Sydney CBD (and surrounds) essentials

I have been writing out multiple lists for Sydney of late and then I thought to myself, “this is why I started a blog in the first place, so I didn’t have to keep repeating myself!”. Keep in mind I’m not a local so I’m sure there are stacks more places, but these are the ones that I love and keep¬†returning to (and there are some where I would love to go!). Thanks to my sister and cousin who keep me on the pulse of everything trending and new in Sydney.

My favourite ramen places:

  • Gum shara¬†Shop 211 25-29 Dixon St Haymarket, NSW (hidden in a dingy food court called “Eating World”), it is just past the big high gates that you see in China town (away from Market city). The chef spends 12 hours boiling the hell out of pork bones to make a very rich ‘thick’ soup, there is an option to have a ‘less thick soup’ don’t be a hero, not everyone can handle full strength (I know I can’t). I get the pork spare rib when I can.
  • Ippudo¬†Shop 5021, Level 5, Westfield Shopping Centre/188 Pitt Street, Sydney 2000 (in the Centrepoint Westfield, there usually is a bit of a line, but the wait isn’t too bad). You HAVE to order pork buns if you go as they are similar to Momofuku ones.
  • Ichi ban boshi¬†Level 2,The Galeries,500 George Street,Sydney NSW¬†(same level as Kinokuniya book shop). I only order the tonkotsu ramen, they only make like 50 bowls (of tonkotsu) a day or something.

Best dumplings:

  • Hands down¬†Din tai fung,¬†Shop 11.04,Level 1, World Square/644 George St, Sydney NSW 2000 there are several locations (all locations in Australia are all in Sydney) but the one in World Square is the only one not in a food court. The signature dish is the xiao long bao which is a steamed pork dumpling with soup inside. If there was one in Canberra, I’m pretty sure¬†I’d live there.


  • Messina, they don’t keep winning ‘best gelato in Sydney’ for nothing.¬†They have¬†lots of crazy flavours (including Elvis, the Fat Years: peanut butter gelato with fried brioche bits and banana jam;¬†Risotto Milanese: saffron gelato with saffron vanilla rice pudding;¬†Breakfast of Champions: milk gelato with honeyjoys and homemade Milo) but I definitely recommend trying before you commit to one flavour no matter how busy it is. Darlinghurst is a bit of a pain to park at so I find it easier to grab a light rail from China town/Central to The Star casino store. Luckily Melbournians now have a store at¬†237 Smith Street, Fitzroy.¬†

Asian restaurants:

  • I love the noodles at¬†Chef’s Gallery Shop 12 Ground Floor Regent Place Shopping Centre/501 George St, Sydney CBD¬†and it is awesome to watch them make it all too. The piggy buns are adorable, see my FB picture, it has a black sesame filling which isn’t for everyone.
  • Harder to get into but they are open ridiculously late if you want a midnight snack: Chat Thai¬†20 Campbell St¬†Haymarket NSW¬†(also at the Centrepoint Westfield)¬†and¬†@bangkok¬†(across the road next to Capitol Theatre). They are both great Thai restaurants and they have a lot of depth to their flavours. Chat Thai have a supper menu that starts around 10pm, slightly different to the dinner menu and prices are cheaper.


  • Everyone makes me hungry when I see their pictures on Instagram about Hot Star Large Fried Chicken 96 Liverpool St¬†Sydney,¬†NSW. Someone please take me¬†there or bring me a large fried chicken…


  • I go to¬†Bourke Street bakery¬†whenever I can and leave with a chocolate tart and their pain au chocolat and maybe a sausage roll if I can fit it in. Several locations, just look up which one is closest to you.
  • I’ve only eaten one thing from¬†Black Star Pastry¬†but it was really good, two locations one in Newtown 277 Australia St, Newtown¬†and the other in Rosebery¬†C1 85-113 Dunning Ave, Rosebery, NSW


  • Everyone seems to end up @ the Grounds of Alexandria but the former chef has a new place in Redfern that is supposed to be kid friendly called¬†Three Williams¬†613a Elizabeth St¬†Redfern,¬†NSW¬†2016. This is a place that I definitely want to try when I go to Sydney next!


  • I haven’t tried this but everyone on my Instagram seems to be hunting down,¬†Chur Burger¬†48 Albion Street¬†Surry Hills,¬†NSW¬†2010

Banh mi:

  • Hong Ha bakery¬†1151 Botany Rd, Mascot NSW 2020¬†simple basic bakery shop front, more of ¬†an ‘order a¬†bun and eat somewhere else’ kinda place. I remember when my sister took me here, we got out of the car and I asked where it was and she just pointed to a massive line piling down the street across several shop fronts. A bit daunting to see, but the line goes rather fast and it is well worth it.

Yum Cha:

  • Marigold¬†I’ve eaten a lot of yum cha around CBD and China town and I really like Marigold Levels 4 & 5,Citymark Building/683-689 George St, Sydney NSW 2000, go to 5th level rather than the 4th (more Asians there), really popular which means things will be fresh with the high turn around.

Let me know if you think I should add anything else to the list!

il carnivale do Gelato Messina – twisted hotdog


Yeeeah dawgs! A twisted hot dog – milk chocolate gelato hot dog, served in a warm finger bun with essential condiments passionfruit ‘mustard’, raspberry ‘ketchup’ and buttercream ‘mayo’ and coconut ‘onions’. Definitely played tricks on my mind. #gelato #messina #sydney #willywonkastyle #carnivalfun #food @gelatomessina #foodie #foodblog #hotdog

Ramen Ikkyu

It seems like every man, celebrity chef, blogger and their dog have been to Ramen Ikkyu despite having been open for just a couple of weeks. So I did what any sane keen ramen eating blogger would do – I dragged my whole family, including my pregnant cousin to the other side of Sydney to a busy food court to try this place for myself.

I was a bit worried that since Harunobu Inukai, the former chef of the French-Japanese fusion restaurant Blancharu in Elizabeth Bay now turned ramen chef, only made 150 bowls a day. I couldn’t think of anything more sad than if I dragged everyone out to the other side of town and there was only one bowl left and they had to watch me enjoy it. image


It seemed like an easy system, there were 8 ramen types to choose from and a cute little easy to use touch screen system. Well that’s what I thought until I realised I could only eat 1/8th of the menu (1/4 at the most). Decisions… Decisions…



Chili oil ramen ($11.50).


Ikkyu (miso) ramen ($10.50).


Tokyo (shoyu) ($10.50). It was the special of the day which really swayed my decision. I didn‚Äôt think much of the broth, I mean it was better than anything than we have in Canberra but Sydney has so many other establishments that offer a much superior soup base in flavour and in ‚Äėrichness‚Äô. The pork was very delicious though, with a high fat ratio layered between the meat and the noodles had a great texture, but I find that all three things- broth, noodles and pork need to come together to make a ramen experience absolutely fantastic and magical.


Ikkyu (shoyu)($10.50).



Cha-shu 3 slices ($3.00), shallots($0.50) and sweet corn($0.50).

The bowl of ramen itself would have been very affordable and considered cheap but I just had to indulge and see what their $14 pork rib was all about. As it sat there on the tray while I waited for my noodles to arrive, all the other patrons would point and ask what that delicious piece of meat on the bone was. All I could think was ‚Äėdon‚Äôt get grubby fingers too close to my pork‚Äô.

A bit dry in areas but that is expected due to the size and the thickness. Not as great as other ramen places but great to nibble on to get some extra pork to your bowl. Maybe share between two people?


What makes this a unique dining experience is the free extra kaedama that you get with each bowl of ramen so that if you gobble up all the noodles before you finish the broth, there is a round #2.



I don’t think Ramen Ikkyu lived up to all the hype. I see bloggers and instagrammers posting photos of queues and noodles but I would much rather walk down the street and grab a bowl from Gum Shara. If I get the chance I would come back in a few months to see if anything changes.

Venue: Ramen Ikkyu

Address: Shop F1A, Sussex Centre food court, 401 Sussex Street, Haymarket, NSW

Phone: (02) 9281 0998

Good Food article:

Opening hours: Seven days, noon-8pm until sold out (150 bowls a day)



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