Picks of the month

Located right under the famous Kings Cross Coca Cola sign, this new bar-cum-restaurant will break all the rules to give you a frolickingly fun time. The cheeky venue is inspired by hot food trends in the US – in particular USAsian food. You’ll find a heady mix of all the latest food trends, think Tex-Mex, US Diner and Asian flavours, particularly Korean and Chinese. The short rib slider is a multicultural tour-de-force, beef ribs slow braised in gochujang (Korean red bean chilli paste) served with kim chi and Sriracha (chili sauce). Grilled watermelon with jalapeno and smoked salt is a popular novelty that will leave your head spinning.

There’s a beer for just about any taste and budget, but heck, let your hair down and order a Che Guava (tequila, lime and guava soda), the brain-numbing Catalina iced Tea (dark rum, scotch, bourbon, Kahlua, Tequila, coke and lime) or a scandalous Lindsay Lohan shooter (patron XO, Grey Goose and cinnamon sugar rim).

Where: 1 Bayswater Rd, Potts Point, NSW 2011

Phone: (02) 9357 7882

Santa Barbara image © Thang Ngo

Contributed by:


Thang Ngo is a food writer and blogger. He contributes to Feast magazine, reviews for SMH Good Food Under $30 and publishes noodlies.com, Australia's top video food blog. Facebook | Twitter


Cured meats and cheese? MoVida is the place to go. The trendy tapas bar opened up in Sydney after much success down in Melbourne. Salami and prosciutto hanging from the ceiling, delicious green olives and an enviable selection of cheeses make for a delightful evening, and if you're still hungry there are a host of tapas style plates available. Wagyu Beef Air Baguette is lovely and light and Crispy Pigs Ears are cooked to perfection. Servings are quite small and not ideal for sharing, so order a few to fill up.

Where: 50 Holt St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010

Phone: (02) 8964 7642

Website: http://movida.com.au/

MoVida image © MoVida Sydney

Contributed by:

Cambridge Hotel


Spice Temple are serious about flavor. It's a classy Cantonese joint situated under the famous Rockpool Bar & Grill, with a delectable menu of Asian fusion style spoils. With dimmed lights and tables spread generously apart it almost feels like you've got the whole place to yourself (even though all the tables are booked out). There is a fabulous wine and cocktail list, with some rare drops that you won't find anywhere else. But everyone comes for the food and the spices. Don't go past the numbing chicken - it's a sensory experience like nothing else.

Where: 10 Bligh St, Sydney, NSW 2000

Phone: (02) 8078 1888

Website: http://www.rockpool.com/sydney/spice-temple/

Contributed by:

Cambridge Hotel


If you are looking for some of the best fresh produce in Sydney, head to the Parramatta Farmers Market. This market is on every Friday between 7:30am and 2pm and it is one of the best places to buy local, seasonal fresh produce picked fresh by the farmers. The market is also a great place to enjoy breakfast or lunch and there are plenty of tempting goods and products available to sample and purchase, from fresh fruit and vegetables to nuts, honey, cheese, bread and even a wide selection of meat—it’s a real feast!
Where: Church Street Mall, Parramatta, Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9806 5050

Contributed by:

Cambridge Hotel Image © Parramatta Farmers Market
Want a home-style meal while enjoying an ocean view? Pop in to Papi Chulo, a smokehouse and grill that serves some of the best American-inspired cuisine in Sydney. The restaurant is only meters away from the water’s edge and boasts beautiful views, making it an excellent place to sip a cocktail or tuck into some delicious food from Latin America or the Deep South. Located in Manly, Papi Chulo has an excellent menu and dishes range from fresh summer salads and seafood to traditional ceviche and Sloppy Joe sandwiches. To top it all off, Papi Chulo is quite affordable.

Where: 22-23 Manly Wharf
Manly NSW 2095

Phone: +61 2 9240 3000

Website: http://merivale.com.au/papichulo

Ryo’s is the go-to place for delicious ramen. The Japanese restaurant brings the best in traditional cuisine to you at affordable prices. Don’t let the restaurant’s facade put you off since Ryo’s isn’t about fine dining—it’s about serving amazing food. Take note that this humble hole in the wall joint is extremely popular, so you might have to queue, however the regulars will assure you that the food is absolutely worth the wait. Plus the menu is very impressive with a range of typical Japanese dishes, from miso bolognaise and deep-fried soft-shell crab, to pork buns and chicken wings. You won’t go hungry at Ryo’s!

Where: 25 Falcon St, Crows Nest NSW 2065

Phone: (02) 9955 0225

Don’t let the name fool you. The Tuck Shop is a terrific cafe that serves first rate gourmet grub. Retired Parramatta Eels footballer Nathan Hindmarsh along with the owners of the uber-chic cafe The Baron started this quaint restaurant in Glenhaven and it has proven to be a huge hit. The Tuck Shop has a relaxed atmosphere and draws locals, tourist, hipsters and foodies from all over Sydney. Although the place gets pretty packed, you won’t go hungry. The Tuck Shop is famous for their amazing burgers but there are lots of different dishes available. Of course, their coffee is great and their food is well priced too.  

Where: Shop 1, 78 Glenhaven Road, Glenhaven, New South Wales

Phone: 02 8850 5549

Website: www.tuckshopcoffee.com.au

Next time you’re in Bondi, head to Nelson Road Tuckshop near Bondi Junction for delicious, gourmet food or freshly baked pastries and bread. The small street café is chic and modern and proves to be a popular place to grab a cup of coffee with locals and vagabonds alike. If you aren’t much of a coffee drinker, try one of their amazing health smoothies or juices. Naturally they have an exciting menu with a variety of cooked and baked options, which makes it an excellent place to grab breakfast or lunch.

Where: 60 Bronte Rd
, Bondi, NSW 2022

02 9387-6505

Website: www.nelsonroad.com.au

Love cheese? A new, chic place to grab a light bite to eat is The Stinking Bishops, located in Sydney’s trendy suburb, Newtown. This little restaurant, named after a type of cheese, is the perfect place to enjoy and sample some cheese and wine. Although the menu is limited, The Stinking Bishops is very popular amongst hipsters, locals and foreigners alike, and has a wide selection of cheese, local and imported wine as well as craft beer available. The restaurant, decorated with authentic wooden features, has a rustic and relaxed atmosphere and it is the perfect place to unwind and catch up with friends.

Where: Shop 5 63-71 Enmore Rd Newtown, NSW

Phone: +61 401 919 624

Website: www.thestinkingbishops.com

Appetito brings fine Italian dining at reasonable prices to Sydney. This restaurant, located near The Rocks and Circular Quay in a beautiful old sandstone building, takes a modern twist on all your favourite Italian dishes—from pizzas to pastas, soups and focaccia breads. Besides the extensive food menu, Appetito also has an impressive selection of wine and the restaurant provides excellent customer service. This 3-level restaurant is also modern in its design and décor such as the Vespa that’s always on display in the foyer—which adds to the Italian charm. If you want a reasonably priced restaurant with good portion sizes in a prime location, you should check out Appetito.

Where: 135 George St, The Rocks, Sydney NSW 2000

Phone: (02) 9247 1920

Website: www.appetito.com.au

At night, when the streets are dark and everything is closed, you wouldn't notice Mr Mo, peacefully tucked into the side of a building on Campbell Street. In the morning it's a different story. The warm, cosy interior with its soft lighting and welcoming vibe entices you in. This simple, white space is comfortable and filled with a divine smell, fresh coffee mixed with beautiful food. The counter is covered with tasty treats including the most fresh, plump muffins, still in the pan, to tempt you. Service at Mr Mo is wonderful, with attentive and friendly waiters ready take care of you. Mr Mo has a simple, humble heart. Breakfast options are many and there's something for everyone at a great price and the coffee is fantastic. It's the perfect spot to spend a few hours catching up with a friend or grab a coffee and muffin on the run.

Where: 168 Campbell Street, Surry Hills

Phone: 9212 2258

Web: http://mrmo.com.au/

Zushi is a dinner oasis, a darkly lit dining room with a fantastic wood installation featuring along the roof. The restaurant isn't big, but like Alice's curious rabbit-hole, it somehow feels it. As you walk in, you're greeted with a loud, friendly hello from the Chefs behind the sushi bar, then shown to a cosy table. The food, oh gosh the food. The freshest edamame and miso soup with a deep, rich flavour are the perfect start, followed by share plates of signature tiger rolls and a velvety teriyaki salmon. Lucky diners can enjoy the freshest sushi and sashimi, izakaya favourites from the kitchen and grill or the ponzu of the day. I'm in Japanese food heaven.

Where: 2a/285A Crown St, Surry Hills

Phone: 9380 8830

Web: www.zushi.com.au/‎

Bread & Circus is a wholefoods cafeteria come supermarket located in the ever-thriving suburb of Alexandria. Visit this converted warehouse on Fountain Street and you’ll be able to sample fresh-everything including mozzarella, eggplant, pumpkins, oranges, melons and more. All of which are quaintly placed in old-fashioned wooden crates and atop the rough wooden tables. Everything here screams healthy and delicious - even the staff have an envious natural glow. Head there for brekkie and you’ll be able to select from a number of freshly baked loaves and a mishmash of bircher muesli and granola. The coffee comes all the way from Padre in Melbourne. Go with an appetite and you’ll leave feeling healthy, satisfied and with an overwhelming sense of wellbeing. Where: 21 Fountain Street, Alexandria Phone: (02) 9698 2939 Website: http://www.breadandcircus.com.au/
The original Café del Mar was founded on June 20th 1980 in San Antoni de Portmany on the Spanish island of Ibiza. Since then, holidaymakers and partygoers alike have chosen it as the place to watch the spectacular Balearic sunsets. Sydney’s interpretation, located in Cockle Bay Wharf offers homage to the Mediterranean basin with the interior of the restaurant and bar adorned with fresh coloured and nautical inspired decorating, oozing a laid back, European style. Whether you chose to pop in for a quick cocktail, extended lunch or a special celebration, Café del Mar offers a full menu consisting of fresh seafood, French style fries and delicious cured meats with traditional tomato bread. All of these you can enjoy with a classic Café del Mar soundtrack of cool jazz and soft house transporting you to an Ibizan vacation.

Where: 35 Wheat Rd, Rooftop Terrace, Cockle Bay Wharf

Phone: 02 9267 6700

Website: http://www.cafedelmar.com.au/

Established in 2012, TTotaler is a Sydney born and based brand of delicious tea brews for those partial to a good cup of herbal, tisane or black or green tea. The idea began when founder Amber Hudson travelled to over 30 different countries in pursuit of the perfect cup of tea. The range also includes a 100% Australian grown herbal/tea range, which are packaged in beautiful amber glass pharmaceutical jars or recyclable brown bags. True to their cultural ethos, T-Totaler also conducts tea workshops to help you learn about the different qualities of tea, perfect brewing methods and tasting sessions.

Where: 555a King Street Newtown

Phone: 0466436302

Website: http://www.ttotalertea.com/

Image: TTotaler

Quickly becoming a cult classic, this hole-in-the-wall joint is an absolute must visit for people who enjoy word class crackling. Two professional chefs with a passion to pursue perfection in crispy skinned succulent meats founded the tiny restaurant and the result is a mouth-watering, drool-inspiring menu of pork rolls, hot dogs, meats and salads, and, um, they even have a ‘manwich’. Of course, the star of the menu is the ‘cup of crackling’, which snap in delectableness over your teeth and then melt in your mouth. There isn't a whole lot of room to sit about in Mr Crackles, so ideally you’ll grab a bite and hit the streets, juggling all kinds of deliciousness in your hungry little mitts.

Where: 155 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

Phone: 02 80682832

Website: http://www.mrcrackles.com.au/

Image: Mr Crackles