As a city worker, city dweller or just a city lover, you’re traversing George and Pitt Streets quite a bit, right? Little did you know there’s a whole realm of edible goodness from some of Sydney’s favourite restaurants hidden in the dining/retail precinct that is World Square. For the love of food, don’t walk past the centre again without knocking these dishes off your foodie bucket list.
Best dumpling: Xiao Long Bao
The Taiwanese dumpling franchise has taken Sydney by storm and you can continue your Din Tai Fung love affair at World Square. The restaurant is complete with the chain’s now-iconic window into the kitchen where you can watch hair-netted craftspeople put the succulent pork and (jelly) broth mixture inside perfectly formed parcels of love.
Best burger: The Aussie
There’s something very Australian about beetroot on a burger. We’re surprised burger enthusiasts the world over haven’t picked it up and run with it. Neil Perry’s fast food prepared with slow food principles brings you one of the city’s best burgers: The Aussie. What’s involved? Grass fed beef cooked to a tender, juicy medium, cheese, onion, pickles, tomato, lettuce, secret sauce spiked with chilli and, of course, beetroot.
Best ramen: Light Zundo Original
There’s nothing better than a steaming hot bowl of ramen when the weather’s chilly and there’s more than one reason the Light Zundo Original flies out of the kitchen at Ramen Zundo. First, picture a steaming broth of perfectly balanced clear chicken stock combined with 12-hour boiled pork soup filled with silky noodles and pieces of melt-in-the mouth pork belly. At this point, it doesn’t even matter that the servings are huge and the prices are rock-bottom. We’re already on our way.
Best late-night booze food: Double-fried chicken
Arisun Express is open until 3am and its trademark dish is Korean chicken, double-fried and served with wasabi mayo. Frozen beer (like an alcoholic slurpie) is the perfect accompaniment to your finger lickin’ meal.
Best sweet treat: Liquid nitrogen ice cream
Our inner geeks are quietly satisfied that liquid nitrogen has gone mainstream but we’d love this ice cream even if it wasn’t a chemical marvel. Who could say no to creamy sweet treats served in coconut husks and stuck with dark chocolate-filled syringes? Best for innovative dessert flavours served with a whole lot of theatre.
Best happy-hour cocktail: Singapore Sling
The happiest hours at Laughing Buddha Bar are long and generous; between 5.00pm and 8.00pm, and coincide nicely with the best time to wash the workday away with a stiff drink. The Singapore Sling is one of the bar’s most popular drinks for a reason; it’s a classic mix of Sloe gin, Chambord, pineapple juice and raspberry cordial with a cherry on top, plus a whole lot of happy.
Best customisable comfort food: American Dream Wrap
Just when you thought you couldn’t make schnitzels any better, at Schnitz, they’re pan fried to order and you can choose to have yours wedged into a burger or wrap or just accompanied by a gourmet salad and spicy chips. Our go-to wrap involves schnitzel, cheddar, baby cos, tomato, grilled onions and pickles drizzled in tomato sauce and honey mustard mayo.
Best dish for pecking: Antipasto board
We all have that friend who isn’t hungry when you order but steals the crispiestx calamari from your plate. Avert the problem with Gazzi bar’s antipasto board, piled with mozzarella balls, smooth bresaola and truffle butter popcorn among other Mediterranean delights.
Best Chinese tacos: Lotus buns
Yes, you must order the steamed spicy crab dumplings at Taste of Shanghai but when you’re dumpling-ed out, order a serve of white pillowy lotus buns and stuff them with crispy duck.
Best daily calcium hit: Dulce de leche shake
In the olden days, the only way to enjoy a burger was to wash it down with a milkshake. Perry’s Dulce de leche offers a little bit of sweetness to a fresh, milky, childhood memory-inducing drink/dessert.