You know those meals that not only make your mouth water, but also conjur a memory of a place, time, person or feeling? Some old school dishes simply make you feel so full with happiness and nostalgia that your surroundings become a blur and all you're taken back to that first ever mouthful. Whether it be your Nan's roast dinners, your local Italian's spaghetti bol', or your Auntie's chicken soup, we all have a memorable meal in mind.
We've compiled three Sydney eats that conjur the 'warm & fuzzies' while reinventing the all time classics of the culinary world.
1. Harry's Cafe de Wheels
Pies. Who doesn't love a pie?
Whether it be a pie in the face, a pie at the footy oval or a homemade pot pie with a puff pastry topping - everyone has had a pie in their lifetime.
Back in 1938, (yes, #oldschool), with the world on the brink of a devastating war, an enterprising Sydneysider by the name of Harry Edwards opened a caravan café near the front gates of the Woolloomooloo naval dockyard. Word spread quickly with Harry’s ‘pie n’ peas’ and crumbed sausages soon becoming a popular part of the city’s nightlife – keenly sought by sailors, soldiers, cabbies, starlets and coppers alike.
Harry's Café de Wheels is over 70 years old, and has maintained a tradition of daily fresh deliveries of its pies. Using 98% lean meats, fresh vegetables, no trans fats and no freezing or drying, his pies are top notch. The 'house special' is Harry's Tiger; Chunky lean beef pie served with mushy peas, mash & gravy.
Harry has managed to combine the humble pie with a heroic setting. Now, with over 9 sets of wheels across Sydney to his name, we can't go past his trademark shopfront at Woolloomooloo Wharf. Waterfront views, a pie with mash and a dash of tommy sauce, what more could one want?
Corner Cowper Wharf Roadway
& Brougham Road
Woolloomooloo, NSW 2011
Those of us lucky enough to live or holiday by the beach, will know the sentimentality behind a fish & chip meal. Nothing beats a thick cut chip splashed with a dose of vinegar and a lightly battered, golden brown piece of fish finished off with a wedge of lemon and a scattering of salt.
Manly, Bondi & Byron Bay residents are all too familiar with the fish & chip magicians known as Mongers. They turn deep fried classics into modern masterpieces. Mongers offers an array of seafood options from freshly shucked oysters, to wasabi marinated fish, teryaki salmon, tempura prawns, BBQ octopus or grilled anything! Seafood comes with either superb handmade, thick cut chips, a generous signature salad with a golden wedge of succulent corn or crispy kumera topping, or the house special of tempura veggies (our favourite). You can keep it simple with the traditional lemon and salt to season, or mix it up with their trademark asian soy dressing. Either way, your tastebuds will dance at first bite.
We recommend visiting a Mongers restaurant on a sunny Sydney Sunday. But be sure to eat every last chip, we guarantee the seagulls will be on the stalk!
11 Wentworth St
Manly Beach, NSW
Byron Bay NSW
42 Hall St
Bondi Beach, NSW
3. Gelato Messina
This ain't no average ice cream in a cone....
Gelato Messina are the GODS of Gelato.
They take the Italian classic, Gelato, and re invent it using modern flavours and a hint of Holiness.
With the inspiration for most of Messina’s gelato deriving from desserts, cakes and sweets, it is almost impossible to decide which of the veritable cornucopia of flavours to spoil yourself with. Each glossy mountain of indulgence is guaranteed satisfaction - you have to try it to believe how good it really is.
We're talking Apple Pie, Coconut & Lychee, Italian Nougat, Salted Caramel & White Chocolate, Poached Figs in Marsala, Yoghurt & Berry, Panacotta with Fig Jam and Amaretti Biscuit... and they're just the "signature flavours". Specials include Pavlova, Goats Cheese Gelato with Fig and Walnut Brownie, Peanut butter gelato with chocolate custard, Crumbled choc pie crust, banana jam and cream cheese pie #toomuch, Strawberry and Prosecco sorbet, Green apple, yoghurt and mint gelato, Vanilla gelato with blueberry puree, White chocolate and rosewater gelato with berry fudge... enough? OK, we'll stop.
Gelato Messina has been around since 2002 and have since opened three stores across Sydney's East.
They aim to make ice cream the way it was done a hundred years ago. More than forty flavours are made daily on the premises and come at you via paper cup or waffle cone. Coffees and milkshakes are of a craftsmanship that tastes as artisanal as the main event, and there is a display of their very beautiful ice-cream cakes before you even reach the main cabinet.
It truly is a little hole in the wall that will cause a hole in your tooth.
Shop 1/241 Victoria St,
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Surry Hills Store
389 Crown St,
Surry Hills NSW 2010
The Star Store
Cafe Court, Level G,
80 Pyrmont Street,
Pyrmont NSW 2009