Sometimes when it comes to eating out the best vibe comes from actually having no vibe at all.
Sure, restaurants in Sydney like to go all out with their mood lighting, Instagrammable design and fancy décor, but sometimes all you really want is damn good food, pleasingly low prices and a BYO license.
Welcome to Enmore Road in Sydney’s Inner West, home to some of the best cheap eats. Your stomach (and your wallet) can thank us later.
Chinese Dumpling Master
One look at the plastic vines hanging from the ceiling and you’ll know you’re in the right place. With handmade noodles and dumplings both at prices so low they call for your best pair of elasticised waist pants, this local BYO spot has lines out the door for a reason. At Chinese Dumpling Master, you can’t go past a full serve of the pork and chive dumplings (fried of course), with a dozen of these tasty morsels setting you back less than $13. The legendary fried eggplant is so good even the biggest meat eater will be convinced.
Take away shop out the front and party out the back, is the only way to sum up the Inner West institution that is Sultan’s Table. The site of many a local’s birthday party, this is the spot to invite all your mates, crack open as many BYO bottles as you can handle, and feast on generous helpings of Turkish eats from the chicken shish grilled over charcoal, to house-made hummus and baba ganush. Splurge on a large mixed dips plate for $25 and be sure to spring for an extra helping of bread, you’ll be glad you did.
Cricket memorabilia adorn the walls and the food is always on point—making Tandoori Hut one of Enmore Road’s best-kept secrets. This Pakistani-Indian restaurant is so good, even the Pakistani cricket team has eaten here, and just like any claim to fame there are photos to prove it. The chicken tikka masala and butter chicken are exactly as they should be, and the lamb vindaloo is hot but not in a burn-off-your-taste-buds kind of way, combined with cheesy garlic naan and BYO wine, beer or both this is budget dining nailed.
Lat Dior African Eatery
It’s very rare that we meet a menu we don’t like, but it’s safe to say we’ve never met one we love quite as much as this. Lat Dior African eatery almost has too much vibe courtesy of their pumping African soundtrack to make this BYO vibe list—but their well-priced mains (all under $20) and their accompanying BYO means they’ve earned a spot here. Special shout-outs to the African BBQ chicken finished with greens, and the dioloff rice, steamed with tomato paste and chicken. With flavours from as far and wide as Madagascar and Morocco, along with a lot of vegetarian options, be sure to come hungry.
If you haven’t tried Egyptian food yet, you’ll want to get yourself down to Cairo Takeaway immediately. This corner shopfront never disappoints and their fuul (fava beans) slow cooked with lemon, salad and boiled eggs and Koshari (lentils) with rice, fried onion and salsa make for great meat-free options. That said, it’s their pockets menu that is the main event here, piled high on a plate of flatbread with salad, pickles, and dip—mahsa’aha (deep fried capsicum and eggplant mixed with sauce), hummus or toum (garlic sauce)—with falafel, cauliflower, charcoal lamb kofta or chicken. BYO wine is available, but no beers friends.
Image credit: Khachik Simonian.