18 March 2015
Food writer and television presenter Lyndey Milan shares her Sydney food secrets.
My sweet indulgence: Sweet mallows from Sweetness the Patisserie in Epping. Fresh, luscious and zingy marshmallows in flavours such as lime, passionfruit and mango. They are quite simply, the best – light but very moreish.
My favourite picnic spot: Berry Island, an unspoilt area of bush and grassland by the harbour on Sydney’s lower north shore. Grab some simple but lovely ingredients – Brilliant Foods’ smoked fish products, Brasserie bread, Pepe Saya butter, avocado, and a bottle of Hunter Valley semillon.
Favourite deli/providore: Harris Farm Markets has stores all over NSW. Not only does Harris Farm have well-priced fruit, veg and dry goods, but there’s meat, cheese and seafood too. Best of all, it stocks a range of Sydney Royal Medal-winning produce, one of the highest accolades in the domestic food industry and a guarantee of quality and excellence.
My local treasure: Macleay St Bistro has been something of an institution in Sydney, with its ownership changing over the years. With a new young chef in the kitchen, it is back on form and where I like to go when I don’t want to think. I know I will get good food and good service and be able to hear my partner. Bliss.
Sydney’s best snack: Try the outstanding Ramen Ikkyu by chef Haru Inukai in Sussex Food Court. There are so many great snacks in Sydney – try any of the six Bourke Street Bakeries. My choice there is always savoury, perhaps the famous pork and fennel sausage roll or golden bacon, gruyere and leek quiche.
Quiet night in: I would cook rather than order a takeaway. Perhaps some grass-fed beef on the barbecue with salad, spiced stir-fried prawns with Asian greens, a perfect free-range roast chicken with mustard butter under the breast skin or a classic mushroom risotto. And a good bottle of NSW red.
Best for a big night out: Est, Quay, Tetsuya’s, Marque, Rockpool, Sepia. We are spoilt for choice for restaurants with a winning combination of amazing food, a lovely wine list and extraordinary service. Quay has the edge, with the benefit of a stunning view of Sydney Harbour, but I would be overjoyed to go to any of these restaurants.
Coolest dining room: The Roosevelt Bar & Diner in Potts Point is plain, unadulterated fun but oh-so-stylish. It also has the best cocktails with the best names, such as Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley, or Roosevelt Refashioned, with fantastic finger food to match.
Local inspiration: Tim Browne is executive chef at Sydney Showground and has the unique ability to feed the many at events such as the Sydney Royal Easter Show, or mass dinners for huge corporate events, right up to fine dining for events such as the President’s Medal which rewards excellence in NSW agriculture. He has a handle on great local agricultural produce and is able to showcase award-winning product in a way few others can. An unsung hero.
Dining with a view: Regatta on the pier at Rose Bay has the relaxed feeling of a beachside holiday but with sophisticated service and food. There is fresh decor and an innovative menu from Chilean-born head chef Claudio Morales.
My favourite food market: Northside Produce Market held on the third Saturday of the month in North Sydney is low-key, relaxed, has easy parking and great producers. There’s a lovely atmosphere with music, coffee and food that’s ready to eat, or buy some of the seasonal local produce to cook yourself.
Why I love Sydney dining: Food in Sydney is vibrant, fresh and accessible. I never tire of eating out in all sorts of venues. There is richness in diversity, from simple great fish and chips on the beach to an incredible ethnic mix and world-class high-end food. There is something for everyone and every mood.
Discover more of Sydney’s dynamic dining scene, from buzzing bars and hot new dining precincts, to comfort food and multicultural flavours.