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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Eating and Drinking Sydney Guide



Who said food blogging didn't get you anywhere?

I was pretty taken aback when I was approached to be one of the editors for the new Eating and Drinking Sydney guide earlier this year. It's the kind of offer a food writer dreams about, and then freaks out over, when you realise the magnitude of responsibility this position entails.

As editor for the Cheap and Cheerful section, I was entrusted with creating a list of 170 best budget feeds from all over Sydney. This was tough. There are so many amazing places to eat, and culling them down to get a good representation of cuisines and suburbs was excruciating.

Thankfully I didn't have to visit and write about every single venue, but I did submit a significant proportion of reviews as chief contributor. I also had to come up with several themed Top 10 lists - all good fun. Juggling deadlines with a full-time job and blogging was definitely a test of endurance, but like so many things in life, it all came together in the end. It's still rather surreal to see my name on the front cover of a Sydney eating guide!

Professionally, I found it was a fascinating and incredibly illuminating experience, particularly working with the book's editor and project manager, Clare Brundle, who had the herculean task of overseeing the text and writing style of a team of 40 contributors across all three sections: restaurants, cheap eats and bars. That's more than 700 venues in total!

My fellow editors for the guide are Elizabeth Meryment and Anna Fedeles. Our contributor biographies are below:

Elizabeth Meryment (Editor - Restaurants)
Elizabeth Meryment is Sydney's only food critic in stilettos. Her irreverent restaurant reviews appear each week in The Sunday Telegraph and she occasionally 'gets serious' by writing old-fashioned long-form journalism for the brainy likes of The Weekend Australian. In her spare time, she co-authors the much-loved Foodies' Guide to Sydney and does yoga to ward off the evils of over-eating.

Helen Yee (Editor - Cheap and Cheerfuls)
Helen Yee is a freelance food writer who counts fried chicken as an essential food group. She writes a monthly suburban eats column for Time Out Sydney and is a contributor to the Foodies' Guide to Sydney. Follow Helen's eats on her popular Grab Your Fork blog.

Anna Fedeles (Editor - Bars)
Genetically cursed with a low tolerance to alcohol, this thirsty food writer overcame her disability and evolved into a bar-hopping butterfly with a penchant for Prohibition-era cocktails. Rather partial to cooking too, Anna has been blogging at Morsels & Musings since 2006.

Eating & Drinking Sydney will be released in Australia on September 1, 2011 with a recommended retail price of $29.95. An iPhone app will be made available shortly afterwards.

Thanks to the publishers, Hardie Grant, five lucky Grab Your Fork readers will win their own copy of the first ever Eating and Drinking Sydney.

HOW TO ENTER:

Option 1:
  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell us: Where is your favourite cheap eat?
  2. And then send an email to grabyourforkfreebiefriday@yahoo.com.au with the subject heading "Cheap" and include your full name and a copy of your published comment from this post.
Option 2:
  1. Enter via the Grab Your Fork facebook fan page. Simply leave your answer on the event listing here.
The winning entry will be decided on honesty, creativity or entertainment value. Don't be shy! You've got to be in it to win it! Readers may submit multiple entries as long as each answer is different.

The Eating and Drinking Sydney competition closes on Thursday 8 September 2011 at 9.30pm AEST. The winner will be announced on Grab Your Fork on Friday 9 September 2011.

Thanks everyone for your entries. This competition has now closed. The lucky winners have been announced here.

53 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 8/18/2011 12:37:00 am


53 Comments:

  • At 8/18/2011 7:52 am, Anonymous Minh said…

    Congratulations Helen!! I can't think of a better person for the job, can't wait to read it when it's out!

     
  • At 8/18/2011 8:40 am, Blogger Mel said…

    My favourite place is La Piadina in Bondi Beach. North Italian flatbread with top ingredients (my favourite is the speck), followed by home baked cake or tart.. and a good coffee. There's always a nice sound track (soul, jazz, funk, electronica) and there's cute, quirky and kitschy decorations to look at which changes regularly.

     
  • At 8/18/2011 8:43 am, Anonymous Jackie said…

    My favourite cheap eat is Ayam Goreng 99 in Kingsford. I can't go past their nasi uduk - it's even better than my mother-in-law's who's Indonesian herself!

     
  • At 8/18/2011 9:19 am, Blogger nomnomfish said…

    my favourite cheap eat is mappen ramen, skyview plaza in sydney city. yummy noodles, a huge array of fresh tempura, quick service. what's not to love?

     
  • At 8/18/2011 9:21 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    grats mate! fried chicken is totes a food group

     
  • At 8/18/2011 10:08 am, Blogger Rozzie Kaye said…

    My favourite and best cheap eat is Prawn Laksa from Malay Chinese Takeaway Shop in Hunter St, Sydney. For under $10($9.80) it has to be the best meal in town. Beautiful flavours and very filling - you have to get there by 11.50am to get a seat at lunchtime and if you go after 12.15pm the line is out the door. In Winter I have to have at least 1 laksa a week!
    Smiles Rozzie Kaye

     
  • At 8/18/2011 10:46 am, Anonymous Sneh | Cook Republic said…

    Ahhh brilliant! You rock Helen. Good on you! I also absolutely agree with your sentiments on fried chicken :-). My fav cheap eat is Tim's BBQ Kitchen in Hornsby. They do a mean roast duck. Half for $13!! And they have some amazing lunch specials for under $10 .. Laksa, Schezuan Chicken and the likes!

     
  • At 8/18/2011 10:50 am, Anonymous Martyna@WholesomeCook said…

    My favourite cheap eat is located in a little unassuming food court of Hunter Connection in the CBD. It's called Phuong and serves THE BEST Vietnamese fresh filled bread rolls for, wait for it, as little as $3.50 for the vegetarian option and $4.50 for a barbecue pork stick, pork cold cut or chicken rolls.

    In fact, if you're looking for a testament of how good this place is, you should visit at lunch. A sea of people surrounds the little hole-in-the-wall shop, but service is always courteous and efficient.

    Having witnessed the success of Phuong, many of the other stall have now added Viet rolls to their offering, but nothing beats the original.

    I literally have to have my weekly fix of these, otherwise I turn very very grumpy!

    PS Congratulations on the offer and your role - what an exciting expereince!

     
  • At 8/18/2011 10:51 am, Anonymous sara (Belly Rumbles) said…

    Congratulations Helen on the gig. Cheep and Cheerfuls is just the perfect section for you to take on, as daunting as the deadlines etc were.

     
  • At 8/18/2011 11:14 am, OpenID lateraleating said…

    Congrats Helen, well done! My favourite cheap eat is Thai La Ong 2 on King Street, Newtown: $6.5 lunch special, generous serving, super fast, good flavour, especially the curries and the Pad Thai.

     
  • At 8/18/2011 11:22 am, Blogger ragingyoghurt said…

    go you! and, nice job! how do you ever find the time to do it all? ;)

     
  • At 8/18/2011 11:27 am, Blogger muppy said…

    Wow, congratulations! it sounds like a lot of work but fantastic for us!
    i love Circa Cafe in Parramatta.

     
  • At 8/18/2011 11:30 am, Anonymous Sandra said…

    Great news Helen!

    My favourite cheapie is Chinese Noodle House in Quay Street, Chinatown. Can't go past the pan-fried dumplings, hand-made noodles and the fragrant braised eggplant... so good! That's where my partner took me for our first date, and I'm still not tired of it after all these years!

     
  • At 8/18/2011 11:51 am, Anonymous Nic@diningwithastud said…

    Congratulations :) thats such great news! What an honour! Will be grabbing it when its out :)

     
  • At 8/18/2011 1:33 pm, Anonymous Michaela said…

    My favourite cheapie of the moment is Island Dreams Cafe in Lakemba, followed closely by Jasmin - just across the road!
    Congratulations Helen, so good to see you continue to be the authority on cheap and cheerful.

     
  • At 8/18/2011 2:00 pm, Blogger Shanks said…

    Congrats on what I know will be a great read. Fried chicken is definitely, if not the most important, food group!!

     
  • At 8/18/2011 2:26 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!!!!

    You are, in a word, sublime. Go Helen!

     
  • At 8/18/2011 2:28 pm, Anonymous EJ said…

    My favourite cheap eat at the moment is "Nam Fong Hot Bread" in Bankstown which does a life-changing $3.50 "grilled beef vietnamese roll". Today they ran out and all I could say to the service lady was "...sad"

     
  • At 8/18/2011 7:19 pm, Blogger lydia. said…

    chat thai! the best thai food outside of thailand! and sooo cheap :)

     
  • At 8/18/2011 8:54 pm, Blogger mademoiselle délicieuse said…

    Congrats! Now who said eating and writing about it wouldn't get you places?

     
  • At 8/18/2011 9:00 pm, Blogger FFichiban said…

    w00t Go Helen Go!! WD and I am so getting you to sign my copy hehehe

     
  • At 8/18/2011 11:14 pm, Anonymous MissDissent said…

    Book looks great, congrats Helen!

     
  • At 8/19/2011 6:24 am, Anonymous JPana said…

    The tastiest liquified pork bone. Egg noodles that drink it up and come to resemble juicy sausages. A pork spare rib that's roasted to perfection. But wait for it - you decide to order the chili pickled cabbage too.

    So you carefully dip your spoon into the broth, chopstick on a few strands of noodle, a touch of pork and a smattering of the chili pickled cabbage.

    The flavour is like an explosion in your mouth. You take your time eating it all and enjoying every second of it.

    Gumshara ramen. Always a winner.

     
  • At 8/19/2011 8:34 am, Blogger Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul said…

    Congratulations Helen...fantastic news and bloody well deserved too! I can't think of anyone else who knows their way around a Sydney eatery better than you! I still think Una's is good value. $20 for a humongous schnitzel!

     
  • At 8/19/2011 11:41 am, Anonymous Jacq said…

    Congrats Helen! I can't think of a better person to write a list of Cheap and Cheerful places - you always manage to find the most amazing cheap eats!

     
  • At 8/19/2011 5:03 pm, Blogger MissPiggy said…

    A big congrats to you Helen - I can't think of a better person to take on the task...I love your blog and can't wait to read your entries in the new book.

    My favourite cheap eat...Mappen on George Street, words cannot describe how happy that $4.90 bowl of udon noodles makes me.

     
  • At 8/19/2011 5:58 pm, Anonymous Anthony said…

    My favourite cheap eat is at Chinese Noodle House in Haymarket..

     
  • At 8/19/2011 11:14 pm, Anonymous Yas (aboutthefood) said…

    Congratulations on such a sweet (and well-deserved) gig! The guide sounds fantastic, I'm going to need it when I'm next in Sydney.

     
  • At 8/21/2011 4:30 pm, Blogger amandajane said…

    Awesomw! So difficult to choose, but my family loves to get an on the run snack at Barbys.

     
  • At 8/22/2011 11:42 pm, Anonymous Lisa L said…

    It's so hard to choose but I think my favourite cheap eat would be the little Vietnamese stall in Sussex St Food Court. I really love to eat their noodle salads, and you can also get a sweet bean drink for dessert. So yummy!

     
  • At 8/24/2011 5:08 pm, Anonymous Cathy L said…

    On the corner of Cleveland & elizabeth in old surry hills,
    Is a Lebanese diner called Abdul's.
    I know people have their favourites,
    But when put to the test,
    Abdul's felafel is easily the best!
    It's cheap and it's cheerful,
    The baklava's divine.
    But if you've not been here before,
    It's a really great find.

     
  • At 8/24/2011 5:09 pm, Anonymous Melanie Y said…

    A big congrats to you Helen - I can't think of a better person to take on the task...I love your blog and can't wait to read your entries in the new book.

    My favourite cheap eat...Mappen on George Street, words cannot describe how happy that $4.90 bowl of udon noodles makes me. I've been 5 times in about 2 weeks...

     
  • At 8/24/2011 5:09 pm, Anonymous Janice S said…

    Awesome news on the new publication! My favourite cheap eat is Thursday Night at Sticky Bar (Surry Hills, above Tablefor20), can't go wrong with a massive bowl of paella + a pisco cocktail for $20.. their wednesday night roast + wine for $15 is good too.. but the servings of paella are solid, the flavours are spicy, the pisco sour has zing, in a combo, it's sensational value.

     
  • At 8/24/2011 5:10 pm, Anonymous Liil K said…

    Currently loving Meet Fresh desserts. Massive portions for very very decent prices. I can't finish one on my own, so I have to share with someone, sharing the cost too!!

     
  • At 8/24/2011 5:10 pm, Anonymous Alex A said…

    My favourite cheap eat is Twelve Spices in Canely Heights

     
  • At 8/24/2011 5:11 pm, Anonymous Jo Ann T said…

    I love Baroque Bistro Sunday Lunch Plat du Jour... I can get my fravourite steak and frites and salted caramel in one house on a lazy Sunday afternoon by the harbour!!! Sooo picturesque!!! It's like a mini holiday before Monday blue comes...

     
  • At 8/24/2011 5:11 pm, Anonymous Trippas W said…

    My favourite cheap eat has to be Miss Chu's... the best rice paper rolls in Sydney. Not to mention a cracker salmon vermicelli salad. Followed closely by Phamish... if you can get a seat

     
  • At 8/24/2011 5:12 pm, Anonymous Sneh R said…

    I also absolutely agree with your sentiments on fried chicken :-). My fav cheap eat is Tim's BBQ Kitchen in Hornsby. They do a mean roast duck. Half for $13!! And they have some amazing lunch specials for under $10 .. Laksa, Schezuan Chicken and the likes!

     
  • At 8/24/2011 5:12 pm, Anonymous Katie U said…

    Where do you get the best (the BEST) felafel rolls in Sydney? I'm not telling. But the felafels are plump and herby, the hummus has a distinct lemony tang, the tabouleh a salty crunch and the home made garlic sauce is bright and creamy, all this wrapped in a chewy pita bread costs less than $5. A dollar extra for a hefty dollop of tomato green beans. YUM.

     
  • At 8/24/2011 5:12 pm, Anonymous Paula M said…

    My favourite cheap eat at the moment is the Old Thanh Huong in Marrickville especially the Vietnamese ravioli

     
  • At 8/24/2011 5:13 pm, Anonymous Michael L said…

    My favourite cheap eat right now is Yok Yor Thai Food Factory on Castlereagh Street, Haymarket. :-)

     
  • At 8/24/2011 5:13 pm, Anonymous Kevin L said…

    My ultimate cheap eat is banana bread at Cafe Xeno in Crows Nest. It's the ultimate banana bread in Sydney, beautiful sweetness of banana, perfectly toasted and a delicious cinnamon butter to slowly spread on the top.

     
  • At 8/24/2011 5:13 pm, Anonymous Kimi C said…

    Best cheap eat is Albee's Kitchen @ 282 Beamish St, Campsie. Truly authentic Malaysian food. Get your belly full without hurting your wallet. Dishes is mostly around AUD 8-15 and their menu is quite extensive too! Probably can go there everyday in a month and still can order different dishes! Yum, now it made me even more hungry..

     
  • At 8/24/2011 5:14 pm, Anonymous Karina W said…

    I love New Shanghai in Ashfield because the portions are big and the bill is small!

     
  • At 8/24/2011 5:14 pm, Anonymous Deborah M said…

    Trattoria il Segreto Pittwater Road Brrokvale. Vini makes all the pasta and gnocchi, beef proscuitto, pesto, his own limoncello and so much more all learnt from his mum and dad back in Italy and imbues it with the same passion that made him 'Mr Italy' champion bodybuilder for years. The little altar to his days as champion near the front door has to be seen.

     
  • At 8/25/2011 11:11 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Lebanese pizza places are the best. There's one on Haldon Street in Lakemba that is so good. I can't remember the name but it's a tiny bakery that always has a line of people waiting. The oregano pizza is only $1.50!

    - Carol

     
  • At 9/04/2011 7:45 pm, Anonymous jenny f said…

    peters restaurant at macquarie fields. Cant beat the value. $11 for all you can eat smorgasboard which includes chinese dishes, desserts (their chocolate mousse is to die for!), fruit, soups, lasagne. Free drink refills. Top value for a night out for dinner.

     
  • At 9/05/2011 1:18 am, Anonymous Dian P said…

    Cheap eat... I'll go to this Thai La-Ong in Newtown! Okay, the price is normal, but the size... is HUGE. I can share the Phad Thai with my hubby. This is a real "cheap-eat". But if you go for quality, order their pad kee mao!! Super delicious!! But not as big as the phad thai (-.-")

     
  • At 9/05/2011 12:47 pm, Anonymous JT said…

    I've always found Chinese restaurants/eateries to be the best in value - beautiful cuisine at a reasonable price! My favourite cheap eat (so far) would have to be New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant in Ashfield. The xiao long bao was the highlight, with its chewy skin and plentiful broth (my favourite part of the dumpling). The other stand-out dish was the pan-fried pork bun - a bit oily, but the crunchiness of the base contrasting with the lightly steamed surface made for a real delight when biting into it. Overall, a great cheap eat!

     
  • At 9/05/2011 7:37 pm, Anonymous diti said…

    Bassim Korean bbq Strathfield. So much meat, such good quality, less than $20! My inner carnivore is happy :3

     
  • At 9/09/2011 1:45 am, Anonymous Liil K said…

    One of my all time favourite cheap eats is Old Kitchen Sichuan in Eastwood. The whole menu is quite affordable, but the greatest dish is the dan dan noodles. It's a massive serving for only $6.80. It's the cheapest and most filling dinner I can think of!

     
  • At 9/09/2011 1:48 am, Anonymous Mara B said…

    I love Ranang Thai in Rozelle. Great, authentic taste with a price that is loved by my wallet

     
  • At 9/09/2011 1:49 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Thanks everyone for your entries. This competition has now closed. The lucky winners have been announced here.

     

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