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Sydney CBD

Bar Luca

It’s always promising when you can smell a restaurant before you can even see it. As soon as we had rounded the corner, we could smell the unmistakable aroma of beef sizzling on the grill, and we knew we had found Bar Luca. Before Bar Luca became a cult burger restaurant however, it was just one of many pubs you’ll find dotted around Sydney. And aside from the change to a burger-only menu, as well as the presence of merch on the walls, not much has really changed. The large wall-mounted TVs are still there, as is the dodgy ATM near the toilets. There’s even a dingy little VIP room filled with pokies machines near the back. If you told…

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Mejico

Will you look at that, it’s my birthday again! It’s a pretty big decision every year as to where I should celebrate, but because my birthday unfortunately fell just over 2 weeks before a major exam this time around, I’ll admit I didn’t do nearly as much research as usual. Instead I just chose to have a lower-key dinner at Mejico, which I’ve been interested in trying out for ages, and have heard some pretty good things about. It’s somewhat of an open secret that Sydney just isn’t all that great with Mexican food, but the modern spin put on it by Mejico had me interested and optimistic. After all, just because the food isn’t strictly authentic, doesn’t mean it…

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Sushi Hotaru

Just like everyone else, I was super excited when Sushi Hotaru made its way from Sydney to Melbourne a few years back. The prospect of a $3 per plate sushi train seemed too good to be true, yet there it was. In the intervening years however, I have to admit that the quality of the sushi had declined by a small yet noticeable degree, whilst the prices inched up bit by bit. Still, that’s not enough to get rid of the small soft spot I nurse for the popular sushi train, and to this day, I still enjoy the occasional visit. And although the prospect reviewing the original Sushi Hotaru location in Sydney isn’t exactly exhilarating stuff, I feel like…

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Ichiban Boshi

Ichiban Boshi and I go way back. I first heard of the now-iconic ramen chain over 10 years ago, when I had just started reading food blogs, and the thought of writing my own was years from even crossing my mind. I had never had proper ramen at the time, but that didn’t stop me from being completely enamoured with the idea of noodles in deliciously porky soup (in fact, I think this may be where my ramen obsession started).  And I almost, almost got to eat at Ichiban Boshi too, when I went to the Gold Coast with my family in 2008. Unfortunately that didn’t pan out, and it took another 10 years and an interstate move before the…

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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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Yang San Park

The best Korean BBQ I’ve ever had? It would have to be that time in Seoul where I feasted on a whole 600g plate of pork belly. I’ve never before, or since, had pork belly that was quite so indulgently fatty and delicious. Just the thought of that smoky, juicy pork, wrapped with spicy bean paste and scallions in fresh salad leaves, makes my mouth water. Of course, I haven’t been foolish enough to try and replicate that experience since coming back to Australia. Not only do I think that I won’t be able to find any sensible place that will sell me 600g of pork belly at the degree of fattiness I found in Korea, it also just seems…

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