Here’s my annual tribute to the best dishes I’ve eaten in Sydney this year. It’s been tough to choose just five, in fact I’ve had so many good desserts recently that I’m reserving them for a separate list (coming soon). These are my Top 5 Sydney Dishes, the ones that keep me going back to some of my favourite haunts time and again.
Lamb Tartare Momofuku Seiobo – CLOSED
Whatever new dishes Paul Carmichael tempts me with as I perch at Momofuku’s 5-seater bar for a glass of natural wine and snack, I’ll definitely be having this jumble of hand-cut lamb, hot mango sauce, crème fraîche and crunchy fried blackeyed peas and capers.
Whiting Tacos North Bondi Fish
What do you get when you cross Spanish Romesco sauce with Mexican tacos and throw in delicious Aussie whiting and a generous handful of shaved white cabbage? One of the most addictive dishes I’ve ever tasted! Perfect with a sbagliato while the sun sets over Bondi Beach.
Pan Rolls Lankan Filling Station
You might think Sri Lankan food is all about the hoppers … but for me it’s the ‘short eats’, as they call the snacks preceding the main fare. And my favourite short eats have to be the beef or potato-filled, deep-fried crumbed crêpes at this cool East Sydney eatery!
Tomato & Chilli Cauliflower Don’t Tell Aunty
Who knew cauliflower could taste this good? Jessi Singh’s ‘Colonel Tso’s Cauliflower’ could convert even the most ardent brassica-hater! Florets are deep-fried in a thin batter, tossed in a punchy garlic-ginger-chilli-tomato sauce and sprinkled with sesame and nigella seeds and chives. Try and stop eating it!
Smoked Duck Breast Monopole
This simple looking duck breast wowed me with its complex flavour. That’d be because Chris Benedet (now at Yellow) had glazed and hot-smoked it over cherry wood before pan-frying, seasoning with orange peel, Szechuan pepper, aniseed and fennel pollen, and serving it with a pickled quandong sauce.