Eating… and Drinking (As One Does..) in Sydney

Must-read Earlier Installments:

I’m not going to cover drinking from my uncle’s extensive wine collection or eating my aunt’s Thanksgiving dinner (they really did have a couple dozen folks over for an American Thanksgiving). I tend not to blog much about my family.

Instead I thought I’d share a few thoughts on dining and drinking in Sydney. There’s a developed high-end scene, and Tetsuya’s — generally regarded to have falled several notches in the past few years — remains one of my all-time favorite meals. On this trip I did have a booking at Quay, the best-regarded restaurant in town, which I’ll cover in a separate post.

But Sydney is interestingly situated to benefit from the food perspectives of Asia, plus it’s a real world city with its own eclectic edge. It develops interesting trends, that don’t always get spread to the U.S. or Europe for quite some time (it’s taken nearly two decades for us to see the ‘Flat White’ in Starbucks!).

Here’s a bar in a barber shop. (The bar is up the stairs, past the barber chairs.) They’re into craft cocktails and enter several bartending competitions. They don’t have much ‘real food’ although you can apparently order in pizza. And you can get your haircut there, though I went at night after the actual barber closed.

Here’s a bar.. in a record store. Mojo Record Bar is a relaxed, intimate, low key sort of place with good music (a classic rock while I was there) and accessible snacks (the hot dog is recommended but I didn’t try one).

Neil Perry, the celebrity Australian celebrity chef with whom Qantas has a long-standing association, has a new ‘fast food’ place The Burger Project in the World Square Shopping Center on George Street. It underwhelmed.

It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t better than an In ‘n Out Burger — in fact that’s the closest approximation I can come up with for the concept and taste.

So instead of filling up on my burger I went directly next door to Sydney’s outpost of the Taiwanese chain Din Tai Fung.

You can never go wrong with xiaolongbao, a kind of soup dumpling. Having already had some burger, we shared this and a dessert.

If you ever find yourself skipping dessert and wanting some while staying at the Park Hyatt Sydney, you can do worse than walking into La Renaissance. Their macarons aren’t Pierre Herme but they’re very good for Sydney!

(If you wake up in the middle of the night hungry, or come back really late after drinking, you can always go next door to the Park Hyatt for Pancakes on the Rocks .. fortunately, I didn’t have the need.)

For a great carry away sandwich (though there are a handful of stools to eat there), try Mr. Crackles on Oxford Street in Darlinghurst.

We shared a Crackles Classic sandwich and pork fries.

It was out of this world good.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Does that mean that in all your travels, you never heard of Cafe Sydney?! What a marvelous meal we had there last month.

  2. Should check out China town there too. Place called Eating world or something like it. Has amazing selection of Asian cuisine

  3. i’m from Sydney, still have a waterfront place in Kirribilli, and know town well, i finished up there managing the services, including catering for SOCOG, the organising Committee for the Olympic Games, in 2000, the biggest service/catering event internationally, glad to hear you loved Oxford st, in Darlinghurst, next time, make sure to visit Tamarama, AKA glamarama, the beach south of Bondi, nice cliffs, and views, you can walk the cliff top walk from Bondi to Bronte, via Tamarama, well worth it 🙂

  4. Does look delicious Gary, but seriously “out of this world” unhealthy and fattening. Have you ever considered eating healthier? Not my business but you are putting your life out here, and supposedly inviting comment and opinion. Eating greasy calorific foods every day can’t be good for you? Then again you may only eat this stuff once in a while?

  5. Gary,
    Your blog is my favorite without question. You have a lot of diversity in your posts but you do need someone to check your spelling & grammar. My wife can “fill the bill” for very little pay.

    Keep up the top-notch posts. You are the bomb.

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