Jackie from Partnerships - Staff Favourites Sydney

The best part of my job by far is that I am constantly being fed at some of the best places in Sydney. Whether it’s a pre or post-meeting feed, restaurateurs are always kind enough to offer a taste of what brings crowds buzzing to their restos.

Naturally, aside from mastering eating on the go, I often end up coming back to the same places to satisfy my cravings. (When you're constantly eating for a living, you tend to pick up a few faves here and there.)

Here are some of my top picks that you should wholeheartedly check out with no less than an empty stomach or two:


MR. BAO

3/56-58 York Street, Sydney

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A staple at the Night Noodle Markets, and one of my favourite hangouts for a quick and tasty pick-me-up in the CBD, Mr. Bao and their staff always go above and beyond my expectations with their vibe, service, and of course, food.

Adding a Vietnamese and Japanese twist to otherwise iconic Taiwanese street food, Mr. Bao satisfies on so many levels whatever you’re craving.

You should try…
Their gua baos (traditional Taiwanese steamed buns served either savoury or sweet) are delicious. I always end up coming back for their Crackling Pork Belly Bao with a touch of their signature hoisin sauce, lightly pickled cucumber, and coriander. The pork belly has a great crunch, combined with the softness of the actual bao. Continue your taste journey with a couple more different baos, and end on a sweet, sweet note with the Dulce de Leche (caramel) mini crispy bao with matcha (green tea) ice cream.

Baos are best enjoyed with a traditional Vietnamese iced coffee or with any of the beers they have on tap.


GREAT AUNTY THREE

94 Wentworth Avenue, Surry Hills & 115 Enmore Rd, Enmore

With two spots (Surry Hills and Enmore) to choose from for a Vietnamese food fix, Great Aunty Three has both an awesome menu, and an equally-awesome story. Simple, unassuming, with actual recipes inspired from the owner’s grandmum -- the food speaks for itself. Staff are always kind, friendly, and you can count on the taste of the food to be locally-sourced and tasty with a modern twist.

You should try…
The pho, of course. The broth is an hours-long production that’s absolutely worth the try. Fresh, with great depth of flavour, and not as oily or salty compared to other phos -- it’s the perfect choice as the weather cools down and we bid summer an official goodbye. Their rolls are also amazing to take on-the-go.


BARE GRILL ON BOURKE

15/425 Bourke St

Slow motion version of our Raclette cheese. Oh yeah! Great video @judisons2

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A fresh and exciting addition to the Liven family, Bare Grill on Bourke isn’t shy about the quality of its burgs, neither about the (shamelessly mouthwatering) raclette cheese they like to slather on each burger prior to serving (you can go sans raclette, of course, but why would you?). Truly ‘gramworthy, this Surry Hills neighbourhood joint is just the place to go for a yum feed and a cold beer while you’re at.

You should try…
Anything. I had The Bare burger which was a great introduction to their menu, but their signature waffle fries was a real treat. It’s hard to go wrong with perfectly done burgers and the accompaniments to boot. The staff and vibe of the place will have you all sorted as well, so best to get your burger fix on ASAP and make Bare your next date or pre-game spot.


THANON KHAOSAN

413 Pitt St, Haymarket

You might recognise Thanon Khaosan from the traditional food cart that sits humbly outside their restaurant front. A CBD favourite with a wide array of things to choose from their menu, they’re especially known for their Thai street food and desserts.

You should try…
The majority of what I’ve tried has always been more on the sweet side, though I’ve heard rather rave reviews from friends about their other dishes as well. From rich coconut flavours with sticky rice and mango toppings, to yummy blackened crepes filled with ice cream topped with Thai flavours -- there’s a little something from everyone whether you stick to the sweet or savoury route at Khaosan.


N2 EXTREME GELATO

43/1 Dixon Street, Sydney

If we’re discussing iconic Sydney food joints, N2 Extreme Gelato certainly makes the list and is a clear choice of mine. Always a fun experience to be shared with friends and family alike, watching the chefs pour liquid nitrogen to make fresh gelato is always a cool watch. Swing round Dixon Street -- they’re hard to miss as queues of people come by for the liquid nitrogen spectacle but stay for the gelato, whether its summer or winter.

You should try…
N2 has a fortnightly rotating menu where Owner and Top Banana, Min Chai experiments with pea gelato and coconut and lychee sorbet, amongst other cheeky flavours on occasion. The Ferrero Reveal and Red Velvet are staples on their menu and come highly recommended. Aside from being drool-worthy and tasty, the gelato is extremely Instagram-worthy as well. So get on it and don't forget to make your friends jelly.


BANGBANG ESPRESSO

113 Reservoir Street, Surry Hills

Having just relocated to Surry, Bangbang Espresso is my local. Lee and his team know good coffee, good food, and good service. A very mellow, low-key cafe that’s as cute as it is cool -- it’s a great place to stop by and have a lazy chat in the sun.

You should try…
Their banana pancakes are rather to die for. With meringue crumbles, a generous serving of fruit, and a drizzle of maple syrup over a fluffy stack of cakes -- even Jack Johnson would be pleased. I've also heard many a great things about the rest of the menu (which includes awesome burgers).

Of course, I adore the coffee, so don’t miss out on a cuppa while you’re there.


BITTER AND TWISTED

9 Towns Place, Millers Point

Sydney breakfast at Bitter and Twisted

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The coffee is great, and the atmosphere even more so. Nestled in a very unassuming spot tucked away in Millers Point and not far off from the water, Bitter and Twisted is a local favourite. Owner Vic is a known face in the area for almost a decade now. He personally serves coffee to his regulars. If you pass by, do say hi to Vic and the crew. But don’t forget to try their food first!

You should try…
Aside from the coffee and regular brunch and lunch menu, I can enthusiastically recommend their desserts. I remember biting into their pistachio bar once and loved it. It was just the right amount of sweetness, flavour and crunch that keeps you coming back for more. Their bars, cakes, and more, are great to share with a friend -- so bring buddies of yours that can appreciate a good chat over good coffee somewhere cozy.


Happy adventurin', fellow foodies - Jackie.

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