in Sydney (but was underwhelmed by him in Sing). A good one to look at is Sepia which is highly rated these days. Maybe my best meal in Sydney last year - a good mix of classic technique and modern food. I you want to go more funky try Duke Bistro or Gastro Park both very interesting cutting edge food, probably more in the Momofuku vein.

    Both my go-to coffee places in the CBD don't have extensive food menus - living in HK it is the Aus coffee fix that is essential for me. Steel does good rolls and muffins, and Worshop does a great bacon and egg roll with chilli jam - but not a lot else. Surry Hills or Potts Point will have far better food options.

    I think Japanesee in Sydney is some of the best in the world apart from Japan so personally I wouldn't bother if you live in Tokyo. But wouldn't raw fish be out because you are pregnant?

    2 Replies
    1. re: PhilD

      Thanks PhilD for your reply.

      Sepia looks fantastic, but un/fortunately they'll be closed when I'm in Sydney. Will also check out your other options.

      There are also a number of items on their sample menu I'd be unsure of because I'm pregnant.

      Which brings me to your fish question. Surprisingly, my ob/gyn here is okay with me eating sushi although he advises moderating the tuna. Pregnant Japanese eat raw fish all the time.

      My concern with fish in Japan these days is the contamination of water from radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Greenpeace conducted studies on fish from five supermarkets and found varying levels of cesium. I can't wait to eat some barramundi!

      Will go to Chat Thai in the evening and have lunch at Mamak as suggested.

      Thanks too for the coffee tips and the Tets update. Much appreciated.

      Ms J.

      1. re: MsJK

        Another hot pot is Beccasse in it new spot, I have not been recently but a good freind who I trust says it was his best meal th year.

    2. Personally I still love Tetsuya's. I was there in July for the first time in a couple of years and it was just as good as previous visits (both food and service) in my opinion. Other top places such as Quay and Sepia are pushing the boundaries more (and winning the critics accolades), but I think you would still have a great time at Tetsuya's.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Camw

        Reassuring Camw, thank you!!

      2. I recall being in Sydney 2 years ago during that time of year and we had a wonderful special priced meal at the summit resto as part of culture festival and the views from this revolving resto made the evening even more memorable. It is very large resto so was easier to get reservations there on short notice than at some of the other participating restos.

        2 Replies
        1. re: mangoannie

          Thanks mangoannie,

          Looks good, but I doubt I'll be able to fit it in!

          1. re: mangoannie

            Good views, But that is the bst bit.

          2. I went to Tetsuya's last year, when it was demoted to Two Hats.
            I think it's just as good as it was when it was rated top 5 in the world.

            Berowra Waters might be the best place to eat right now.
            Becasse in the new location is great. Momofuku is pretty good.

            I'm not a big fan of Mamak, but I seem to be in the minority. Might be better to go lunchtime, and try to beat the queues. Chat Thai now has half a dozen locations - one of them (under Galeries Victoria) is lunch only, but no queues. Failing that, going to one of the other branches for an early dinner at around 5 might be good for beating the queues.

            As for Japanese, Sakana-ya at Crow's Nest is my favourite for their nitsuke.
            Ju-Rin is also a popular choice. Mihana has good nimono.
            If you were up for sashimi, I would recommend Masa in Sylvania
            (but it's probably a bit out of the way depending on where you're staying).

            1. Interested to know how your trip was?