Malaysian cuisine was the first I ever fell in love with. It cemented my now-undying love for street food, and was the catalyst for my first ever overseas with friends. And although I don’t have it nearly as often these days, having gotten the obsession out of my system with 2 weeks in Malaysia, I still very much have a soft spot for the eclectic, multicultural cuisine. Ho Jiak is one of the first restaurants that really put Malaysian food on the map in Sydney. Although there were plenty of places to get your Malaysian fix, most of them were cheap and cheerful eateries that served up just a few of the more well-known Malaysian dishes. Not Ho Jiak. Sure,…
Just A Bit Special ($20-$35)
I came across my very first Boodle Fight was when an old co-worker posted a photo of their Christmas celebrations. I had never before in my life seen so much food laid out on banana leaves, just waiting to be dug into with bare hands. And the centrepiece of it all was an entire suckling pig – lechon to be precise. I never got close enough to that particular co-worker to invite myself to one of their family feasts, but the longing for a meal where the size of the plate was measured in meters remained unabated.
I’m always up for an izakaya meal. There’s really not much out there better than a parade of plates and nibbles, ordered over a long meal with great conversation, and maybe a drink or two. Nakano Darling is one of the new kids on the block, located in the shiny Darling Square dining precinct. The décor may not be classically Japanese, but the vibe it evokes is unmistakeable. It is undeniably cool with its collection of neon street signs, tatami seating with wooden crates for tables, and quirky Japanese ads projected onto the concrete walls. It stops just shy of trying too hard, and the result is very appealing indeed.
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.
Until I moved to Sydney, I was never keen on falafel. In Melbourne, they were more often than not an afterthought, thrown onto the side of the obligatory vegetarian platter. Even at restaurants that specialised in falafel, they were never quite as delicious as the ones I’ve become used to in Sydney. These days however, the thought of a bit of fried chickpea gets me rather excited. So when news emerged of Jimmy’s Falafel, where the chef apparently spent 3 months perfecting his special falafel mix (which unusually, is a combination of fava beans and chickpeas, rather than one or the other), I was there and ready to be delighted.
One of the things I was most disappointed to have missed out on during my Japan trip was the authentic izakaya experience. I was so keen to chase up that perfect bowl of ramen – this was 2012 and good ramen absolutely did not exist in Melbourne – that I didn’t spare much time for anything else. And whilst I certainly don’t regret eating a bowl of noodles (sometimes two) a day, I do wish I had made time for even just one late-night izakaya trip. At least I have my 2022 honeymoon to Japan to look forward to; that is, if we’re let off this Covid Coaster by then!