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Sydney's Best Cultural Food Experiences

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by Vanessa ★ (subscribe)
WeekendNotes Chief Editor / Chief Writer / PR & Communications.
Published June 26th 2018

Australia has a rich food history. From our humble beginnings through gold rushes and World Wars to intense migration from all over the world and particularly Asia, we have managed to build a rich diversity in our food. The HelloFresh food culture and history timeline outlines the rise of each cuisine with relation to time and the reason behind it. It means that walking down the street on any given evening you will see Italian, French, Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese along with the standard pizza and burger restaurants providing us with a wide range of choice.

There is a noticeable abundance of Asian restaurants throughout Sydney with a particular emphasis on Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai. Whilst this may be an indication of the strong populations from these countries now living in Sydney, and on a broader scale Australia, it also highlights Australians' love for the food. Often well priced and delicious it is hard to go past an Asian meal.

 

Chinese

When we think of Chinese food, many people will instantly think of Yum Cha. It is a popular Chinese tradition that has since been adopted fondly by our western society and allows for larger groups to come together and enjoy a meal.

1. Phoenix Yum Cha

Phoenix run five restaurants across Sydney and are said to employ the best pastry makers which is likely why their dim sums are delicious. Their restaurants at Manly, Parramatta, Rhodes, Castle Hill and Sydney City are well spread out allowing you to visit regardless of where you live.

2. Palace Yum Cha

Located in the CBD, Palace Yum Cha offers a huge dim sum selection. Whilst being located in the city does mean that the crowds can be rather large, for a true dim sum experience it will be worth it. Despite their dim sum reputation, they also offer delicious duck meat dumplings and are happy for you to make any special requests from the menu.

 
Vietnamese

Vietnamese food is one of the most delicious combinations of tender, flavoursome meats and fresh vegetables throughout the world. Sydney is home to many, high-quality Vietnamese restaurants and here are a few of the best.

1. Red Lantern

Run by the renowned Luke Nguyen, this award-winning establishment is a standout of Sydney restaurants, not just Vietnamese ones. The Redfern restaurant serves traditional dishes such as Xao Voi Vit Quay (roasted duck) and Cari De (goat meat in with turmeric and coconut milk curry) as well as some more contemporary style dishes.

2. Miss Chu

Miss Chu has been around for a while now and is famous for her takeaway and delivery service. However, she does provide a dine-in option for customers who can take in the setting that gives off a street-food vibe. Known for their rice-paper rolls, Miss Chu is a great Vietnamese option and very well priced too.

3. Trans

Located on the lower north shore, Trans lets the food do the talking. The decor is basic with wooden chairs and tables covered with a colourful tablecloth. But when it comes to the food you will be blown away. The roasted duck is incredible as are their spring rolls.

 
Thai

Around just about every corner you can find a Thai restaurant. They are everywhere, a testament to the popularity of the food and the quality that each restaurant manages to serve up. With so many to choose from it is often difficult to narrow it down to a few great ones but below is what I believe to be the best in Sydney.

1. Muum Maam

Muum Maam is a slightly more contemporary take on Vietnamese food but they do it incredibly well. It's a great spot to take visiting friends or family as it is slightly more expensive than other Thai places but the food is well worth it. The wagyu beef and stir fried morning glory are highly recommended at this Surry Hills establishment.

2. Home Thai

Home Thai is located in the city and provides great value and great food. All of their meals are delicious but there are a few that really stand out. The Pad Thai is a genuine winner and could be the best in Sydney with the perfect balance between flavour and texture. You'll also need to save room for dessert as the fried bread sticks with pandan custard are amazing, not overdoing it on the sweetness.

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