Taste Food Tours gives Sydneysiders the chance to discover the mouth watering and wonderfully varied food offerings of our city, with local guides who share history, culture and stories alongside insider foodie tips and secrets.
We joined tour guide Kunal for an evening foodie tour of Sydney's Chinatown in the Taste of Chinatown tour that runs multiple times a week. Starting under the gates on Dixon street, this 3 hour (ish) walking tour takes food lovers on a delightfully varied discovery of some of the different cuisines available in our city and in particular in the neighbouring streets of Chinatown.
The first stop was possibly the best: Malaysian restaurant Ho Jiak, home of delicious Nonya cuisine in a beautifully designed setting that we will save for you to discover for yourself. Nasi Lemak fans will be satisfied by the yum Beef Rendang at Ho Jiak, and newcomers to the dish (a few on our tour) surely swiftly converted. This first stop also demonstrated clearly the benefit that Sydney locals can have from attending what would seem at first to be more of a tourist opportunity, in discovering fabulous new food joints hiding in plain sight in the busy CBD you think you know well. Ho Jiak is well worth a visit in its own right.
Full of knowledge and stories, Kunal gave an enlightened background to every venue and dish, with an enthusiasm for food and culture that prevailed throughout the evening.
Another highlight is the Tea Ceremony at Topotea Tea Shop off Sussex Street. This beautiful venue hides in an unassuming Chinatown arcade, and is an oasis from the surrounding city life, offering tea courses, music and calligraphy classes as well as wide and inspired range of teas and accessories. Its friendly young staff explain their pride and their happiness that people from different walks of life are engaging with their events and wanting to discover more about Chinese culture.
Without giving it all away, the tour continues on a culinary adventure of Chinese and other cuisines of the area with a few more savoury stops and a couple of sweet ones too. Bring a healthy appetite (in total you'll eat about the equivalent of a large meal - it's definitely possible to get through it all but you'll be far from hungry by the end), perhaps a friend and maybe a camera for the instagrammable dessert.
Check it out if you're looking to be a tourist in your own city, if you don't know Chinatown well, or if you have visitors to entertain who would appreciate getting some true local insight into our city's food and culture.
Taste Food Tours run their local guided tours all around Sydney every week. Check out their website for details and to book.