Cuisine: Vietnamese

For a relaxing night out, Miss Saigon isn’t the place to be. But for quick, tasty and authentic Vietnamese it’s great for a cheap bite. The menu is extensive with 12 kinds of pho (including beef, tripe, chicken, combo or veg) from $7.50, which many aficionados consider to be among the best in Sydney. For something fun and a little different, consider the lau, a traditional steamboat where you simmer your own meat and veg in a pot on the table, $39.90 for two. If you want to roll your own, try banh hoi DIY ricepaper rolls with all the trimmings, from $12.90. It may have a mess-hall feel but this little gem in downtown Hurstville makes fresh, fragrant meals and is a hit with the locals.

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Cuisine: Vietnamese,Chinese

Mosey in past the live fish tank, take a seat at one of the round, bare tables and begin your journey through the encyclopedia-sized menu. Truly, there are about 320 dishes listed, so if you’re overwhelmed, call on owner Dianna Yan for some direction. Luckily, it’s illustrated with plenty of pictures. Start in your safety zone with pork and chive dumplings, little steamed buds of herby meat $8.80. Take a chance on the aromatic crab, market price, plucked fresh from the tank and cooked in an indefinable but richly flavoured and addictive sauce. Or do as most other diners will do and get a yellow whole fish — a Shanghai specialty — with sweet and sour sauce $24.80. A sweet finish could be housemade deep-fried pumpkin cake with redbean inside $6.80.


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Cuisine: Vietnamese,Chinese,Chinese

For many yum cha aficionados, this place ranks as the best in Sydney. If the crowds and brunchtime queues are any indication, they could be right. Sunny’s easily fills its 800-seat capacity on weekends as well as managing lines of waiting families. When you eventually get in, flag down your favourite trolleys and load up with spinach, garlic and chive dumplings, saucy beancurd sheet rolls, salt-and-pepper squid and more dumplings. Chicken feet can be ordered deep-fried — full of flavour with a touch of chilli. Still got some courage? Go for a crunchy jellyfish salad with pork fat dressing and crisp celery. The bill usually comes to about $20 per person. A bustling place with classy decor.

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