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New South Wales

Poly

Nothing tastes as good as a celebratory meal, and oh do I have reason to be celebrating today. After barely 3 years out of university, Chris (aka my other half) has been promoted to a senior software developer! He’s of course stoked, and don’t tell him I said this because he’s already had so many congratulations that he’s running the risk of getting a big head, but I’m also completely thrilled – for him, and for this excellent excuse to splash out on dinner at Poly.

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Surly’s

Seriously, is there anything better than a feast of American BBQ? I honestly can’t think of many things more enjoyable than a platter of smoky meats, served with heaping bowls of mac and cheese, collard greens, and cornbread. Coupled with the fact that decent BBQ isn’t all that common in Australia, and how I won’t let myself indulge in it very often, it is a real treat when I do get to have it. Despite having been in Sydney for over a year now, I’ve only had BBQ once, at Bovine and Swine. This travesty was finally remedied with a long overdue trip to Surly’s – a heavily American-themed sports bar in Surry Hills.

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La Favola

One year on, I’m still trying to find the perfect pasta in Sydney that doesn’t break the bank. Although I’ve had a few bowls here and there, I found that most of the time they’re either cheap and super inauthentic, or pricey but only somewhat authentic. Admittedly I haven’t been looking around as much as I would have wanted to – at $30 or so per dish, it’s just a little bit out of my price range for casual meals. But last year, La Favola burst onto the Newtown scene in a whirl of rave reviews, with bold promises of freshly made pasta and Authentic Italian, all for something like $20 a bowl – consider me sold.

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Juan Bowl and Tea

Juan Bowl and Tea has been on my hype-radar ever since I moved to Sydney last year and found almost everyone raving about their amazing rice bowl – don – and tea pairings. I waited a bit for the hype to die down (and to have a little more money in my pocket) and then BAM, I was there. Juan embodies the Japanese spirit of doing one thing, and doing it really, really right. The whole focus of the restaurant is in the name – bowls of stuff on rice, and carefully curated teas to match. And despite the rather humble concept, the careful craftsmanship extends to beyond the food into the décor as well. With its dramatic down-lights, minimalist…

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Seven Lanterns

Despite having lived just 20 minutes from Cronulla for over a year, I’ve never once gone down to the beach. A packed scheduled combined with a general apathy for being outside meant I had no real interest in making even a short drive – until now that is. As it turns out, all it takes me to get out and about to explore Sydney is the promise of good food. Seven Lanterns may not be directly on the water, but at barely 20 metres away from the surf, it’s more than close enough to benefit from the laid-back beach vibes. It boasts an Asian-inspired, seafood-driven share menu that doesn’t do anything too scary, but promises enough pizazz to still feel…

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Ippudo

One great thing about Japan is that over there, Restaurant Chain is not a dirty term. With their dedication to quality, even the most pedestrian chains serve up food that would be right at home in a casual restaurant in Australia. Take Ippudo for example; despite having 69 branches in 12 countries, it is still very much known for serving up an excellent bowl of noodles that’s comparable to any ramen-ya. Ippudo may be located in a Westfield shopping complex, but the fit-out is rather swank. The dim interior with dramatic down-lighting, and eye-catching bar, makes it feel more like a high-end hotel restaurant than a casual eatery.

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