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Jul 4, 2012 04:07 PM

Sydney - Four Points Sheraton, desperate and hungry, pls help!

Calling all Sydney hounds! I'm here for a conference, staying at the 4 points, desperate food situation down here. i know you can help. Need recs for walking distance for decent coffee/espresso, lunch and dinners. so far everything has been overpriced and unmemorable near my hotel. my short list, when I can really sneak away, is Fish Face, 4 in Hand, Momofuku and SixPenny. Looking for comparable near me. Anyone?

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  1. I think the first thing people will want to know is where are you from (Aussie or foreign) and what do you like? You mention everything being overpriced, but you include Momofuku and Sixpenny on your list. Are you looking for bargain eats or value for money at any price?

    Yes, there are endless opportunities in Sydney to spend lots of money on very mediocre food. Especially around Darling Harbour where you are staying.

    To focus on your request for "walking distance" and the lower end of the price scale, I can make a few quick suggestions:

    For lunch:

    Malay Chinese (for laksa), 58 Hunter Street, between Castlereigh and Pitt.

    Central Baking Depot (same owners as Bourke St. Bakery) Nice pizze, daily lunch specials, and pastries. Check the website: for daily menus. (Note also, Laksa King next door isn't too bad, if there's no seats left at the bakery.


    Menya Oiden or Menya Mappen, 537 George St, (dual sites, inside the little shopping centre). Japanese kushiage place for udon and ramen.

    Also, you're not far from the Westfield food court.

    For dinner:

    Madang Korean, in an alley off of 371 Pitt Street.

    Thanon Khao San, 413 Pitt St, or Chat Thai,188 Pitt St, for authentic Thai

    Keep in mind too, that public transport can get you to a lot of places, and "walking distance" is a relative term. (I, for example, don't mind a 30 minute walk.) You might do a bit of reading on some other recent threads like:

    3 Replies
    1. re: gemuse

      Thanks gemuse for the suggestions, this helps!! To clarify, overpriced food for the quality and value is what I am seeing in Darling Harbour, probably expected for the touristy location as many cities suffer from this. I will gladly go out of my way to eat a great meal and pay a little more as needed. I'm just limited on time during the conference - so your nearby spots are great options. I walked thru chinatown recently and saw Mamak - any thoughts on this place? Now, if I can just get a decent cup of coffee, I'd be really stoked.

      1. re: dontholdthepickle

        Mamak is great for a quick bite as long as the queue isn't too bad, rojak is excellent. Slightly longer walks take you to chinatown (xinjiang places near you, red chilli a bit further) and up to thainatown and the queues at chat thai. as a single diner your wait shouldn't be too long

        1. re: dontholdthepickle

          If you are an American (your profile suggests that you might be), definitely give Mamak a try, because we get so few opportunities to sample Malaysian food back in the US. People here might argue about whether Mamak is the best example in its class, but it's certainly good enough. You have to sample the roti.

          For coffee, try Mecca Espresso at 67 King St., ground floor of the Grace Hotel. They roast their own beans. The aforementioned Central Baking Depot also does a good flat white. Make sure you check this thread too:

          We might need to kick up a new thread just for CBD coffee recommendations, as most of the cafe suggestions on this board are for other neighbourhoods.

          As for Chinta Ria, I used to be a fan, but the last time I was there it seemed that quality had gone down and prices had gone up. It felt much more corporatised, and seems to have lost some of its atmosphere. Also, the stink of incense was overpowering and kind of ruined my appetite. I'd choose Mamak over Chinta Ria for sure. Chinta Ria's only edge is its outdoor seating in the summer.

      2. I used to work in the towers at Cockle Bay so I understand your situation. If you want to stay close Chinta Ria used to be lots of fun. i haven't eaten here for a while but the food still looks good and its very close to your hotel. Less than 100m.

        Otherwise walk down Sussex St into Chinatown. On Goulbourn uber cheap but legendary is BBQ King. More up market on Sussex is Golden Century.

        9 Replies
        1. re: Kogie

          Hi all, I tried to get into Mamak but the line was too long, trying again for sure, looked amazing. Did hit Golden Century as a back up. The experiene was great fun, ordered out of the tank. Not sure why it matters but yes I am for the good 'ole USA. Your chinatown is quite good and a broad range of asian quisine. Tonight trying Fish Face and will report back. Thoughts on Fratelli Paradiso or Portino? Keep the recs coming!

          1. re: dontholdthepickle

            If the weather is good try and get down to Woolloomooloo Wharf. Try either Manta or Ottos for lunch. Although it is winter they are both the quintessential experience.

            1. re: dontholdthepickle

              The only reason it matters where you're from is that it helps frame what you might find interesting and good. For example, I'd never recommend any Italian restaurants to a New Yorker, because what you can get at home is so much better and so common. Similarly, if you're from LA, you probably wouldn't be that impressed with any of Sydney's sushi. If you're from London, you'd be disappointed with our Indian offerings. etc. I can only speak for myself, but when I travel, I like to seek out dining experiences that are unique to the destination, and different from what I can get at home. Most tourists who post here only have a short time and a limited number of meals, so it helps to know how to make the best suggestions out of a multitude of options. That's why I asked. It's hard to give a good answer when people simply ask "what's good?" It's so subjective.

              Sydney does a lot of Asian cuisines really well. Thai, Korean, Chinese, Malaysian, Vietnamese— done really authentically. Far more so than than you would find in most American cities, where things tend to get toned down for American tastes. For this reason, I tend to emphasise these cuisines for American visitors.

              You'll love FishFace. Fratelli Paradiso is a good casual Italian bistro, but not exceptional in any way. Are you asking about Porteno in Surry Hills? It's Argentinian, but not usual churrasco style place. I really enjoyed the one meal I had there. They do a whole roasted lamb and pig every day, and that's on the menu until it sells out (which is often with the first seating). We enjoyed the roast pig with cracklings, pickled tongue, blood sausage, and the brussels sprouts were divine. The plates are generous and seem to be designed for more family-style sharing.

              Note that both Fratelli and Porteno do not take reservations. You might need to be prepared to wait for a table. Porteno has a really nice bar upstairs where you can order small plates. That might be another option. I don't think Porteno is open on Sunday, though. I believe Fratelli is only until 6:00pm on Sunday, so that would have to be lunch.

              1. re: gemuse

                great point gemuse on why it matters, makes complete sense. I agree with your asian cuisine input too. I didnt realize sydney had such an wide breadth of options.

                FishFace was amazing! I had the Sydney Rocks Oysters, delicious, being from Seattle, ours are hard to beat. The prawn ravioli in shell fish sauce with my Bella Ridge Chenin was luxurious. The frizzled leeks were perfect on top. I also had the blue fin tar tar, one of the specials, so good and fresh. I intend to go back for one of the entrees soon.

                1. re: gemuse

                  Gemuse - IMO Sydney actually has some pretty stunning Italians which would give NYC a run for its money. For example, Steve Manfredi's places, or Pilu, Lucio's, Pendolino, A Tavola, and Beppi's, plus of course the more modern, like Buzo, Otto, and even Icebergs.

                  I would say the same for Indian, I actually find it easier to find a decent curry in Sydney than London, Aki's for example is very good, or the Bayleaf Brasserie, or Nilgiri's and if you are after some good Pakistani (like Tayabs) try Faheems Fast Foods in Enmore.

                  1. re: PhilD

                    I agree with all the Italian suggestions with the exception of Beppis. the last meal we had here four years ago was atrocious. the food was bland and vegetables cracked from sitting under the Bain Marie. I wouldn't suggest my worst enemy goes here.

                    1. re: Kogie

                      I must admit I last went there many years ago - sad to see its standards have dropped.

                      1. re: PhilD

                        Buzo is the place I am keen to try again. Everyone keeps bringing it up.

                    2. re: PhilD

                      By all means, PhilD, not saying that Sydney doesn't have some fantastic Italian. (It absolutely does.) Just that it might not be better or different than what a New Yorker is used to.

                      And I've heard you rate Aki's before. I admit I've never been, so will have to put that one on the list.