In light of the NSW government’s recent announcement to provide all adults with 4 x $25 vouchers to spend at restaurants, cafes and clubs, we thought an apt response would be to list off some of our favourite lesser-known restaurants in the Sydney region. While $25 may not get you far at Fred’s, read on for our favourite locations to spend your pennies.
Images: Dumpling and Noodle House.
For me, cheap and cheerful begins and ends at Dumpling and Noodle House in Potts Point. A hole in the wall with fold out tables parked on the street and a strict BYO policy. Dumpling and Noodle House is a local institution for the best no-fuss dumplings one can find. Come for the pan fried dumplings and stay for the Xiao-Long Bao, bring a six pack and find yourself in heaven.
Brand & art director
When I think of ‘simple, delicious, consistent’ my mind immediately sees the brick arches at Bill & Toni’s in Darlinghurst. As a creature of habit, there is a part of me that feels a sense of grief when a favourite haunt decides to renovate or re-design their entire menu in the interest of ‘keeping up with the times’. What good will a new font or designer table do? There is no need to fix what isn’t broken when the goods speak for themselves. Bill & Toni’s still houses its original gelato cabinet and ‘Adams Family’ pinball machine from the 1990’s when I would spend Sunday mornings there, waiting on my mother to finish sipping her three consequtive cappuccinos. To this day, their coffee is still as strong (and perfect every time), their toasties are perfectly crisp and the biscotti cabinet will have you hanging around for ‘one more’.
Digital content director
I absolutely abhor crowds when I’m trying to sit down to eat. As such, many of my favourite places to eat are certainly hidden gems, ones that are a little unknown and can be a little hard to get to.
Gusano is a little taco joint just round the corner from Collaroy Beach. It’s small but serves deliciously authentic Mexican street food. Slightly more crowded, but still covert, is the Stowaway in Freshwater which has amazing snacks, pizzas and cocktails. For out-of-the-way pub food, The 4 Pines Truck Bar in Brookvale is fabulous. Beer, burgers and fries at cool microbrewery but without the Instagram crowd. For breakfast, a little hideaway I love is Bosk in Clontarf. It’s a little way off the main road, so it’s quiet and very serene.
For an easy hit of incredible dumplings and greens, Handmade Noodle and Dumpling Kitchen in Bondi Beach is my go-to. Pan fried or steamed, noodles or rice, whatever you prefer, just pick your number and order takeaway so you can eat by the sea and watch the sun set. Secondly, if you’re looking for a fun night with friends, BYO and belly dancers, then a mezza banquet menu at Abdul’s is just a treat. Be sure to book one of the cushions rooms and enjoy your selection of hummus, Tabouli, Baba Ganouge, Falafel and so much more. Yum.
If the thought of a chicken, chip and gravy roll tugs deeply on your heartstrings, a trip to Cronulla’s iconic rotisserie and bar, C.C. Babcoq should be high on your list. The brainchild of local brothers Harry and Mario, who also own Cronulla institutions HAM and RUSHI, C.C. Babcoq is the perfect blend of beachside charm with a touch of something ‘extra.’ Anyone who sticks by the saying “you can’t make friends with salad” clearly hasn’t tried C.C. Babcoq’s ‘greens and grains’ – the perfect side to be enjoyed with their lemon chicken and salt-bathed crinkle-cut chips.
Digital operations manager
Whilst Cairo Takeaway might be the worst kept secret in Enmore it is still one of my favourites. Incredibly tasty Egyptian food (can you ever go wrong?), and portion sizes big enough to get you excited when your food comes out. And all at a very reasonable price point.