PAN ASIAN

Open Korea Restaurant

Driving home along Parramatta Road after post-work drinks, it’s hard to avoid the lure of bad food – but just up from the awful arches, vivid blue and red neon illuminates a healthier domain.

Concrete Blonde

The hipness of the flaming, nightclub-style fit-out belies the seriousness of the cooking - so don’t be put off by overhead aphorisms, the food is definitely less glib. Cocktails will ease your passage into pretentious - the Strawberry Blonde ($18) is fizzy, fun and feminine; while the Warsaw Club ($18) throws off a girly facade with masculine Védrenne fig liqueur stiffened by egg-white foam.

Lotus Asian Restaurant

If the idea of pan Asian fills you with fear, you’re not alone. I dined here with a little trepidation, but I can now happily assure you that the South East Asian dishes of Chef Danh Cao (ex-Blue Ginger) are, for the most part, bang on the money.

Dining Dilemmas

I don’t know about you, but I fancy myself as a bit of an ethical shopper. I buy ethical produce; I care about provenance; I shop at Farmers’ Markets; and I even remember my canvas bags every now and then. Why is it then, that the humble co-op is such a sticking point for me?

China Doll

Curiosity drew me to this undeniably popular Finger Wharf entry, but I wasn’t sure quite what to expect!

Foodies’ Diary: Sydney Chef Shuffle

Star City is poised to get David Chang, owner/chef of the Momofuku group (and one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2010), opening his first restaurant outside of the United States.

Foodies’ Diary: Four Foodie Pilgrimages

The roti canai at Mamak number amongst my favourite dining experiences, so it’s with particular pleasure that I tell you they’re now available in a second location!

Bamboo Dumpling Bar (Balmain)

If you’ve travelled to the Guangzhou Province you’re probably not going to like this well-decorated space with puffer fish stuffed birdcages and Chairman Mao propaganda art.

Ruby L’otel

Just what a twenty-first century Australian inner city pub should look like – it’s not embarrassing, it’s not tiled, and it’s not men’s world. In fact the last time I saw this many women in a pub I was judging a lesbian tattoo show!

Old Fitzroy

If you’re looking for a low-stress, affordable first date option, I recommend this quirky space. For the bargain price of $25 you get something good to eat, a drink to settle the nerves and a show to entertain you if your date isn’t quite up to par.