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Cheapie Lunch (Under $20)

RaRa Chan

I’ve made it no secret that RaRa is my favourite place in Sydney for ramen. And if you’re vegetarian or vegan, their sister restaurant Lonely Mouth is also remarkably good. But there’s one thing the ramen gods of Sydney have yet to bless me with, and that is tsukemen, a dry-styled ramen that’s eaten dipped into a concentrated broth. Sort of like soba but warm and way, way better. But with the people behind RaRa being so great and all, I wasn’t wholly surprised when they announced RaRa Chan, a new outpost in Everleigh specialising in tsukemen.

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Harvey’s Hot Sandwiches

The humble sandwich is having a revival, and I for one am here for it. Just like ramen and pizza, a sandwich is one of those seemingly simple things that just teems with possibility in the right hands, and there’s always someone out there doing something new and surprising with it. The humble sandwich is having a revival, and I for one am here for it. Just like ramen and pizza, a sandwich is one of those seemingly simple things that just teems with possibility in the right hands, and there’s always someone out there doing something new and surprising with it. I had first come across Harvey’s Hot Sandwiches when I was making the daily trek out to Westmead…

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IIKO Mazesoba

My love for ramen is eternal. It is one of my favourite things to eat, and if not for the existence of sushi, may possibly be my most favourite food of all time. And although Hakata-styled ramen – tonkotsu broth with a thin, straight noodle – is what Australia is most familiar with, the world of ramen encompasses far more than just creamy pork soup (though that is arguably one of the best types). I love a good spicy bowl of noodles myself, and I also have an especial penchant for tsukemen, which is eaten soba-style, dipped into a bowl of super concentrated stock. But one thing I’ve yet to have is mazesoba, a broth-less ramen tossed with sauce and…

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Chongqing Street Noodle

A good few years back, K went on a month-long trip back to Hong Kong with his family, and proceeded to be inundated with so many rounds of yum cha that he couldn’t look at a prawn dumpling without gagging for months after. I thought it was pretty funny at the time, and gave him a good amount of grief over it. But as they say, what goes around comes around, and a few years later I was back in Kunming, where my relatives ‘treated’ us to so much of the oily, chilli-heavy local cuisine (basically think Sichuan food) that I’m convinced it was responsible for the gastritis I developed sometime last year.

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Happy Ending Burgers

I had been resisting the lure of Happy Ending Burgers for the best part of a year by now, but after a long day at work and a solid session at the gym, I decided it was finally time to treat myself. Located on the quaint main shopping strip in Concord, happy ending is more or less the eminent burger place in the surrounding swathe of suburbs. Backed by those of Mr Gee’s fame, happy endings is purported to do a mean burger, plus some top-notch fried chicken. But funnily enough, no desserts, despite its name.

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Maenam Lao and Thai

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 section out front.

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