Posted by & filed under 2008, Best of Sydney.

Emma Tom is an award-winning writer and broadcaster. Her column appears in The Australian each Thursday. Her sixth book, Attack of the 50-Foot Hormones, is a survival guide to staying sane during pregnancy, and will be published by HarperCollins in 2009. In her spare time, Emma studies at the University of New South Wales (she’s about .00001 % of the way through a PhD) and gazes in a besotted fashion at her 18-month-old daughter.

Best Chinese: The Good Luck
Don’t be fooled by the arterial road-side location and dodgy exterior. This place serves the best northern Chinese food in Sydney: Divine Peking duck, chew-erific chive pancakes and an awesome celery and bean curdy thing with sesame. My absolute favourite, however, is the lamb-on-the-bone hot pot which comes out on a gas burner and is chock full of dried Chinese date and goji berry goodness. Ask for the mustard greens, the steamed bread, the tofu skin and the enoki mushrooms (the ones shaped liked giant-sperms-from-outer-space) for dipping.
182 Liverpool Rd, Enfield (02) 9747 4625

Best Therapist: Marie-Pierre Cleret
Here’s what I hate about most therapists: They’re patronising, their personal lives are a mess and they’re completely lost when confronted with problems that aren’t covered by their first-year psychology manuals. Here’s what I love about Marie-Pierre Cleret: She’s smart, she’s funny, she’s therapeutically eclectic and she really seems to have her shit together. She’s also able to maintain her compassion without ever letting you get away with anything. Highly recommend for anyone who believes that ‘ as with Sydney real estate ‘ the human psyche sometimes requires a new bathroom or even a full-scale remodel.
Newtown (02) 9557 5038 www.mariepierrecleret.com.au

Best Vet: Dr Anne Fawcett, Sydney Animal Hospitals – Inner West
If your pets are your babies, you need a vet who (a) offers them the animal equivalent of a jelly bean after they’ve been a big brave girl or boy in the surgery and (b) doesn’t look at you like you have psychological problems simply because you let them sleep, bathe and eat up at the table with you. Dr Anne Fawcett is a great, big softy who understands extreme pet love because she has her own, indulged menagerie at home. Plus she’s stunningly smart, dedicated and up-to-the-minute with vet-type knowledge. Oh, and she’s not one of those rude pet doctors who think only dogs and cats count. Her bed-side manner with moribund mice, bedridden rabbits, febrile ferrets and glandular guinea pigs is a sight to behold.
1A Northumberland Ave, Stanmore (02) 9516 1466 www.sydneyanimalhospitals.com.au