Get us in your inbox

Helen Yee

Helen Yee

Articles (3)

The best frozen desserts in Sydney

The best frozen desserts in Sydney

Hot summer days call for cold confections, but don’t just stop at ice cream. Beat the heat with these 12 frozen and icy desserts from around the world that you can get right here in Sydney. Other ace ways to cool down include a dip in Sydney's best ocean pools, a visit to our favourite beach kiosks, and an ice cream crawl for the best gelato in Sydney.

The best noodle dishes in Sydney

The best noodle dishes in Sydney

Noodles are the perfect meal foundation and flavour vehicle (sorry rice, but the battle lines are drawn here). The process of rolling, stretching, pulling and cutting them is an art form in itself – though we won’t turn our nose up at a plate of well dressed instant noodles either. Because sometimes you're after chewy glass noodles swimming in a fiery tom yum soup, and other times it's slippery flat noodles, straight from a red hot wok, we've rounded up the 18 best noodle dishes in Sydney to satisfy every craving Want more noodles? Get around Sydney's best ramen or visit one of Sydney’s best Chinese restaurants. Recommended: The 50 best cheap east in Sydney.

The best Chinese dumpling restaurants in Sydney

The best Chinese dumpling restaurants in Sydney

Sydney loves a dumpling so it's lucky for us there are Chinese dumpling houses dotted all over the city as well as out in the 'burbs. Whether you want a vegan option, a cheap student favourite or internationally renowned dumplings, we've got 'em – here are nine of the best. After more cheap eats? Here's the 50 best cheap eats in Sydney Want noodle soup? Try one of Sydney's best ramen. RECOMMENDED: The 50 best restaurants in Sydney

Listings and reviews (53)

Medan Ciak

Medan Ciak

4 out of 5 stars

Surry Hills might be the last place you’d expect to find cheap and homestyle Indonesian food but that's exactly where Medan Ciak has opened. It’s a new favourite with Indonesian students and ex-pats - queues out the door are not uncommon, especially on weekends. There’s a reason for the frisson of excitement. Unlike most Indonesian restaurants across Sydney that focus on Javanese cuisine, here you’ll find the food of Medan, the North Sumatran capital known for its distinct mix of indigenous Batak, Malay and Chinese flavours. Expect lots of pork - Batak people are predominantly Christian rather than Muslim faith - including regular cameos by Chinese lap cheong sausage. You’ll find it scattered in the nasi goreng fried rice and the cah kwe tiau – fried flat rice noodles with barbecue pork, prawns, fish cake and egg that mirrors Malaysian char kway teow. Whatever you do, make sure you order the barbecue pork and roast pork rice. It’s a porcine feast of sweet marinated pork, barbecued so the edges are caramelised, and chunks of juicy roast pork topped with a tile of bubbled crackling. It’s not far removed from what you'd find at a Chinese bbq shop, except here you get cucumber slices, a soy sauce egg and plenty of sweet soy drizzled over the top. Lontong sayur is another house specialty, a spicy coconut milk soup loaded with carrots, beans, boiled egg and green jackfruit. Curried beef and fried chicken pieces bolster the protein content. Lontong compressed rice cakes at the botto

Chidori Japanese Bistro

Chidori Japanese Bistro

4 out of 5 stars

So you love a schnitty, but have you eaten the Japanese version called 'katsu'? Unlike pounded schnitzels, katsu (meaning cutlet) uses thick slabs of meat. The breadcrumbs are different, too: bigger, fluffier flakes known as panko crumbs that create a noisier crunch. Tonkatsu, or deep-fried pork cutlet, is the most popular katsu. At Chidori in Crows Nest, they’re so committed to maintaining its succulence, they cook the pork in a water bath (sous-vide) before it’s crumbed and deep-fried to golden and tender bliss. As is Japanese tradition, the tonkatsu is served on an elevated wire rack so the bottom never gets soggy. Genius! It also doubles as a stage, which we think is fair enough given its star billing. Dip your ready-cut tonkatsu into katsu sauce (like a fruity Worcestershire) or savour it with a sprinkle of salt. You'll find the usual accompaniment, finely shredded cabbage, on the side – which is sweet and a refreshing palate cleanse. All this clocks in at $18, or you can upgrade to the set for a fiver, which includes rice, pickles and miso soup. The tonkatsu is good, but the gyukatsu, or beef cutlet, is even better. Chidori uses Wagyu, and cooks the well-marbled beef to a juicy, perfect pink. There’s a terrific contrast between the soft, buttery meat and the golden fried coating. Dunk it in the sweet soy dressing and just try not to sigh at first bite. There’s more to Chidori than what you see at first glance, too. For a start, the compact ground floor dining space is t

Tianjin Bun Shop

Tianjin Bun Shop

3 out of 5 stars

Never heard of jianbing? Imagine a crêpe, cooked to order. Then, crack an egg across the top, spread it thinly until cooked, add giant shards of deep-fried wonton sheets and fold it up like a burrito. It’s a Chinese breakfast favourite and, like most street-food classics, it's easily eaten on the run. Tianjin Bun Shop calls this a hamburger on its English menu, but locals know it as jianbing. This eggy breakfast crêpe-cum-burrito is addictively delicious, slicked with sweet bean sauce, garnished with coriander and loaded with the noisy crunch of golden fried wonton sheets. The open shop window to the street is where you’ll pick up your jianbing ($6), straight from the chef manning the hotplate. Don’t expect small talk or smiles. It’s all about no-nonsense speed and precision. But that’s just what punters are looking for as they queue for a snack on their way to and from Campsie Station and nearby bus stops. This takeaway-only shop opens every day at 5am for the breakfast crowd, and trades right up until 8pm for dinner. Breakfast congee, wontons and fresh soya bean milk all sell out by mid-morning. Behind the counter, you’ll find plenty of snacks you can point at to order, like tea eggs, fried bread sticks and glutinous corn cobs completely devoid of sweetness but adored by fans for their chewy starchiness. Steamed buns ($2) include sweet red bean paste as well as savoury fillings like egg and chives or pork with preserved vegetables. There's also a range of stuffed pancakes (

ATL Ayam Tulang Lunak Crispy

ATL Ayam Tulang Lunak Crispy

3 out of 5 stars

Why worry about extricating meat from bones when you can just eat an entire chicken leg itself, bones and all? Ayam goreng tulang lunak ($8.50) is fried chicken with soft bones you can eat. The secret lies in pressure-cooking the corn-fed chicken quarters overnight till they're ready for deep-frying the next day. The result? Earth-shattering batter, juicy flesh and brittle bones you can crunch on, from the ribs to the leg bone. The bones don't taste of much – as bland as the bones you find in a tin of salmon – but there's a sense of accomplishment involved in reducing a serve of chicken legs into nothing but a trail of stray crumbs. The fried chicken can be ordered with a salted egg batter or generous daubs of chilli sauce in hot or mild, but we liked the original the best, which is topped with a crumbling coral of deep-fried batter shards.  Try the petai beans – their bitterness is best masked with fried anchovy, but they're also available with chilli prawns ($20) or served plain and fried ($6.50). Cleanse the palate with sayur asem ($7), a mild, sour tamarind soup and wash down everything with sweetened coconut milk drinks that double as desserts. Avocado ice ($6) and durian ice ($7) both come with chunks of fruit at the bottom.

A-Team's Kitchen

A-Team's Kitchen

4 out of 5 stars

The first thing you need to do with sizzling sisig is mix the egg yolk in quickly. You’ll want to burst that quivering golden orb and spread the yolk so it drenches every inch of chopped meat across the entire plate. The meat should be hot enough to cook the egg yolk as you stir it through, creating a sticky and rich sauce. The meat? It’s a mix of everything that exemplifies nose-to-tail eating. We’re talking bits of chicken liver tossed through with sliced pigs’ ears, pork cheek and – if you’re lucky – pig snout. Is that the sound of you freaking out? Don’t. Sisig is a dish that originated in Pampanga, popularly known as the culinary capital of the Philippines. The seasoning is the key here, a heady combination of salty, sour and spicy notes. Each mouthful is different, a little bit fatty here, a little bit crunchy there, interspersed with accents of red onion and fresh chilli. It’s a hearty and rich dish, best contrasted against the simplicity of plain white rice. You’ll find sizzling sisig ($14 with rice) on every second table at A-Team’s Kitchen, a low-key family eatery in Rooty Hill. It’s the type of joint where you queue up with Filipino aunties at the register to place your order, then jostle with a rabble of kids to get your own cutlery. It’s also the kind of place where you’ll find free jugs of chilled water and the gastronomic funpark otherwise known as the self-serve condiment station. Discover the joys of Filipino banana ketchup (like a sweet and sour tomato sauce

Pari Pasticceria

Pari Pasticceria

4 out of 5 stars

Dessert for breakfast is real! Sicilians have been waking up with granita and brioche for generations. Not to mention brioche buns stuffed with gelato. Seriously. And as Sydney heats up for the summer months, it becomes harder to deny our Italian cousins are onto a winner. Let’s start with the granita. Sicilian granita is like a finely crafted slushie, smooth with ice crystals that melt on the tongue. At Pari Pasticceria, in Concord, granita flavours run from fruity (mango, strawberry and lemon) to rich and nutty (chocolate, hazelnut, almond and pistachio). Pistachio and coffee are Sicilian classics, and here, they’re piled into a parfait glass with optional whipped cream on top.  On the side, you’ll score a shiny glazed brioche bun called brioscia cu’ tuppu, so named because it resembles hair tied into a bun. You can eat the granita and brioche – a steal at $8 – however you please: dunk the brioche into the granita like a biscuit, spoon granita onto torn brioche like a scone, or eat them separately and alternate mouthfuls. And while the combo sounds weird at first, trust us, it’s strangely addictive. The brioche is made in-house daily, and it’s softer and fluffier than you’d expect. As a result, every spoonful of granita provides both clarity of flavour and icy refreshment.  Level up with the gelato burger (also $8) if you dare. That’s a brioche bun cut in half and crammed with up to two scoops of gelato. Get the amarena gelato if it’s available, syrupy wild Italian cherries

Boonchu Northern Thai

Boonchu Northern Thai

4 out of 5 stars

Picture a hearty bowl of curried coconut broth piled high with egg noodles and tender chunks of chicken or beef. This is khao soi, the one-bowl meal found on every street corner in Chiang Mai in Thailand’s north. Dig past the crunchy nest of deep-fried noodles and you’ll uncover slippery strands of egg noodles bundled at the bottom, perfect crinkled carriers for the rich and aromatic curry soup. If you like the flavours of massaman curry, we reckon you’ll like khao soi, too. Thai restaurants are everywhere in Sydney, but Northern Thai dishes are less easy to spot. The newly opened Boonchu in Newtown – small, casual and best suited for small groups – looks to be changing that, even if its Northern Thai dishes (found on the menu’s 'Recommended' section) make up only a small subset of its broader menu.  Start your Northern Thai adventure with a bowl of that khao soi. A plate of condiments on the side lets you adjust the dish to your taste. That includes raw red onion slices, crunchy bean sprouts, pickled mustard greens, extra chilli sauce and wedges of fresh lemon. You’ll score the same condiments if you order the khanom jeen nam ngiaow, a huddle of fermented rice vermicelli noodles in a spicy and sour tomato soup. In addition to mixed vegetables and pork mince, you’ll find cubes of pig’s blood in your bowl. Don’t be afraid – think of the iron boost! – but if it really does freak you out, just ask for them to be omitted.  Deep-fried pork neck is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Get i

QW Huaxing Bakery

QW Huaxing Bakery

5 out of 5 stars

We’re calling it. This is one of the best Chinese bakeries in Sydney. We’re talking super-crisp fried dumplings that retain their crunch, pillow-soft chiffon cupcakes and glossy egg custard tarts in crisp pastry shells. Haven’t been to a Chinese bakery before? It’s easy. Grab a plastic tray, a pair of tongs and pick-and-mix your own breakfast, lunch or morning tea for a few gold coins. The set-up at QW Huaxing is particularly fancy, with domed splashguards that retract as you pull out each tray. The descriptions on the labels tend to be brief, but most items come in at less than two bucks, so it’s a low-cost risk to try anything new. The so-called pineapple bun, for example, does not contain pineapple. Regulars will know this plain, sweet bun gets its name from its sugary crust – a golden chequered top that looks like pineapple skin. Hot tip: take this one home and eat it with a thick slab of butter, just like they do in Hong Kong eateries. The fried treats are notably impressive here, devoid of any lingering grease and commendable for the way they hold their shape and retain their crunch for hours. Ham sui gok, the deep-fried combination dumpling shaped like a football, is out-of-this-world good. Sink your teeth past its thin, crisp shell into sticky glutinous rice dough and sigh as you hit a goldmine of saucy pork mince. Also great is the wu gok, a deep-fried pork and taro dumpling that resembles an intricate lace-coated egg. And don’t miss out on the beauty that is the red

Suhhtan Pizza Bakery

Suhhtan Pizza Bakery

3 out of 5 stars

Manoush with Vegemite? It doesn’t get more ‘strayan than that. Take one Lebanese flatbread, add Australia’s finest contribution to food spreads, sprinkle with cheese and bake. The result is a breakfast pizza dream come true. For only seven bucks. Maaate.  You can cop 19 manoush variations at Suhhtan Pizza Bakery. The classic za'atar (that dried herb sprinkling of oregano, thyme, sesame seeds and sumac) starts at $2.50; the most expensive one tops out at just $9 for chicken breast with garlic sauce. It’s hard to go past the essential meat and cheese combo ($7) though, a thin layer of spiced lamb mince, tomato, onion and cheese. Up for something different? Check out the kishk manoush ($5), a garlicky, cheesy delight spiked with kishk – dried yoghurt mixed with burghul wheat that adds a welcome zing. In addition to manoush, Suhhtan churns out traditional pizza. It’s still crisp-and-thin territory, but you can expect more toppings and cheese available in four sizes from small ($8.50) to family ($20). Sure, you can get all fancy with garlic prawns or piri piri chicken, but Sarah’s Special wins us over with spicy sujuk sausage, olives, mushrooms, capsicum and jalapeños.  You’ll find a constant stream of locals ordering takeaway here, but it’s worth nabbing one of the few tables to eat in. There’s not much in the way of decor but who’s looking at the walls when you have an accordion of molten cheese strings competing for your attention? If you love cheese, you should definitely orde

Siem Reap

Siem Reap

3 out of 5 stars

Where are all the Cambodian restaurants at? You need to know where to look. Take Siem Reap. You won’t find it along the thoroughfares of Cabramatta, but head down one of the suburb’s many laneways, and you’ll spot the unmissable bright red signage opposite the bustling shopping complex that was once a council car park. The decor is simple but functional, with a no-nonsense table set-up of self-serve cutlery and tea. On one wall is a pictorial guide to the short and sweet menu; on the other you can peek into the tiny kitchen via the cut-out service window.  Expect a constant stream of expats here for a Khmer taste of home. Most will be slurping bowls of nam banh chok, long and thin strands of rice noodles served in somlor (soup). The traditional version, nam banh chok somlor Khmer ($11), is not for the faint-of-heart – the turmeric and coconut milk soup’s turbocharged with a salted and fermented fish paste called prahok. The flavour isn’t overpowering, but it’s definitely there, a lingering pungent funkiness that justifies its reputation for being the Cambodian version of blue cheese.  Prefer something a little more approachable? Order the nam banh chok somlor namya ($11) instead – its Thai red curry flavour profile will likely remind you of laksa. Both nam banh chok somlor variations are fortified with tender fragments of minced barramundi, pounded down to a fine paste and then gently boiled.  Cambodian chicken curry ($11) is more a noodle soup than a stew. In terms of protei

Bondeno Café review

Bondeno Café review

3 out of 5 stars

Sausages with sour cream? They're a game-changer. Bosnians have been way ahead for eons, adding a good dollop of the stuff not just to cevapi sausages, but to beef patties, too. You can relish both at Bondeno, a street-fronted café in the heart of Fairfield. You’ll probably spot the crowd of chain-smoking older men nursing coffees outside first, but forge on – the indoor seating is smoke-free and relatively quiet. Ignore the usual gamut of breakfast fry-ups, focaccia and burgers, and home in on the Favourites section of the menu. Cevapi ($20) is the clear crowd favourite, a feast of ten skinless sausages served in lepinja bread with sour cream, raw onions and a housemade cabbage salad. The cevapi are made locally by a Bosnian ex-pat, the spiced meat mixture shaped into short fingers and then grilled. Lepinja is a revelation, like a softer and fluffier version of Turkish bread. The bread is dipped in a housemade beef and vegetable soup before being toasted under the grill. The soup dip adds a slight juiciness to the bread, without rendering it soggy. Eat everything together – hearty sausage, spicy raw onion, tangy sour cream and gently pickled cabbage salad – in a hug of pillowy lepinja, and you’ll know why this combo is such a popular Balkan street food. Pljeskavice ($20) is the Balkan take on the humble hamburger. Here, you score two beef patties between souped and toasted lepinja bread with a blanket of sour cream. You bet there’s a side serve of cabbage salad, too. Need mo

Banh Cuon Ba Oanh

Banh Cuon Ba Oanh

5 out of 5 stars

Never had banh cuon? You need to. These silky rice noodle rolls are a traditional Vietnamese breakfast staple, usually cooked at little roadside stalls as swarms of scooters zoom past. The newly opened Banh Cuon Ba Oanh is about as close as Sydneysiders can get to the real deal. That includes a tiny kitchen cloaked in clouds of steam and squishy tables with ankle-high stools (no joke) that will test your flexibility. The proof is in the banh cuon and Ba Oanh delivers - expect thin layers of house-fermented rice batter expertly ladled and steamed until soft and silky. Peer into the open kitchen and you’ll likely find Ba Oanh herself, family matriarch and restaurant mascot, in amongst the action. Order the classic version ($11) of this Northern Vietnamese dish and your rice noodles will be rolled with a rubble of pork mince and flecks of crunchy black fungus mushroom. Dunk them in the sweet and salty nuoc cham fish sauce dressing and savour alongside slices of cha que (a pale baked pork sausage seasoned with cinnamon), soft herbs and deep-fried shallots. Alternatives include plain rice noodle rolls served with grilled pork ($11) or a soft set organic egg ($4). Bring a handful of mates and you could easily order everything on the one-page menu. Continue the nood-fest with bun cha quat ($11), cold vermicelli noodles eaten with grilled pork, salad, pickles and nuoc cham, or hit up the sticky rice combos. It involves glutinous rice either cooked plain or mixed with yellow beans and

The best things in life are free.

Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

Loading animation
Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!