I’m a big fan of Time Out. I would never visit a city without first consulting the local Time Out guide.
Time Out Sydney’s Food Awards 09 winners were announced this week, so let’s see who made the cut:
People’s Choice
Winner: Glebe Point Diner, Glebe
Runners-up: Bodega, Surry Hills; Quay, The Rocks; Marque, Surry Hills; Longrain, Surry Hills
I’m a bit ashamed that I haven’t yet dined at Glebe Point Diner. There are all round positive reviews from other food bloggers, namely, The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry, Double Cooked, Lemonade Land and Steph’s Food Journey and along with mountain loads of press and editorial reviews, Glebe Point Diner is an obvious people’s choice.
Best New Restaurant
Winner: Rockpool Bar and Grill, Sydney
Runners-up: Sepia, Sydney; Spice Temple, Sydney; Etch, Sydney; The Beresford, Darlinghurst
Rockpool Bar & Grill in Melbourne is an absolute favourite. While I haven’t been to its Sydney sister, can anyone tell me if it’s any different?
Etch is simply full of pretty spaces and their macaroni is to-die-for. The revamped Beresford trattoria is also a clear winner (runner-up in this case) with the locals.
Best Cafe
Winner: Cafe Sopra, Waterloo
Runners-up: Deus ex Machina, Camperdown; Wall, Surry Hills; Ruby’s Diner, Waverley; Kazbah, Balmain
Anyone who has been to Kazbah’s breakfast banquet will be an advocate. Hmmm, why isn’t Dank Street Depot a runner-up?
Best Desserts
Winner: Universal, Darlinghurst
Runners-up: Pier, Rosebay; Quay, The Rocks; Longrain, Surry Hills; Rockpool, The Rocks
I haven’t been to Universal, nor Pier or Longrain. But if Quay is any benchmark for the winner, I have to get myself to Universal. I adore Quay’s eight texture chocolate cake and their pear creme caramel, sauterne jelly, pear icecream and caramel cream!
Best Steak
Winner: Fix St James, Sydney
Runners-up: Bistro Moncur, Woolahra; Rockpool Bar & Grill, Sydney; Tabou, Surry Hills; Mad Cow, Sydney
Wow, I haven’t been to any of these places. What about Prime? Chophouse?
Best Fixed Price Menu
Winner: Bentley Restaurant and Bar, Surry Hills
Runners-up: Assiette, Surry Hills, Atelier, Glebe; Vini, Surry Hills; Marque, Surry Hills
Best Seafood
Winner: Sepia, Sydney
Runners-up: Tetsuya’s, Sydney; Manta, Woolloomooloo; Fish Face, Darlinghurst; Pier, Rose Bay
Am I the only one who hearts Flying Fish, Masuya and Ocean Room?
Best Burgers
Winner: Rockpool Bar & Grill, Sydney
Runners-Up: Plan B by Becasse, Sydney; Ruby’s Diner, Waverley; The Burger Joint, Darlinghurst; Paul’s Burgers, Sylvania
You will have no doubt seen my recent list of where to find the best burgers in Sydney. I still stand by it -although from reading the comments, I need to get myself to Rockpool Bar & Grill and Counter Burger!
Best Cheap Eat
Winner: Black Star Pastry, Newtown
Runners-up: Din Tai Fung, Haymarket; Guzman y Gomez, Newtown; Mamak, Haymarket; Gumshara Ramen, Haymarket
Seriously, how can anything beat Mamak? OK, maybe #chronic ramen is close, but a pastry shop? It must be bloody good, and I have yet to try. But the bigger issue here, is how 6 xiao long bao (soup dumplings) for $8.80 can be considered a cheap eat!
Best Sandwiches
Winner: Malibu, Surry Hills
Runners-up: Pilu Kiosk, ‘On the Beach’, Freshwater; Big Bite, Sydney; Hong Ha, Hurstville; Plan B by Becasse, Sydney
Best Patisseries
Winner: Adriano Zumbo, Balmain
Runners-up: Croissant D’Or, Potts Point; Yellow, Potts Point; Bourke Street Bakery, Surry Hills; Sweet Belem, Petersham
Ah, Zumbo. Post-Masterchef, Zumbo appears to be the real winner with endless queues and requests for his macarons, croquembouche and the chocolate mousse cake.
Best Noodles
Winner: Gumshara, Haymarket
Runners-up: Pho An, Bankstown; Twisted Noodle Bar, Sydney; Menya Noodle Bar, Sydney, Tan Viet, Cabramatta
I think ramen should be in its own category. But regardless, you’ll still find me every fortnight slurping up $7 noodles at Dong Ba in Bankstown.
Best Thai
Winner: Spice I Am, Surry Hills
Runners-up: Longrain, Surry Hills; Sailor’s Thai, The Rocks; Chat Thai, Sydney; Crocodile Senior, Sydney
Best Yum Cha
Winner: Fisherman’s Wharf, Pyrmont
Runners-up: Marigold, Sydney, Sunny Harbour Seafood Restaurant, Hurstville; Sky Phoenix, Sydney; Golden Unicorn, Maroubra
Best Tapas
Winner: Bodega, Surry Hills
Runners-up: Ash St Cellar, Sydney; Delicado, McMahons Point; Sean’s Kitchen, Pyrmont, Catalonia, Kirribilli
Bodega, can anything beat it? I think Spanish Terrazas, Velero and Cantina may be close contenders for runners-up.
Best Pizza
Winner: Lucio Pizzeria, Darlinghurst
Runners-up: Pompei’s, Bondi Beach; Rosso Pomodoro, Balmain; La Disfida, Haberfield; Pizza Mario, Surry Hills
Errr, Pizza e Birra anyone?
So what do you think? Are these the winners or losers?

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Jennifer is the founder of I Ate My Way Through. Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. These days, you'll most likely find Jen blogging about slow & intentional living On The Slow Lane and sharing what she knows now about mindful parenting and play-based learning at Mama's Got This.


  1. I like Time Out, too, as they can be relied on to have a wide range of views and reviews. It’s good they have so many categories, though I’m not sure what their ratings system is – Paul’s Burgers in Sylvania vs Rockpool?!?

  2. it’s an interesting list and many of the places listed are expensive. keep in mind it’s only Timeouts listing and includes places that they have only reviewed. there’s plenty of other places which could easily be on the list but haven’t been considered. I like your run down of your suggestions. i’m tempted to check out Dong Ba now. You’ll find Pizza e Birra is on timeouts top 10 pizza list but they are only listing 5 for this article. their cheap eats is interesting and very open to criticism. i for one can’t agree with Din Tai Fung, shanghai nights would blow that one out of the steamer for a start. and Hong Ha’s could possibly be put into this category. I think Sydney is so large and extensive for food choices that it’s pretty impossible to have a definite list anyway so I take these lists with a grain of salt.

  3. I think the choices are really good! Wondering about the comment on Din Tai Fung – how is that not a cheap eat? It’s really cheap!

  4. Dont even get started with this idiotic list! It is not Sydney that they are looking at it is the city and eastern suburbs. I once had respect for Time Out…but that ship has sailed!!

  5. Time Out is only useful if you bear in mind that it considers any place more than 5kms from the GPO to be The Outback, and I’m sure they’ve never summoned up the courage to venture accross The Bridge.


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