Discovery – Cheap eats in Sydney

If you are travelling on a budget in Sydney, living by yourself, a student or just want food cheap, fast and delicious, then these 2 places have your name stamped all over it. It is actually true to say that eating in Sydney costs more than Melbourne. I was up in Sydney for 5 days and it was wise to start watching out spending. The interstate move from Melbourne is going to be crazy expensive. If anyone has any better ideas, feel free to pass them over.

Anyway, I was on the lookout for cheaper eats in Sydney. Mister and I were walking around Haymarket in search of this phathom Hongkong noodle shop that I had in my head. We walked around in circle looking for this noodle place but it can’t be found. It must exist right? But where the hell is it? I can’t have dreamt about a noodle shop? But instead I found this little Chinese eatery that serves Xi’an food. I think this place has a maximum of 6 laminated tables and sits about 20 people. The prices here are really affordable. This plate of spicy sliced pig ears was only $3.50. It was a rather generous portion for that price. The ears were coated with chilli oil and had a slight crunchy texture. It was rather spicy but that was exactly what I needed to fight the cold weather.

Spicy sliced pig ears

Spicy sliced pig ears

Mister and I shared a bowl of chilli oil noodles with greens.  I love the slippery oily noodles with a rather generous but not offensive amount of vinegar. It is also topped with finely chopped fried garlic. I was quite happy having it by itself. It did not need extra condiments or seasoning. We just had it with the spicy pig ear slices. Simple = Awesome

Chilli oil noodles

Chilli oil noodles

As we were waiting for our table, we saw orders of some sort of pancake buns. I was not sure if it was pork or beef but made the decision to have the pork pancake bun. The pork was like pulled pork but Chinese Xi’am style. The pancake bun was nicely toasted and quite light. It came together nicely and the pork was super juicy. From memory, it costs about $3.80?

I will be back here for sure as we missed out on the dumplings as they were all sold out. Also good to note is that this place opens at 10am and closes at 8.30pm everyday.

Xi’an cuisine – 80 Harbour St, Haymarket
Xi'an Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Pork pancake bun

Pork pancake bun

Our next cheap eat find was after a day of eating starting from the Bourke Street Bakery to burgers at Charlie & Co at Westfield. We walked past Chon Siam the day before. I was intrigued by its humble outfit and more excited by its very affordable list of dishes that were stuck on a piece of paper outside the shop. I convinced Mister that we should give it a shot. Like Xi’an, this place is quite small. I like that each table as it’s own Thai style condiments – sugar, sweet chilli sauce, chilli flakes and fish sauce.

Thai condiments

Thai condiments

Mister decided to try the boat noodles ($4). I found a rather good explanation of boat noodles here. And @katspat explains how it should be eaten in her post on Noodle eating in Thailand. The portion is definitely small and could easily eat about 2 bowls. We were wondering what the brown sauce/soup/broth is and from @katspat, we realised that it was actually thicken beef blood with beef broth. I don’t know any better about this dish as I have not had it before. I thought it was quite tasty but after reading Kat’s post, I reckon it is more tasty if we had crispy pork crackling as topping! Will have to order that the next time.

Boat noodle

Boat noodle

I forgot to write down the Thai name for this dish. It’s a bowl of soup is loaded with with yummy stuff like minced pork balls, pig’s blood, intestines, liver and green vegetables. It is only $6 and this includes a bowl of white rice. The portion may seem small but it is enough for one and it’s super tasty. I looked around and it seems that this dish is quite popular.

Blood pork intestine soup

Blood pork intestine soup

Mister and I shared an entree of Thai fish cakes. $4.90 for 4 pieces of fish cake is pretty good. I reckon that these fish cakes may be made in house. It is loaded with thinly sliced spring onion and goes well with the sweet chilli sauce.

This is another place where Mister and I will definitely be coming back on a cheap eats night. I reckon we were fortunate that there isn’t a queue on a Sunday night. Most of the punters seem to be Thai and that is always a good sign.

ChonSiam – 38 Campbell St, Haymarket
Chonsiam on Urbanspoon

Thai fish cakes

Thai fish cakes

When we are finally settled in Sydney, I must head back to Haymarket to find this HongKong Noodle Shop that exists in my head. Will keep everyone updated. :)