The best restaurants in Sydney need not burn a hole in your pocket. Here’s why.

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Home to some of the World’s Best Restaurants including Sepia and Quay, Sydney is brimming more than ever with exciting and revolutionary restaurants. And because we were there on business, degustation menus were unfortunately too long for us to relish in the short time there. Here’s bringing you some of the more memorable restaurants in Sydney that we patronised.

Ippudo Sydney

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Probably the only ramen chain that resonates the world over, Ippudo has a global footprint that makes Japan proud. Located in Westfield Mall in the CBD, Ippudo Sydney has queues throughout the night, even on weeknights. Not surprisingly so, the menu is consistent and boasts authenticity with high quality ingredients. The specialty ramen this season was the Hakata Ramen (AUD18), a black curry ramen with the same ingredients as your typical ramen, but in a dense, curry black sauce that’s spicy and rich with spices. It came with a side of beautiful Japanese pearl rice, and with specific instructions to drizzle the viscous delectable black curry over.

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We ordered sides of Seared Salmon (AUD13), IFC aka Ippudo Fried Chicken (AUD4) and Salmon Senbei (AUD9). Comparing prices to Ippudo Singapore, we thought the Sydney branch was a lot more generous in their servings, and yet cheaper in price. The portions were all very decent and they all tasted really delicious, with particular attention to the Salmon Senbei which was a salmon tartare on Japanese rice crackers (senbei). Varying textures melded together by the umami sauce, this dish really hits all the right spots.

Ippudo Sydney (Map)

Westfield Sydney
Level 5 (Shop 5021)
188 Pitt Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: +61 02 8078 7020
Reservations: None whatsoever, prepare to queue during peak dining hours.


Ume Restaurant

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Ume restaurant made such an impression with us that it’s got a dedicated post on its own. With an a la carte menu of modern inspired Japanese cuisine and an omakase menu starting from AUD74 (highly recommended), there’s plenty to cover in this restaurant led by Kerby Craig. The Blackmore Wagyu (pictured above) was an unforgettable dish.

Ume Restaurant (Map)

478 Bourke St
Surry Hills
NSW 2010, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9380 7333
Reservations: Via Dimmi


Cod & Co.

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A quick and good seafood fix within the food court in Westfield on Pitt Street, Cod & Co. serves up excellent oysters, fish and chips, and other seafood. We had the Salt Cod Croquettes (AUD13.50) which came in a light batter over well-seasoned cod chunks and a side of salad. Dipped into the freshly made tartar sauce, this was a seafood fiesta by itself. The Grilled Swordfish (AUD23.50) over mashed celeriac was superb as well.

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They have an outlet near the harbour as well with breathtaking views of the sunset (main picture) but we did find the seagulls a bit annoying as they would ravage tables with leftover food. Proceed with caution!

Cod & Co. (Map)

Westfield Mall Level 5
Cnr Pitt St Mall & Market Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: +61 8252 6551
Email: info@codandco.com


A Taste of Things to Come by Erskine Villa

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Not the initial restaurant by choice, we stumbled upon this newly opened restaurant by chance. Interestingly, it’s pitched as a pop-up concept for now as they are getting the rooftop ready for an outdoor concept. It’s still supposedly permanent though, just that a lot of things are ‘on experiment’. We didn’t feel like any part of the food was on experiment though. The menu was comprised of mainly sharing plates, a la tapas style and we were recommended to order at least 3 per person; which thankfully we didn’t because it was a bit much even with 5 dishes!

We ordered Oysters Roasted with Lemon Butter with Bottarga (AUD16) and those tasted divine as starters. Salt Cod Croquettes with Fennel (AUD13) came well-garnished with fennel and blobs of thickened squid ink. The different seafood flavours were balanced with the slight bitterness and a spark of light anise from the fennel slices. The Black Angus Hanger Steak with Smoked Mash, Horseradish, Fennel and Onion Crisps (AUD26) was the star of the show. Cooked perfectly pink, you would think that the cheaper hanger cuts won’t be as impressive but this was amazing. Tender and grilled to a nice, caramelised brownness, together with the onion chips, which tasted suspiciously tainted with cheese gave such an impeccable balance. I could finish this all by myself.

The desserts are not to be missed. We had a Quince Crumble (AUD13) and a Rice Pudding (AUD12.50) which we polished off gladly. And you can imagine, at that point of the night past the mains, we were already extremely stuffed. SO GOOD.

Erskine Villa (Map)

Erskineville
63 Erskineville Rd
Sydney NSW 2043
Tel: +61 02 9517 3957
Hours: Wed to Fri 5pm to late (Dinner only) Sat & Sun 9am to 3pm (Brunch) 6pm to late (Dinner)
Reservations: For groups of more than 10 only


Bowery Lane

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A New York inspired restaurant, Bowery Lane’s menu is an extensive one that covers a variety of western cuisine with some fusion inserts. One of my favourite restaurants here, the kick-ass starters were extremely memorable starting from the Seared Tuna with Pickled Shimeji with Radish Salad in a Roasted Garlic Soy dressing (AUD19). The doneness was impeccable with your teeth cutting through the flaky cooked sides and then culminating to the firm, meaty bite of the fresh tuna. And who can forget the umami savouriness conferred from the soy, coupled with the fragrance of the garlic.

The Seared Scallops with Wakame Seaweed, King Brown Mushroom Sorrel and Yuzo Mayo (AUD22) was another taste-turner. It’s umami over and over again from the wakame seaweed and mushrooms but hardly any of that is overpowering other parts of the dish. The scallops were predictably well-seared, soft and tender in the middle with a torchy, fragrant crust. What a combination.

Bowery Lane (Map)

Shop 1, Level 4, 1 O’Connell St,
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel:+61 2 9252 8017
Hours: Mon to Wed 7am to 10pm Thu & Fri 7am to late Sat 5pm to late
Reservations: reservations@bowerylane.com.au or dimmi.com.au

From the price tags you’ve seen, and with the recent currency closing at parity, the best restaurants in Sydney aren’t all that out of reach. Of course, unless you’re looking to dine at the best of the best – this list is a great start for your culinary adventure in the great Down Under.

About St. Huan

Travel keeps me alive, and food fills my soul.
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