Champagne on a beer budget never tasted so good with the launch of the Sydney Morning Herald 2012 Everyday Eats guide. With almost all of the 550 eateries fitting well within the $30 per person threshold including 130 brand newly listed venues, there is something for every mood, budget and area of Sydney, so keep a copy in your backpack, glovebox or handbag for ultimate bang for your buck no matter where you are.
Here are a couple of highlights worthy of awards this year:
BIGGEST BARGAIN: The Apprentice
Apprentices in any profession need a place to hone their craft before they head out into the big bad world. Turn this into an opportunity to get a great feed at an even greater price at The Apprentice. A training restaurant set into Ultimo's TAFE complex, you can enjoy three course lunches or a four course dinner for around $27 per person (dinner). Featuring modern cuisine, market fresh produce, a daily changing menu and earnest service, it might not be flawless, but for these prices, you'll forgive a few foibles in the interests of helping these guys learn their way around restaurant service.
Level 7, Building E, 695 Harris Street
FAVOURITE RAMEN: Ryo's
With Sydney's summer ending much the way it started (soggy, dull and a bit cold), it's perfect noodle-slurping weather. Ryo's has long been a lower north shore favourite, featuring rich, flavoursome broth, al dente ramen noodles, all served up with a rushed-but-friendly smile. Worth the trip if you're not passing through. And yes, the queue is worth it.
125 Falcon Street
FAVOURITE BURGER: Revolver
We've seen burger wars come and go, and with them a host of worth candidates toting everything from smoked cheddar to house made ketchup and bread and butter pickles. This year's winner goes to Revolver, tucked away in Annandale's backstreets. The beautiful old building has been revived to become something of a community hub, with locals and visitors vying for a table to tuck into one of these juicy babies. The breakdown: A single beef patty, pickled cucumber, beetroot, tomato and rocket topped with smoked mozzarella, served with lemon-roasted chat potatoes. And the best thing? It's just $14.95.
291 Annandale Street
The 2012 SMH Everyday Eats Guide is available from all good book stores and newsagents for $24.95. A worthwhile investment in economical eating this year. Thanks to Fairfax Media, FBi are giving away 5 copies to the first 5 callers during the segment. Good luck!