"Affordable" dining in Sydney?

Nov 27th, 2010, 06:44 PM
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"Affordable" dining in Sydney?

OK, was looking through the Outrageous food prices thread for Australia so Googled "cheap eats Sydney" and found this list:


Any experiences with those establishments? Most of them seem to be ethnic places (not that I have particular expectations of eating Kangaroo meat or whatever genuine Aussie cuisine might be).

Any other ideas?

Here's another list:


Well the accommodation I'm staying in may have rooms with stoves so I'll see if I can still get one of them.
scrb11 is online now  
Nov 27th, 2010, 10:20 PM
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Well who knows what "genuine Ausssie cuisine might be " ?

A lot of more reasonably priced meals will be "ethnic" and are good value.
Peteralan is offline  
Nov 27th, 2010, 11:14 PM
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Best value will be at little family run restaurants in the suburbs, rather than the bigger city restaurants.

Kangaroo and Emu etc. are really only found in restuarants and some pubs. Likewise bush herbs.

To quote Crocodile Dundee on bush tucker "You can live on it but it tastes like Sh**".

It is no accident the the only commercially grown "bush tucker" of any note is Macadamia nuts.

Our "genuine cuisine" is limited to beef and lamb, Flake, meat Pies, lamingtons and pavlova. Best to get your meat from a butcher rather than a supermarket. Bakery pies are usually OK. Lamingtons and Pavlova are really best if you make them yourself. Commercial ones are a mere shadow of what they should be.

Vegemite is essential and a good use for the sludge at the bottom of the vats at Carlton and United breweries. Try it thinly spread on toast or fresh bread and butter. Then work your way up to thicker amounts.
peterSale is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 02:28 AM
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I just had a quick peek at the Urban Spoon link - I've been to the Lindt Cafe before and I didn't enjoy the food. Much better was the Guylian Cafe in the Rocks, although I wouldn't call either cafe inexpensive. (Both excel at the sweeter type of thing). I have a bit more confidence in the Time Out link.

For cheap food in the CBD (Central Business District), try the restaurants around Chinatown, or else try food courts in the major buildings and shopping centres. This food (food courts) is takeaway food, but it's usually good quality. Additionally some pubs have reasonably-priced food. If you are adventurous and willing to go into the suburbs, local restaurants are inexpensive and good quality. And of course if your accommodation has a kitchenette that would be the best way of saving money. Both Coles and Woolworths (supermarkets) have branches in the city.

lavandula is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 05:58 AM
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OK, maybe there's a disconnect between Australian English and American English.

My room is suppose to have a stove top but I would have to request a room with an oven.

So stove top is like a hot plate, just an electric coil for heating up stuff?

Looks like there will be a small fridge ("bar fridge") as well as a microwave so takeaway food sounds good. Not a foodie and it sounds like the local cuisine is English-derived with the meat pies and such.

I think the stereotype is beef with every meal, including breakfast.

How easy is it to get out to the suburbs (there are a number of different transport pass options I've heard of) and is there anything out there besides cheaper dining options?
scrb11 is online now  
Nov 28th, 2010, 11:28 AM
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I walked from Wynyard railway station (York & Margaret Streets) to the Darling Harbour overpass (cnr Market & Sussex streets) on Friday.

Thinking of the other thread, and one on another Forum; I took notice of the office workers' lunchtime venues & prices. Counted 22 on York Street,5 in one block on King Street and another 10 on Clarence, Kent & Sussex street. Missed a few. You won't starve, scrb11.

Typical of the mid-range was one cafe's blackboard $9.50 offerings of: Salt & pepper squid; Hamburger with chips & salad; Thai Beef salad; Grilled fish & chips; 3 pastas including Penne Arrrabiata with sausage; 2 or 3 salads including a Caesar Salad.
Their take-away counter had various wraps & salads. A vegetarian wrap of roasted vegetables & was $6.50.

You'll find the city lunch time options similar to those in Manhattan (without the ubiquitous Starbucks).

"OK, maybe there's a disconnect between Australian English and American English." There can be - and there can also be a range of interpretations of definitions in accommodation fit outs & facilities.

Generally speaking, "Stove top" would be a hot plate - several hot plates on which you can cook. Or heat up food, as you say. Usually electric, but may be gas. Yours probably doesn't include a griller/broiler if you have to request a full stove. There may be an electric frypan. You might be advised to clarify exact inclusions with the proprietors/property manager.

Where are you staying? Sounds as if it might be a studio/bed-sitter.

The majority of CBD serviced apartments have full stoves, microwaves, dishwashers, full sized refrigerators; washing machines & dryers.

The inner suburbs surrounding the city's heart are easily reached by bus or train; and you can walk to many, including Surry Hills; Darlinghurst; Newtown; Ultimo.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2010, 12:59 PM
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Well I don't plan to cook, not for such a short stay.

Sounds like good quick meals are available.

I was concerned about the $25 hamburgers. I paid about that much once in Hong Kong but that was at the Intercontinental hotel restaurant with a great view of the harbor.

Still had better meals for less elsewhere on that trip.
scrb11 is online now  
Dec 2nd, 2010, 02:23 PM
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On your Urban spoon cheap eats list, I'm a huge fan of Ichi Ban Boshi. It's very cheap and tasty.
Susan7 is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2010, 03:04 PM
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"The inner suburbs surrounding the city's heart are easily reached by bus or train; and you can walk to many, including Surry Hills; Darlinghurst; Newtown; Ultimo."

You can catch a bus to Newtown (some buses going from Castlereagh St starting with a '4'). Newtown is a very funky, interesting student neighbourhood close to the city with a lot of quirky shops. A few down-and-outs live there but by and large it's a suburb which services the University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. You can't beat it for cheap eats - high quality, inexpensive eating, some good secondhand bookshops, tarot card readers and a lot of people watching. University of Sydney is also a photo opportunity because of the beautiful sandstone buildings - the Quadrangle is worth a shot.

lavandula is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2010, 11:12 PM
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To expand on the Newtown theme, my Newtown favourites are Thanh Binh (Vietnamese) and Summalee Gardens (Thai, in the base of the Bank Hotel). http://www.bankhotel.com.au/#/Sumalee_Thai

The other side of Sydney Uni, Glebe, also has cheap Mexican: The Flying Fajita Sisters. http://www.flyingfajitasistas.com.au/ More upmarket but worth the expense is: http://www.glebepointdiner.com.au/

At the Fish Markets in Ultimo you can also get lunch, either fish and chips or freshly shucked oysters. There's a huge outdoor area where you sit and there's a bottleshop in the complex if you want beer or wine. They will give you disposable glasses.
Susan7 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2010, 12:58 AM
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Must say, one of our favorite memories of Sydney (maybe pooh-poohed by locals?) was at Harry's Cafe de Wheels on Woolloomooloo wharf. We had awesome meat pie classic (Tiger Pie) with mashies, mushy peas and gravy. Ate it sitting on a log, with a plastic fork. For two of us, about $10 of yum.
SB_Travlr is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2010, 01:21 AM
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No one would pooh-pooh Harry's. There is another 'branch' of his venerable institution (i.e. a pie cart) near the pub Paddy MacGuire's, in Hay St (nr Chinatown). Paddy MacGuire's is also OK for a meal, not too expensive and reasonably good quality, although there are plenty of pubs with better atmosphere.

lavandula is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2010, 12:59 PM
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A few more of my favourite cheap eats in Sydney:

Spice I Am (BYO, excellent spicy Thai near to Central Station, cnr Elizabeth and Wentworth Ave)

Malay Chinese Take Away (Hunter St CBD, closes at about 8pm but has the best laksa in town for $10).

Captain Torres (Liverpool St, City good for Spanish tapas)

There are also a number of excellent cheap Indonesian restaurants around Uni of NSW at Kensington, all in Anzac Pde (there are lots of buses that go direct to UNSW from central Station and Circular Quay).
Susan7 is offline  
Dec 8th, 2010, 08:13 AM
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Was looking at some menus of establishments near the Rocks and CQ. As one would expect, expensive given the location and views of the harbor.

Seems like tapas are kind popular. Or at least, a relatively lower cost alternative to $40 or more entrees.

But it's not like Spain where you order a drink and get a tapa. These tapas are about $10-20. Probably not enough for a meal, not a racion?

Italian cuisine too.

Lot of reviews of these places say that the food is hit and miss, that it's about the views. One review said they should have done take out and walk out to a bench or something for the views.
scrb11 is online now  
Dec 13th, 2010, 11:57 AM
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Don't eat in that area, it's a sea of mediocrity apart from: Sailors Thai (sit at the big bench table upstairs), cafe at MCA (lunchtime only) or staying on the cheap eats theme the chain Wagamama (actually nearer to Circular Quay).
Susan7 is offline  
Dec 14th, 2010, 12:13 PM
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I always look for a restaurant that says BYO. Often you have to walk up stairs to find it. Just bring a bottle of wine and they will open it for no charge. Quite a change from living in the States.
wally34949 is offline  
Dec 15th, 2010, 04:43 AM
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Sometimes there is a "corkage" charge for bringing your own wine, despite the fact that most Australian wines no longer have corksm screw cap is the norm!
Susan7 is offline  
Dec 17th, 2010, 12:32 AM
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Have a look at www.eatability.com.au - diverse types of eateries, prices, locations from fine dining to local cafe grub.
Also there is a good pub food guide published recently. Overall Australians are quite sophisticated foodies and the cuisine is very much a fusion of numerous cultures and some excellent produce, including seafood. Just don't go to the usual tourist precints.
angelnot1 is offline  
Dec 17th, 2010, 01:56 AM
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Melnq8 is offline  
Dec 17th, 2010, 11:43 AM
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Very possibly, Melnq8. There are a few lines in there ... but I think I'll just let them lay on the table

Having turned my nose up at anything but cork early in the piece; I'm now the greatest fan of stelvins.

Apart from keeping the wine fresh, not requiring a corkscrew -they make it easy to take any remaining wine home from a BYO. Not that this is a frequent occurrence in our circle

Gives the flexibility to take a couple of bottles to better match food choices, or simply to have say, a glass of white with the entrees and the red with mains.

For all that - it's not the same as that satisfying "pop" as the cork comes out ... and sniffing a screw cap doesn't quite do it, does it?

I've corks with dates & occasions written on them in a bowl .. birthdays, big accounts, babies' arrivals, trips, special wines, farewells temporary & permanent, engagements, visiting friends. It's like a lucky dip of memories.
Bokhara2 is offline  

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