I used to think there was f-all in the city centre. By that, I mean post code 2000 or something really close to that, where in the suburb field, you’d be writing Sydney and not Surry Hills or whatever. But not Chinatown. Cos somehow Chinatown ain’t quite the city for me. Some good pickings recently and I’ve changed that thinking. This post is all about food of course. No fashunz.

For starters, there’s some pretty damn good coffee. Mecca on King Street is probably my new fave. It’s totally famous and supremely busy, with a good mix of coffee lovers and regular dus in suits and shit. They use La Marzocco Mistrals for the coffee and offer something like 3 single origins to taste plus they have a Clover in store as well. Really good stuff.

Workshop is located at The Galeries Vic, on the side facing QVB. They offer a single origin or somesuch to taste and use a special blend from Toby’s Estate that’s a helluva lot richer and deeper than the standard shit. Another good thing is their Sonoma bread sandwiches which are supposed to be good although I’ve never tried them. However, I do love myself a Sonoma miche just pretty much by itself really. The decor is warm and inviting and it’s something that really lends itself to the charm of this hole in the wall sized place.

Menya at Quay Street is my pick for best ramen overall in Sydney. It’s pretty close to the good stuff in Singapore, where I reckon the ramen level is pretty decent for places outside of Japan. Their shio ramen comes with a good clean broth, the chashu isn’t overcooked and the egg is ok. Prices are reasonable and they also offer different sizes to their noodles. Most people would be fine with the regular although big eaters could do a large, which is 1.5x. They also do a mega size, which is double the regular. Decent gyoza. Just so you know, I was super hungry and ordered a mega ramen the other day. I smashed the shit out of it and felt like I could do more. My mate didn’t think too much of it and bet me $100 that I’d never be able to eat another mega ramen. NO WAY. I accepted and made it look like all hell but totally finished 2 mega bowls or 4x the standard serving. He is never placing bets on my fortitude again I can tell you that. I hit this joint like once a week.

Central Baking Depot is a little ways off the main part of the city but it’s basically like an offshoot of Bourke Street Bakery more or less so expect good pies, sausage rolls and bread. They’re on 37-39 Erskine Street.

The GPO Cheese Room is also one of the best places to get cheese in Sydney, nevermind the city. Their selection’s pretty good. A good mix of local and international stuff. I bought some summer Beaufort which is sitting in my fridge now.

Of course, David Jones in the city men’s store basement (Market Street) is a foodie heaven of sorts. I like the cheese counter, where you can sit and eat with some freakin super glazed giant citrus fruits or whatever. I’ve never done that but would like to somehow eat this gigantic green citrus thing they have glazed translucent sitting in the fridge. Also, they have a good selection of meats if you wanna buy something for din dins to cook at home plus a fresh fruit/veg stand that’s got some stuff you don’t see everywhere. Shit loads of good jams, bikkies, tea and condiments as well. On the whole, it’s the sort of place a chi-chi 20-40 something would go to be seen but lots of food loving humans go there too. Prices aren’t insane and of course if you know where, you could get just as good or better for less but it’s location can’t be beat. My fave thing is probably the juice bar, where you can design your own juice or whatever and they have this snowcone thing as well. My other fave thing is ogling the hotness that pervades this place. Chi-chi or otherwise.

Here’s a briefer list for some other places I reckon are ok too or haven’t been to and want to check out having heard good shit* about. Note that I am not recommending places in Haymarket.

  • Palace Chinese on 145/133 Castlereagh Street. Good yumcha/dimsum that’s not in Chinatown
  • Plan B for the $10 Wagyu burgers. 204 Clarence Street
  • Big Bite on Pitt Street, near The Galeries Vic. Massive sandwiches*
  • Din Tai Fung for XLBs in World Square
  • Miso for Tonkatsu in World Square
  • The Galeries Vic basement has a Chat Thai stand with good stir fries and shit
  • Guzman y Gomez at the MLC Food Court in Martin Place
  • Max Brenner for choco
  • Madang/Obaltan – these 2 are located opposite each other in a back alley off Pitt Street. Best K-BBQ in the city
  • Civic Dining for Greek food.
  • Cafe Sydney
  • Bistrode CBD, Jeremy Strode’s cbd restaurant
  • Ash St Cellar at the Ivy*
  • Becasse itself on Clarence Street*
  • Rockpool @ The Rocks / Rockpool Bar & Grill
  • Tetsuya’s even if I don’t really wanna go there*
  • Fix St James on Elizabeth Street*
  • Azuma @ Chifley Square*
  • Redoak Boutique Beer Cafe* although I’ve tried their beer, it’s not too bad
  • Menya @ Circular Quay

I don’t expect most of these places to join the really good stuff list up on top although I really like Miso, Guz & Gomes (who are awesomely opening opposite my workplace), Chat Thai, Din Tai Fung and Plan B.