Are you coming to Sydney?

Sydney Weekly Wrap Edition 8

Sydney Chinatown (Dixon St, Haymarket) will be busy on Saturday 10 February for the first day of Lunar Festival 2024.

According to the Chinese Zodiac, this year (2024) is defined by the Dragon. The next “Year of the Dragon” will be 2036, and the next after another 12-year cycle. People born in the Year of the Dragon (working backwards, the years 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964 … ) are said to have courage, tenacity, and intelligence.

In this week’s wrap-up, we share about a special Lunar New Year event in Sydney Chinatown, an Indonesian restaurant near Town Hall train station, a Monday movie special at “Palace Cinemas Central Park“, and more.

Got a question about any of our recommendations? Message us 
on Instagram or send us an e-mail.

Shalom Indonesian Restaurant

Arriving in Sydney during the 1990s, “Shalom” is one of the oldest Indonesian restaurant brands in Australia. Its location on the edge of Sydney Chinatown is subtle, but it has long been where local Indonesian people visit for casual dining.

For chicken that is so uniquely fried that the bones are edible, order the Ayam Presto Kremes Shalom (comes with rice and chilli sauce). The Sate Ayam chicken skewers were grilled to perfection and had a delicious charred flavour (note that this particular skewer has peanut sauce, there are other skewers which come with different sauces). As a side dish, the Terong Balado was scrumptious (fried eggplant with Balinese sauce). Being a soup-lover, I adored the Soto Betawi (beef soup originating from Jakarta) – it’s velvety, tangy, and the beef chunks are tender.

Palace Cinemas in Central Park Shopping Mall

On Level 3 of Central Park Shopping Mall in Chippendale, there is a boutique cinema called “Palace Central Sydney”. The theatre rooms fit a smaller number of people than an average HOYTS or Events cinema; they feel cozy and bespoke with luxe leather seats. I watched “Godzilla: Minus One” (directed by Takashi Yamazaki) in December 2023 and enjoyed it immensely.

I visited on a Monday, and to my surprise, I learnt that Palace Cinemas offers a discounted price every Monday! For “Palace Movie Club” members, tickets are $10 each. For normal patrons, they are $12 each. If you book online, the booking fee still applies.

Sydney Lunar Streets - Haymarket Festival

If you’re around Sydney’s central business district on the evening of Saturday 10 February, an option for your evening is to join a party happening in the culturally diverse area of Haymarket. From 5pm to 10pm, Dixon Street (the heart of Sydney Chinatown) and surrounding lanes will be filled with music performances, food stalls, and Lunar New Year decorations. 

The most symbolic event will be the 20-metre dragon winding its way through the crowds of people. In Chinese culture, a dragon represents power, nobility, and success. From my experience at a previous version of the “Sydney Lunar Streets” event, it is family-friendly and worth a trip into downtown to experience the biggest day in the calendars of many East Asian people.

Yang San Park

Of all the Korean barbecue restaurants in downtown Sydney, “Yang San Park” is one of the busiest. Right next to the road leading down to Darling Harbour, people line up for outdoor or indoor tables. The built-in grill on each table is where the action happens. After your order of meat (we’d recommend pork belly, marinated beef ribs, and ribeye), the staff will use scissors to cut pieces onto the grill and assist you in the cooking process. 

A popular Korean way of making the most out of your pork belly is to dab it with a bit of ssamjang (fermented soy bean paste) and wrap it with lettuce. It’s a delicious one-biter.

Dean & Nancy on 22

On the 22nd floor of “A by Adina” hotel, this bar gleams with sophistication, modern detailing, and impeccable service. I visited with two friends; we sat at a plush couch by the window and drank in the glittering view of Sydney’s skyline. The gold-veined, marble tables and the soaring architecture are remarkable. 

Cocktails at “Dean & Nancy” are around 28 AUD each, and a “discretionary” 5% service charge applies to tables. It’s a bar near Wynyard Station, the more glamorous and upscale part of Sydney’s business district, and a charming location to take a date or business client.

JooMak Chatswood

A short walk from Chatswood train station, my impression of “JooMak” is that of a friendly, unassuming, family-style Korean restaurant. It’s an inexpensive option for a night with friends; enjoying timeless Korean fried chicken (available in flavours like Snowy Cheese, Soy, and Garlic), beer and soju. If you’d like to impress a Korean with a slightly deeper understanding of drinking culture, pronounce the phrase somaek; prompty drop a shot of soju into beer (usually a lager), then mix.

For a dish perfect for a group, order the Budae-jjigae, or “Korean Army Stew”. In a bubbling, slightly spicy broth, noodles, kimchi, spam, beans, and sausage are served.

It takes just a minute 🙏

I’m Garry Ho, founder of Koalamate.
If our website has helped you, please consider supporting us.

Payment can be made via all major cards.

Cookies Policy

We use cookies to enhance your browsing experience.
By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies.