The landscape of the restaurant industry in Sydney is changing dramatically. Over the past few months, we've seen stalwarts of the industry go bust, pop up dinners spring up, food trucks take over the streets. On a completely different note, I went to a birthday party that turned into a surprise wedding on the weekend (for the guests, thankfully, not for either the bride or groom), so this week's FBi Radio show format is dedicated to my dear friends Jason and Mel.
Something old - Harry's Cafe de Wheels
Food trucks might be a kind of new concept in Sin City, but if you think about it, Harry's Cafe de Wheels is Sydney's first food truck by a country mile. That's right, 74 years (Harry's started in 1938) before Sydney's food truck revolution, there was Harry.
Sure, they don't really move around, but all the hallmarks of street food are here: It's cheap, it's consistent and after half a dozen beers, it's bloody tasty. Go classic and order a pie floater with mashed peas and gravy sitting on top, or if haute dogs are more your thing, try yours with chilli con carne.
There are now seven locations including Haymarket, Parramatta, but the pick has to be Woolloomooloo: the original and the best.
Cowper Wharf, Woolloomooloo
Something new - Red Lantern on Riley
The power trio behind Red Lantern, made up of siblings Pauline and Luke Nguyen and Pauline's partner and head chef Mark Jensen have done it again. Not only do they run a successful Surry Hills establishment, write award winning books and shoot television shows in far flung locations, they've had time to open another stunning space, called Red Lantern on Riley. Taking aesthetic cues from French colonial Vietnam, the space features more of a cocktail vibe, with Red Lily Bar serving up vino and exotic bar snacks, or you can go the whole hog and dig in for an evening of serious tastiness.
60 Riley Street
East Sydney NSW 2000
Something borrowed - The Larder
A restaurant...within another restaurant? It might sound crazy, but it's actually quite simple. Otto, one of Sydney's favourite al fresco dining slash see and be seen venues is actually fitted out with two separate kitchens. For the next 12 weeks, The Larder borrows part of Otto to present well priced, winter fare with a view. Featuring a BYO wine state of mind, and delicious dishes ranging from $10 - $25, it really makes THIS view with THAT price point pretty compelling. The reason for the name is that dishes will change daily, depending on what's in...well, The Larder. Think dishes like hearty pork terrines and slow cooked lamb shoulder ragout with polenta.
-The Larder opens on 2 July and runs through to 27 September 2012-
Open Monday - Thursday evening from 6 - 10pm
Area 9, 6 Cowper Wharf Road
Something blue - love.fish
"Between the devil and the deep blue sea" isn't really where you want to be, but fortunately there are no such hardships at love.fish in Rozelle (deep blue sea..geddit?). There's been plenty of hoo ha about sustainable seafood of late and love.fish is the kind of place that walks the walk and talks the talk. A fish bar offering delicious seafood from sustainable and ethical sources, it's the kind of place you can feel good eating at. In every way they can, from packaging to recycling, love.fish are really making a committed effort towards doing right. Pick from a very reasonably priced menu of panko crumbed NZ calamari and polenta chips with tuna aioli, tomato jam and celery salt or tuck into the seriously delicious Cone Bay barramundi from WA. The wine list focuses on organic and bio dynamic offerings and there's also banofee pie too. Just sayin'.
Open nightly, from 5pm to late
Take away or dine in
580 Darling Street