Support your Local Businesses during the pandemic, some of our top picks!

Sydney-siders have enjoyed a few months of nil covid infection which has made life a lot breezier for most. It’s also the start of the summer and holiday season, boarder restrictions have been lifted and travel around the country was back on the agenda. Unfortunately this has been cut short by the recent outbreak on the Northern Beaches. Boarder restrictions and covid protocols are back in restaurants, shops and when travelling on public transport. Wear a mask, sanitised hands and keep your distance, the 3 big reminders!

During the pandemic lockdown earlier this year, a lot of restaurants, pubs and cafes continued to open their doors to serve the general public. We salute these places for their effort amidst all the strict protocols. Here are some of restaurants and cafes that we’ve visited in Sydney that need a pat on their back for their commitment to serve the public during these difficult times while maintaining and complying with covid regulations as applicable at the time.

Finesse Eatery & Espresso Bar
28A Princess Highway, Sylvania NSW 2224
IG: @finessesylvania

Finesse Eatery & Espresso Bar

Located just after Tom’s Ugly’s Bridge in Sylvania if you are travelling towards the south of Sydney. It’s a quaint and homely cafe with lots of surprises inside. If you’re looking for show stopper Asian inspired dishes, this place is for you. We truly enjoyed our visit and we recommend their almost too cute to eat French Toast and Massaman Pulled Beef Sandwich for a burst of flavour on the tastebuds. Coffee and homemade pastries are on point. After your meal, take a stroll in the area, walk under the bridge or walk towards Foreshore Park and admire those enviable views the locals have.

Taruhachi Bento
Shop 5 / 83 Mount St, North Sydney NSW 2060
IG: @takeshi3323jp

Taruhachi Bento

Stepping inside this Japanese restaurant brings back memories living in Japan. A mixed combo of modern and traditional Japanese decor accented by subtle lightning that will transport your dining experience to one of many restaurants in Tokyo or Osaka. Ordering is made easy, just look at the photos on the wall along with their description, but if unsure, just ask one of the friendly staff. As the name of the restaurant implies ‘bento’ (a box with a range of dishes) is their speciality but they also serve up all the favourite Japanese fare. The restaurant is fully licensed so you can enjoy your meal with a Japanese sake, beer or wine.

Thai Pothong – Marrickville
322 Marrickville Rd Marrickville NSW 2204
IG: @thaipothong

Thai Photong – Marrickville

This is the sibling of Thai Pothong in Newtown dubbed as an institution in Sydney’s Inner West for one of the longest running Thai restaurants. The Marrickville branch is a lot smaller than the Newtown main branch but it’s well laid out. You can see the kitchen action as the chefs throw ingredients into a wok or pan, spicy aromas fill the air and the whoosh of flames as your food is being prepared. Food here is simply divine. We can’t get over with their herbal barramundi, deep fried whole fish topped with loads of fresh flavour. If you want a spicy hit, head to this place. Excellent set lunch value menu or settle in later for a wonderful supper. We have dined here many times now and the consistency and quality of their food makes this one of the best places to head to.

Mentmore and Morley
55 Mentmore Ave Rosebery 2018
IG: @mentmoreandmorley

Mentmore and Morley

Located on the corner of Mentmore and Morley in Rosebery, this modern cafe oozes industrial atmosphere, exposed ceilings, plenty of natural light along with indoor plants to create a truly urban ambiance. Aside from the indoor dining setting, it has outdoor seating for those who like fresh air and watch the world go by. Moreish, flavoursome and attention to detail are the best ways to describe their offerings. Check the daily specials on the big board above the kitchen. We loved their Dukkah Eggs topped with creamy labneh and balsamic vinegar alongside their fit for a king Manwich, a sourdough (Iggy’s) filled with tender sliced scotch fillet and bacon, what a combo! Coffee is on point too!

Buddhalicious Burger
Shop 3, 197 Military Rd Neutral Bay 2089
IG: @buddhaliciousburger

Buddhalicious Burger

If you’re looking for a Japanese inspired burger in Sydney, head to this place. As the name implies, it’s a burger joint although they also serve up small dishes as starters or mains. It’s a narrow floor plan but the chairs and tables are nicely arranged to give ample space but keeping it cosy. From where we were seated we could hear the patty sizzling away on the hot plate. We tried their hefty wagyu beef wasabi burger! It was an explosion of flavour, juicy wagyu patty complemented by wasabi aoili, crunchy jalapenos, onion, tomato and lettuce. The bun colour was not just decorative, it had wasabi punch all of its own! Other dishes that we ordered were, slow cooked chasu and katsu curry which we highly recommend too if a burger is not on your list. This place is fully licensed so an ice cold Japanese brew would go very well with these dishes.

Colombo Social
159 Enmore Road, Enmore NSW 2042
IG: @colombosocial

Colombo Social

Prepare to be transported in the heart of Sri Lanka with their authentic dishes! This restaurant managed to trade only a few weeks before the pandemic lockdown earlier this year and opened again when restaurants were given a green light to trade back. Nestled along Enmore Road, this place has more than meets the eye. When you step inside the dining area, you’ll be captivated by the stylish and modern fit out, it’s warm and inviting. I can’t stop staring at the pile of clay pots that dazzled up the ambiance of this place. When we dined, it was a set menu $60 per person, no a-la carte due to a sitting time turnover and covid protocols. The food was a melange of flavours and authentic spices, alluring and deep flavours in every bite. We throughly enjoyed their chicken curry, seeni sambol, Amma’ dhal, devilled prawns, beetroot bahjis just to name a few. Definitely a-must visit!

Lazza Restobar
246 Marrickville Rd Marrickville NSW 2204
IG: @lazza_marrickville

Lazza Restobar

Think about Crispy Pata (crispy deep fried knuckles), Kare-Kare (oxtail stew), Sizzling Pork Sisig (a spicy mix of charred and boiled pig’s parts), Pansit (rice noodles) to name just a few. Lazza is your ultimate destination for Filipino all time favourite dishes in the Inner West. Located in the heart of Marrickville, this modern and relaxing restaurant echoes Philippine vibes, just like dining in Manila or Makati without leaving Sydney. Food is flavoursome, cooked traditionally with generous servings. There’s a live band on selected nights that provides entertainment. Must order, their crispy pata! Wash it down with a Red Horse beer if you dare.

Bang Tang Potts Point
145 Victoria St. Potts Point NSW 2011
IG: @bangtangpottspoint

Bang Tang Potts Point

We finally got a chance to dine here at Bang Tang. Located on the ground level of Victoria Tower, this restaurant offers modern Asian dishes and has an indoor and outdoor dining. There’s nothing better than alfresco dining so make sure to book an outdoor table if you can. Surrounded by grand old terraces and the trees that line the street, scenes here are like a match made in heaven of tasty food and a views. Service is impeccable, no rush just sit back and relax. We thoroughly enjoyed their dishes, the Burmese Wagyu Beef Curry was wonderfully fragrant and very fresh, tender meat in a mix of savoury spices mmmm. Try a speciality Vietnamese coffee as you savour your surroundings.

This year was a big challenge for everyone and next year is going to be a challenge too but we will get through it with kindness, compassion and awareness. We’re all in this together. For updated Covid information and public health advice, please visit the NSW Government website. Stay safe and healthy!

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