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Just A Bit Special ($20-$35)

Contrabando

The only thing better than tacos is cheap tacos, and until I can get myself to Mexico where they’re a dollar a pop, Taco Tuesdays is the next best thing. And whilst plenty of places have some semblance of that going on each week, no one does it quite like Contrabando. Instead of offering up subpar tacos at a cheaper rate, the entire taco menu is fair game at $3-4 each, instead of the usual $6-8. Talk about a bargain! Coupled with a discounted drinks list, it’s no wonder that the restaurant was absolutely frantic by 6pm on a Tuesday afternoon. Despite seating close to 100, the only seats available without a booking were in the rather sparse al fresco…

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Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine

I love yum cha, but I don’t love how it’s largely limited to daylight hours. I am 100% not a morning person, to the point where I’m reluctant to even get up for food unless it’s something really special. Coupled with my preference for getting all my chores and errands out of the way earlier in the day rather than leaving it to later, I end up rarely having yum cha despite wanting to very much. That’s where Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine comes in.

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Gogyo

Sydney is a city full of good ramen and discerning noodle-slurpers, so for a bowl of ramen to stand out, it really has to be something special. And in late 2017, that came about in the form of Gogyo and its burnt miso ramen, which had the city lining up for a taste. So what’s the deal with this ramen? Well for starters, it’s definitely not your regular miso ramen. Instead of miso paste worked into a broth, the daring chefs heat a ladle-full of pork lard until it’s at a searing 300oC, before dousing the (sometimes literal) flames with miso and chicken broth. The result is an alarmingly dark broth, suspended with globules of charred pork fat. IT’s easy…

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Gigi Pizzeria

Vegan food may be getting up to some rather marvellous things in the last few years, but I’ve always drawn the line at vegan pizza. Surely a dish that mandates the addition of cheese in its most traditional form can’t possibly taste good without it, right? And frankly, if it weren’t for Jan and her recommendation of Gigi Pizzeria, I would’ve gone on happily believing the same forevermore. So what’s special about Jan and her recommendation for Gigi Pizzeria? For starters, not only does Jan know what she’s talking about in regard to food, she’s also an omnivore-turned-herbivore, so she knows what traditional pizza tastes like, and she promises that the vegan version at Gigi’s is just as good. And…

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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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Baja Cantina

I’m a sucker for a great Mexican meal, and if I were to be entirely honest, I would say that I haven’t had one since coming to Sydney. Despite my almost bottomless optimism when it comes to food, I’m actually finding myself feeling rather flat, after 18 solid months of being told that good Mexican food doesn’t exist in Sydney, and seeing nothing to the contrary. I’ve pretty much resigned myself to having my taco fix confined to the times when I go back to Melbourne. If I were to adjust my expectations a little however, there’s still plenty of Mexican-ish food to be had around Sydney. The most popular one out of the bunch would probably be Baja Cantina…

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