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Sydney Eats

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With over 1500 restaurant, cafe and bar reviews in the Sydney metropolitan area, Does My Bomb Look Big In This? is Sydney's most comprehensive food blog. All that knowledge is now at your fingertips, right here on Pepo.

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Find me on my food blog with over 2000 Sydney reviews (the biggest blog in Sydney): https://missdissent.livejournal.com/
Crepes Suzette ($14) makes me wonder why it was that this classic dessert ever fell out of favour? With folded, caramelised crepes, a juicy orange caramel and a sphere of vanilla ice cream flecked with Madagascan vanilla, it’s an easy, well-executed win at @songkitchensydney. Find out about this feel-good feed on my blog: https://missdissent.livejournal.com/739766.html
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Lebanese Street Food ($19), a plate of red capiscum spiked hommous topped with nicely charred chicken hunks, olives, chopped tomato and a crown of watercress at Byblos Restaurant & Bar in Gosford.

https://missdissent.livejournal.com/735446.html
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The Handmade Burrata Bomb ($18.95) at @deardelicious is a lovely salad built around a glorious knot of oozing white cheese. Sitting around this jewel is a crown of confit salmon, beets, pickled baby fennel, orange segments and snapping fresh herbs and greens. Read my full review on the blog today: https://missdissent.livejournal.com/735060.html
This is Shankleesh ($16) – a Lebanese cheese salad where olives and lightly pickled fennel help to balance out the chalkiness of the cheese. Juicy orange segments, baby herbs, red capsicum and hunks of almond add more complementary flavours and textural interest, making this @saltvine_tapas_bar salad the best version of this dish I’ve tried. Full review on the blog today: https://missdissent.livejournal.com/734485.html
Rustic Hearty Gourmet Sausages ($17.50) at The Edible Garden Cafe Restaurant in Wollongbar. Find out more on my blog today: https://missdissent.livejournal.com/734450.html
Eating your housing deposit is given an exotic edge at @thewoodspantry in Villawood with Even your standard Smashed Avocado ($16) has been given a more exotic edge with the addition of tabouli, dukkah, sumac and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses. Full review on my blog today: https://missdissent.livejournal.com/734154.html
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This iced coffee is at @thebellegeneral in East Ballina. Read the full review on my blog today: https://missdissent.livejournal.com/733817.html
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Ate these accessible cod croquettes that were heavier on potato than bacalao salado (intensely flavoured, salted, dried fish) at @dantesgrillandtapasbar. New to Cremorne, you can read about this Spanish-inspire grill & tapas bar on my blog today: https://missdissent.livejournal.com/733595.html
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The house made potato rosti were the star of this breakfast at @the_bank_cafe_lismore. It’s worth a visit if you find yourself in Lismore. Get the full details on my blog today: https://missdissent.livejournal.com/733439.html
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Butterflied & Spiced Chook ($10/quarter) at @whirlybird_au. While it would be easy to dismiss Whirly Bird as just another hipster chicken joint, it's actually a good spot to eat a well-priced and surprisingly honest chicken dinner. Read why on the blog today: https://missdissent.livejournal.com/733045.html
This Diavola ($22) pizza came from The Botany Bay Hotel where I dined last night. I’m delighted that actual Italian pizza is becoming a Sydney standard, rather than the gourmet rubbish we’ve had to endure for years. The full review is already up on my blog today: https://missdissent.livejournal.com/732756.html
Pub grub in Banksmeadow #reviewforthcoming
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This is Prosciutto and Fetta Scrambled Eggs ($19.90) at Raw Sugar Cafe. Get the full lowdown on my blog today: https://missdissent.livejournal.com/732587.html
Enjoying seeing a different tapas take on haloumi at Dante’s Grill & Tapas Bar. Open for just a month in Cremorne. #reviewforthcoming
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At Ho Jiak Chef Junda Khoo has swapped out the lean pig in his Lok Bak ($15) for pork jowl. The resulting richly porky, crisp bean curd packages swirled through a duo of sauces make for a meal highlight. You can read my full review here: https://missdissent.livejournal.com/732377.html
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Read all about my degustation menu at Town Restaurant & Cafe in Bangalow on the blog today. This is the opening green gazpacho with olive & olive oil crackers.
https://missdissent.livejournal.com/731659.html
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It’s a nice day for an iced tea! Today I wrote up my visit to Gong Cha in Haymarket. Check it out on my blog here: https://missdissent.livejournal.com/731568.html
Ajiaco ($18) is a beautiful, comforting chicken soup – think of it as Colombian penicillin – that’s also eaten in Peru and Cuba. I ate it at La Herradura Coffee Stable. This one is worth reading: https://missdissent.livejournal.com/
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The catch of the day at Beach Byron Bay was snapper, which scrubbed up beautifully in their Raw Fish ($23) presentation, which sees it teamed with fresh horseradish, crème fraiche and mache. Get the full review on my blog today: https://missdissent.livejournal.com/730659.html
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While I can’t say I loved Beach Byron Bay I was enamoured with their Spanish Negroni ($19) teaming my current favourite gin – Gin Mare – with Campari and Lustau ‘Vermut’ Tinto (a sherry-based Spanish vermouth). Get the full review on my blog today: https://missdissent.livejournal.com/730659.html
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Chef Junda is making my dining companion very happy with his wagyu rendang! Very excited by my meal at Ho Jiak - can’t wait to tell you about this Malaysian feast! #reviewforthcoming
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The Pork, Fennel and Pistachio Terrine ($14/2 pieces) at The Silly Tart Kitchen might not result in a photo that guarantees you Insta-fame, but it certainly slays on flavour. They reopen for supper tomorrow. Check the details on my blog today: https://missdissent.livejournal.com/730590.html
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First review back for 2018 and it is a beauty! I’m going to tell you all about La Herradura Coffee Stable and this amazing soup in coming days... #reviewforthcoming
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This Bacon and Egg Special ($12) at Flock Espresso & Eats In Lismore was one of the best tasting cafe breakfasts I’ve encountered. Check out the full review on my blog today: https://missdissent.livejournal.com/730359.html
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TRAVEL: I'm currently loading up on fish in Rarotonga. This sashimi, sushi & ika mata plate is at On The Beach.
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MY TOP 9 FOR 2017
9. Best Restaurant:
Testament to the calibre of regional restaurants, my favourite meal at a restaurant this year was at Fleet. Situated in the tiny coastal town of Brunswick Heads, up near the Queensland border. This is restaurant is really worth the 772 kilometre road trip - the dishes are innovative with a wonderful sense of place, the wines are carefully chosen, and service is so warm, you feel like you're dining in the kitchen of friends.
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MY TOP 9 FOR 2017
8. Best Sweet Treat:
Not having much of a sweet tooth, I was quite restrained in this category. Okay, there was some excellent wasabi gelato at Petersham newcomer Gelato Republic; killer cupcakes by baker to the stars Orlando Sanpo at Vanoir in Paddington; beautiful rain cakes at the Taiwanese Night Market in Eastwood; and iced doughnuts at Grumpy Donuts in Camperdown. When it comes down to it though, the sweet treat I can’t live without was Frugii Dessert Laboratory's blue cheese ice cream. The only catch is: you have to drive to Braddon in the ACT to eat it.
MY TOP 9 FOR 2017
7. Best Meal Over $100:
With the term fine diner rapidly becoming outdated, this category ignores the hallmarks of white tablecloths and silver service, and just focuses on restaurants where you can expect to spend more than a hundred dollars on food and booze for each person. While I did my share of Sydney’s current it-spots like Paper Bird and Fujisaki, I had better meals at XO in Narrabundah, Umi Sushi in Haymarket, The Whale Restaurant in Narooma, and at Mode Restaurant & Bar in the Four Seasons Hotel. Most of the time I didn't eat degustations, which I have been finding a bit onerous this year, though I rate the one at HaNa Ju-Rin. While atmosphere in this restaurant is pretty much nil, and the booze list isn’t particularly exciting, I can't get the beautiful nigiri sushi in their omakase menu out of my head, so I’m giving it my best dinner over $100.
MY TOP 9 FOR 2017
6. Best Meal Under $100:
Mid-range restaurants are so diverse it’s quite difficult to choose between them. I enjoyed the regional Italian cuisine (Ligurian) at ReccoLab in Balmain. The $48 tasting menu at Nilgiri’s in Cremorne was also a winner, offering up plentiful, well-made and interesting Indian dishes. I probably would have given this category to S’Age Bistronomy in Crows Nest, but it closed down shortly after I dined. Luckily the same chef - Tomoyuki Usui – has opened up his own spot, Restaurant Plage in Cremorne, which is my winner. They're dishing up innovative modern Japanese in a 3-course fixed price menu for $55.
MY TOP 9 FOR 2017
5. Best Value Meal:
This year saw me get my first well-priced halal snack pack at King Kebab House in Campbelltown; and eat my best ever dosa at Masala Darbar in Surry Hills for under $15. I fell in love with the homely plates at Silly Tart Kitchen in Kings Cross whose supper tapas menu dishes start at just $5 (I'll tell you more about them in 2018). However if you want to experience real value, you need to check out Bellbird at Casula Powerhouse. They’re utilising a great list of local suppliers, foraged ingredients and picked daily vegetables from their own kitchen garden to put out high quality dishes that cost fewer than twenty bucks.
MY TOP 9 FOR 2017
4. Best Ethnic Cuisine:
This year I was chuffed to get into Serbian food at Madera Kafe Restoran in Warwick Farm, and I returned multiple times for more Afghan food at Bakhtar in Liverpool. The cuisine I drove to Blacktown multiple times to eat at both Abyssinia and at Blue Nile (which has sadly since closed down), was Ethiopian. My most exciting Ethiopian experience came at the hands of Tinsae Yigletu who hosts dinners in her own home under the banner, Dinner with Tinsae. Vegetarians will love the variety in Ethiopian cuisine, and meat eaters aren't likely to be disappointed either. If there's one particular thing you should try, it's their pliable pancake-like sour bread, injera.
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MY TOP 9 FOR 2017
3. Best Burger:
This year you could barely open Instagram without seeing oozing American cheese. While it wasn’t a particular focus, I still smashed out a lot of burgers. I ate everything from globally focused cheffy numbers at Concept Burger in Wolli Creek to plant-based burgers at Soul Burger in Parramatta, and even revisited the Bourke Street outpost of last year’s burger winner, Bare Grill. The burger that is nestled most warmly in my stomach’s memory was at Miss America’s Diner in Riverwood. It’s not too fancy, just a great tasting burger in a retro setting rich with Americana staffed by cute-as-a-button waitresses who love what they do.
MY TOP 9 FOR 2017:
2. Best Brunch
Beyond the widening of regular café fodder, lots of venues began to follow the lead of standouts like Saint Peter (my favourite restaurant last year), who cleverly widened the idea of what we eat for brunch. This year brunch included everything from fish cakes and eggs at Shelter in Lennox Head, to poached chicken in broth at La Provence in Lane Cove. However it was Allegra Dining in Alexandria who made brunch dreams come true with breakfast cocktails, spanner crab and smoked mozzarella jaffles and bloody good pasta.
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MY TOP 9 for 2017:
1. Best Cafe: The biggest trend I identified in 2017 has been the social media led democratisation of cafes, across both Sydney and the state. While restaurant dishes are a bit harder to copy, most Sydney suburbs and regional centres have at least one café that is broadly on-trend. You’ll find them churning out turmeric lattes, brewing their own kombucha and making brunch dishes that involve more than simple bacon and eggs. I had notable on-trend breakfasts everywhere from The Weston Eatery in Canley Vale to Meet Mica in Surry Hills. The café I still think about the most - Milk Haus in Milton - did serve me a turmeric latte, but it was their date, Cheddar and toasted walnut scrambled eggs that changed my breakfasts at home completely.
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This year I reviewed 210 places. Here are my top 9:
https://missdissent.livejournal.com/729973.html
This is La Reina’s Reina Pepiada ($13.50). This “curvy queen” arepa was made in honour of Venezuelan beauty, Susana Dujim, who won the Miss World competition in 1955. Check out this new Venezuelan spot on my blog today. It’s my last review for 2017: https://missdissent.livejournal.com/729714.html
Feel like some juice? Bondi ($5.50) is a well-balanced, compelling blend of orange, carrot and ginger at Sixty Degrees. It’s new on my blog today: https://missdissent.livejournal.com/729417.html
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At Fleet Restaurant, Chef Josh Lewis turns crab shells into crustacean oil, which help to make his Snapper ($26) with broad beans and purple society garlic flowers, into a ridiculously tasty piece of fish. This one is worth reading on my blog today: https://missdissent.livejournal.com/729243.html
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