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Strathfield

Maenam Lao and Thai

31 The BoulevardeStrathfield, NSW 2135http://maenamlaothai.com.au/ What’s better than Thai food? Clearly the answer is being able to get good Thai food without having to travel far. Oddly specific I know, but I really do have a hatred of trying to get around Sydney, and that’s especially the case when it’s been about 40 degrees all weekend. There’s plenty of Thai offerings around the Strathfield area, but the most popular one of the lot is Maenam Lao and Thai. I was initially worried about our chances of grabbing a seat in the small space, but as it turns out, they have a larger dining room past the kitchen – one that I think is far superior to the cramped and noisy…

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Hansang

I love a good Korean meal, and I’m lucky to have Myeongdong just down the road from my house. But as much as it pains me to say it, Myeongdong is not the be-all-end-all of Korean food. Although they have some great soups and share plates, they’re still missing a few of my favourites. Luckily, the Strathfield area is nothing if not chock-a-block with good Korean restaurants, and a quick search led me to Hansang, which has an impressively large menu with pretty much every Korean dish I’ve ever eaten, and great reviews to boot.

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Jo Ja Ryong

I had naively shown up at Strathfield at 5:45pm on a Saturday night, absolutely starving, with the intention of having some Korean BBQ. As it turns out, this is actually a rather popular pastime for the locals, and not feeling like waiting upwards of 2 hours at the restaurant I had originally intended to eat at, I decided to have a wander around and see what else was available. And although most places in the area were plagued with a dismally long queue, I was lucky enough to nab the last remaining table at Jo Ja Ryong. The menu at Jo Ja Ryong looked suspiciously familiar when I first laid eyes on it. As it turns out, they are affiliated…

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Eunhasu Korean Restaurant

I have been reading Pachinko recently (fantastic book by the way, would 100% recommend, especially for those looking for excellent novels by women of colour), and the descriptions of Korean food in it got me absolutely craving for the stuff. Eunhasu Korean Restaurant is a small, unassuming little shop located on the quieter side of Strathfield, serving up a range of dishes that would be familiar to many. But despite its utilitarian appearance, the space was clean and comfortable, and the staff couldn’t have been more welcoming if we had been family.

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The Mandoo

After an extremely long day, I found myself unwilling to even contemplate cooking, and so ended up at The Mandoo, a small but popular Korean dumpling restaurant that I’ve had my eye on for the last year or so. The place is even tinier than I had imagined, with diners crammed elbow-to-elbow on shared tables in the narrow space. Combined with the warm day, the lack of air conditioning, and the steamers full of dumplings in the open kitchen, and you’ve got a stuffy and frankly rather uncomfortable place to eat. But having dined perched on plastic stools at the side of the street in South-East Asia during summer, this is far from a deal-breaker, and would be happily forgiven…

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Myeongdong Korean Restaurant

Like the next person, I love a good freebie. Nothing gets a restaurant into my good books like a quality serve of bread and butter, or a complimentary nibble served before a meal. And one thing that completely won me over in Korea was the generous varieties of free banchan that came with free refills, or better still, the self-serve station at the airport where I totally gorged myself on pickles and fish cakes. Being used to Melbourne’s banchan situation – that’s to say, 2-3 small dishes with each meal – I was already rather impressed with Sydney’s offerings, which usually ranges between 3-5 options. But when I heard about Meyongdong Korean Restaurant, my mind was completely blown. 12 banchan…

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