Mappen, Sydney CBD, New South Wales
Sydney has an abundance of options for a cheap and hearty meal. Here’s a list of 9 places where you can taste the most authentic Asian dishes with the best value.
By Thomas Su
Sydney is a multicultural city with amazing diversity. And thanks to the large Asian population here, we're spoilt for choice, ranging from innovative fusion dishes to the most common bowls of noodles that you expect to find on a street of Malaysia. In this guide, you’ll find some of the most authentic Asian dishes at surprisingly low prices.
Just a 5-minute walk from Town Hall station, Mappen serves up one of the largest selections of Japanese rice bowls and noodles in Sydney. You can customise your broth and noodles any way you want – soba or udon, hot or cold, soup or dry... There are also dozens of add-ins such as tempura, soft-boiled eggs, corn, bamboo shoots, etc. Starting from just $3.90 for a bowl of udon, you can add in a bunch of options and still get a meal for under $8.
Petaling Street offers a variety of tasty authentic Malaysian Hawker dishes. I highly recommend the Hainanese chicken rice which is succulent steamed chicken served with rice cooked in chicken stock and a bowl of soup. The included chilli garlic paste will pack a punch to your taste buds. Petaling Street has several locations spread around Sydney so when you’re in town, just look it up on Google for the nearest one.
Albee’s kitchen is where Malaysian international students living nearby go for authentic Malaysian food. The char kway teow is a highlight. It’s a popular stir-fried noodles dish that manages to be extremely rich and fragrant without tasting greasy. Other than that, the menu also offers other Malaysian favourites like fish head curry and rendang beef.
Mie Kocok Bandung
After spending some time at the beach, instead of a burger, you can try something different and enjoy some Indonesian noodles at Mie Kocok Bandung, just down the road from Maroubra Beach. Order the Mie Panorama, which is egg noodles topped with fried and steamed wonton, chicken and BBQ pork. Make sure to drizzle somehouse-made chilli sauce and let the flavour hit you at full force. Don’t forget to pick up some of their crunchy fried snacks before you go.
New Shanghai Night
New Shanghai Night serves up a menu of countless options, from noodles and dumplings to more obscure Shanghainese dishes like jellyfish salad and stir-fried eel. Shanghai’s specialty Xiao-long-bao is a must have. Wrapped in a delicate skin, each little bite is a burst of flavourful soup and pork mince in your mouth. With prices ranging from $4 to $20, I highly recommend you to try as many dishes to fully explore the cuisine.
Xi Bay Handmade Noodle Restaurant
If you want something simple and light, Xi Bay Handmade Noodle is for you. Freshly made in house, the noodles are firm and chewy, while the soup is clear and almost free of fat and oil. Other items include skewer meats and dumplings, steamed and fried. Service is fast, food is very affordable so make sure to try as many dishes as you can.
Marrickville Pork Roll
If you want bread rolls, look no further than a humble shop front in Marrickville. The pork roll here is among the best in town. It is the in-house soy sauce and paté that makes this so special. You do have other choices of fillings such as chicken and meatballs but make sure to try the pork roll first. Avoid lunch hours as the queue here can end up stretching along the road and around the corner.
Pho Tau Bay
To a lot of people, Pho Tau Bay serves the best pho in Sydney. You will see both Cabramatta locals and visitors crowding up this place every weekend. The broth is clear, aromatic and packed with flavours. And when you’re done with the noodles, order some fried dough sticks to dip in the broth and indulge it till there’s nothing left.
Tan Viet Noodle House
Tan Viet Noodle House is also located in Cabramatta. In fact, it’s just a few steps away from Pho Tau Bay. The crispy skin chicken is the ultimate dish here. The skin is really crispy while the meat is tender and juicy. You can pair the chicken with different types of noodles or tomato rice. Personally, I recommend the rice since it’s more filling and goes really well with the dipping sauce. There are other dishes such as beef stew served with a baguette but the chicken is a must try.
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