Sydney, famous for Bondi Beach, the harbour bridge and of course the Opera house but unlike Melbourne and Brisbane it’s definitely more corporate looking. Think Canary Wharf but on a much larger scale. An eye catching harbour surrounded by calm waters, big skyscrapers, home to all the major banks and businesses and you’ve pretty much got central Sydney in a nutshell.
It might not sound like an attractive destination but don’t forget Sydney is a huge city and it’s not all about the corporate look, there’s plenty to do, you just got to do a little more research and go that little bit deeper. There’s enough entertainment to keep everyone happy.
Places To Eat
Here are some of places that are worth checking out when visiting Sydney :-
I pretty much spent a good chunk of my time in an area called Surry Hills – a cool, relaxing and charming suburb not too far way from the city. It’s definitely a “hipster” area, full of young impressionable people, filled with pubs, bars and restaurants with character.
One of these restaurants that’s worth checking out is Folonomo (For Love Not Money). Folonomo has two objectives: to create superb food celebrating multiculturalism within Sydney and secondly to give 100% of the proceeds from the bill to charity. During the day it’s operating as a café and during the night it’s turned into a relaxing, casual dining eatery. There’s nothing fancy about the place and to be honest there’s no need to be. Just chairs, tables and some candles. There’s even space to eat in front of the chefs preparing the food in front of your eyes.
The menu is designed for sharing and there’s plenty to go around with lots of attractive sounding dishes on offer. Small plates include traditional salty, tangy olives, crumbly feta and toasted pitta to mop up any excess. Also there’s crispy halloumi sticks made with using tapioca -to give that extra crunch – piled on a bed of sweet tomato relish and finished with shavings of manchego cheese. And to spice things up, the sobrassada on toast – a cured sausage made from paprika, salt and garlic spread generously on a chunk of sourdough will certainly do the trick.
Crudo (raw in Italian and Spanish) offers a more fresh and lighter take on things. It’s basically cerviche – fish cooked using citrus juice – drizzled with avocado oil, the pulp from the passion fruit to give a sweeter note and to cut through the sharpness and fresh dill on top.
I absolutely hate truffle but the orecchiette is very impressive. It’s not overpowering and the smell of it is definitely more bearable than other places I’ve been to. I’ve found a new respect for it and it goes ever so well with the rich, velvety pumpkin and wilted greens.
As for the pork chop, it’s got bags of flavour. The dry aged process really does give it a massive boost and the cool garlicy tzatziki, seasoned spinach and potato chips is as complimentary. A good hearty dish.
Desserts are equally as good as the rest of the meal. Simplicity right here. The buttermilk panna cotta is creamy and smooth added with a good dollop of warm apricot compote and a healthy sprinkling of crunchy fennel seeds and as for the chocolate mousse, it’s rich, slightly bitter but has a refreshing Campari granita and a silky coconut cream to compliment it.
Folonomo is a cracking little place. The food is fulfilling and affordable but the best thing is, is that it’s celebrating good food with a cause. Definitely put it on your check list.
370 Bourke street | 2010 SURRY HILLS
Triple Shot cafe
Triple shot café will most certainly give the boost you need whether its recovering from a hangover or to fill that hole and give you the get up and go factor.
It’s a small café and again there’s nothing fancy, just good grub and lots of it.
The big breakfasts deliver and whenever I go to a café, I always have to add more items to whatever is already on offer. Don’t feel guilty about adding more. Being a greedy guy, I added grilled chorizo and slices of halloumi to what was already a heart attack meal – beans, bacon, egg, mushrooms and hash browns.
But of course there’s always a “healthier” approach. Triple shot cafe’s halloumi stack is packed full of greens including baby spinach and ripe avocado as well as roasted cherry tomatoes.
Very good value for money and a decent service.
533 Crown street, Surry Hills, Sydney 2010
Black Star Pastry
Black Star Pastry is an award winning patisserie located within various spots of Sydney. Year in, year out it has won numerous accolades whether its the sweet goods or the savoury but the reason why I checked it out is because this place has become incredibly famous for it’s strawberry watermelon cake. This particular sweet item is the most photographed cake in Australia. People of Instagram have lapped it up and since then hordes of visitors have queued up to get their hands on it.
Another piece of cake which is also popular is the orange and Persian fig. It’s worth getting as well and in fact, in my opinion, I preferred it to the strawberry watermelon cake.
Level 2, The Galeries, 500 George Street, CBD, Sydney
277 Australia Street, Newtown
Shop 210, Entertainment Quarter, 122 Lang Road, Moore Park, Sydney
There are loads of places of interests in Sydney and to get the best out of the city definitely head down to Circular Quay. Not only does it boasts a decent amount of restaurants and attractions, it is also home to the Sydney Opera House. Be warned though the restaurants are expensive and definite tourist traps. They do charge a high price so its probably best to eat a big meal before hand.
The Sydney Opera House is very impressive close up and you can get a really decent view of the city from there but for me to get the best view of Sydney, definitely take the ferries. They are a brilliant mode of transport and on a good day with very good weather, Sydney can look stunning. It really is mind blowing and using the ferries will certainly help to get to a few places as well.
Places worth vising are Cockatoo island. Minutes away from Sydney harbour by ferry and you’re transported to a unique camping experience. A must for those who like to sleep under the stars and fear not its nothing like going to a festival. There’s access to showers, hot water and cooking facilities.
Luna Park is a strangely odd place because it’s very old fashioned and still stuck in the 1950’s. It certainly has not moved on with the times. A good location to shoot a horror film especially with the huge face of an entrance greeting visitors. But don’t let that put you off, its interesting to see and it’s hardly busy so take the chance to go on a few rides. It’s not going to be the most exciting theme park in the world but it’s worth a visit whilst taking a tour via the ferry.
My favourite part of Sydney is definitely Taronga Zoo. The zoo is a bit of a trek by taxi or bus, so again using the ferry is the best mode of transport, especially when you can see Sydney in all of its glory.
A great location, the zoo is massive and has a lot more going for it and for once there are animals roaming around and not in hiding. To get the best out of the zoo, the whole day is needed, literally from the minute it opens until closing. Not only are the animals on show and metres away but there’s also various talks and presentations from the keepers themselves. For instance, I’m petrified of spiders but seeing them up close and getting an in depth talk about them has made me appreciate them more. They are fascinating creatures and even though I won’t be holding one any time soon, I certainly have a new found respect for the buggers.
Definitely worth the money, there are a lot of animals all there to be seen and appreciated including some of the following :-
- Red Pandas
- Sea Lions
- Reptiles and snakes
To get back to Sydney, you could use the ferry but taking the bus is great because the route goes via the Harbour Bridge. Again a great way of seeing Sydney from this impressive landmark.