Planning a trip to Sydney? Even if not you probably will be after you read about these dishes. We all know that Sydney’s food scene makes Brisbane’s pale by comparison (you know it’s true), but when you’re just flying down for a weekend it can be hard to decide where to go. So we’ve made your #holidaylife easier and put together a list of our absolute faves – the ones we always make time for when we’re visiting town.
#1. Banana bread with cream | Grounds of Alexandria | Alexandria
There is a very good reason that the Grounds of Alexandria is so popular and it’s not just their garden. While you may think that banana bread with cream is a bit been there, done that we suggest you head to the Grounds and prepare to find out why their super moist and fluffy banana bread is a favourite amongst the locals.
#2. 8 hour wood fired lamb | Porteno | Surry Hills
Good things take time and Porteno’s Argentinian wood fired lamb spends 8 hours spread across an ironwood bark fire pit, resulting in a tender meat that is, to put it mildly, f—ing amazing. You won’t have to wait 8 hours to get it in front of you though, and good thing too – you’d probably wind up jumping into the fire pit to get your hands on the roasting meat after smelling the delicious aroma for a few hours.
#3. Crispy duck in plum and mandarin sauce | Billy Kwong | Potts Point
Restaurants run by celebrity chefs abound in Sydney – we’re actullay a little miffed that none of them want to come to the Sunshine State. But Kylie Kwong we’ll forgive, if only for her signature crispy skin duck with tangy mandarin and plum sauce.
#4. Mary’s Burger | Mary’s | Newtown
Don’t be put off by the dingy exterior that screams more brothel than burger joint, this old hall turned bar and eatery is worth braving the crowd of bearded bros always loitering outside the door. Downstairs is a dim and dusty bar while upstairs, simple yet rave-worthy burgers await.
#5. Sea salt soft serve | Aqua S | CBD
Sea salt soft serve may sound a bit strange to the uninitiated, but this semi-frozen treat is so not what you would expect. Sea salt (think salted caramel) joins other weird and wonderful flavours which change each week and comes topped with – wait for it – fairy floss, marshmallows, pop corn and pop rocks.
#6. Cheeseburger spring rolls | Ms. G’s | Pott’s Point
If you’re looking for the ultimate drinking food, this is it. Cheeseburgers and spring rolls, together? What’s not to love? Good thing they have a whole lot of cocktails to pair them with. We recommend Ms G’s Famous Yuzu Slushee – or you could just go straight to the shots.
Getting your greens in has never tasted so good. While it might take a moment for you to get over the fact that your pancakes are very violently green, you’ll soon think of it as your favourite colour. Topped with poached egg, avocado, feta and mint, they’ll leave you well and truly ready to hit the beach.
#8. Polenta chips and a Sydney sling cocktail | Opera Bar | Circular Quay
Move over sweet potato and zucchini fries, polenta chips are our new favourite potato alternative and Opera Bar know exactly how to fry them up! Pair them with a seriously refreshing Sydney sling cocktail with gin, pomegranate, fresh lime, mint, bitters and soda and a view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for those ultimate holiday feels.
#9. Guac and plantain chips | Mejico | CBD
Corn chips are pretty great but have you tried plantain chips with guacamole from Mejico? If not, we suggest you change that pronto. You won’t believe these crispy chips are made from a fruit that is cousins with the banana but you’ll definitely go monkeys over them! And they make the guac at your table to your flavour preference – it’s a must do experience!
#10. Lamb shoulder | The Apollo | Potts Point
Whether you have it on it’s own or as a part of The Apollo’s infamous shared banquet, their oven baked lamb shoulder with lemon Greek yoghurt is a must try. One of those dishes that you’ll keep picking at long after you’re full, it won’t let you leave a single mouthful of tender meat behind.
#11. Snickers bar thickshake | The Pie Tin | Newtown
The things that The Pie Tin can put in a pie just boggle our mind (black forest and meringue? Sunday roast? mac ‘n’ cheese? wtf?), but it’s their thickshakes that keep us coming back for more. Well, technically it’s the pies and the thickshakes because, you guessed, they put the pies IN the thickshakes. That’s right, that’s not Snickers chocolate going into that cup – that’s Snickers PIE.
Neighbourhood Bar serve up some pretty mean cocktails for after your tanning session too, but since you’re on holidays, why not start drinking before? Especially if you kick things off with one of their bloody Marys, a perfect concoction of beef stock (from beef cheeks nonetheless), lemon juice, secret sauce and smoked garlic.
#13. Prosciutto pizza | Da Orazio | Bondi
We probably don’t need to elaborate too much on this one, surely nobody can see the words “prosciutto” and “pizza” side by side and not feel the urgent need to get their hands on it. With parmigiana sauce, rocket, prosciutto, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella you definitely need a pizza this in your life.
So start booking your flights and loosening your belt now!
Words by Kate Streader