The Best Meals We’ve Eaten in 2015 | The Urban List Team Picks

By Anna May
8th Dec 2015

Oh 2015, I hardly knew ye. Where did you go? Apparently on my ass, because my jeans no longer fit. Life goal achieved. 

It’s been a hell of a year and we at The Urban List Sydney have eaten high, low, left, right, middle, and everywhere in between. We eat a lot, we eat at the best restaurants and cafes in Sydney, and we eat like it’s our job (because sometimes it is). Among the dumplings, burgers and breakfasts, there are always some standouts. 

So, for your eating pleasure, here they are, the actual best meals we have eaten in 2015. Go forth, readers, and use your stomach space wisely. 

Anna May | Senior Content Marketing Executive, pun lover and cheese devotee

  • The Snapper pie from Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay. Yes, it’s a classic Sydney dish, but for good reason. The puffy pastry, hint of truffle and buttery soft fish are the ultimate long lunch combination. 
  • In a city that is constantly internet arguing over the location of the best burger in Sydney, it’s always fun when one is actually awesome. The cheeseburger at The Lord Gladstone is just that. They keep it simple: beef, triple cheese (!!!), onion, pickle, ketchup, mustard, soft-as-a-baby’s-bum bun. Legendary. 
  • The pickled Greek cocktail from The Apollo. I know this isn’t a meal (technically) but it was a pickly, spicy, Hendricks-y party in my mouth and I will never forget it. 
  • Who doesn’t love a good side? The Berenjenas a la brasa (chargrilled eggplant) with goats feta, pistachio and chilli is ah-ma-zing. Emphasis on the zing. 
  • The grilled Cape Grim t-bone from Darlinghurst stalwart Onde was probably the best steak I’ve ever eaten. Not even kidding. It was dripping in a red wine butter and I want to name my first born after it.  
  • The Pudding chomeur from LP’s Quality Meats. I am not a dessert person, usually I won’t even look at the menu. But this… thing. It is epic. It spins me right round, like a record baby. 
  • I love A Tavola more than anything, and their whole menu rocks my world, but their savoury-sweet red cabbage salad changed my life for the better this year.
  • Flat pizza is awesome, but have you ever tried a calzone? The troppo buona from Society Pizzeria in Bondi is the ultimate food goal. Braised cauliflower with truffle pecorino, spring onion and olive. 
  • Finally, the buffalo wings from The Hayberry in Crows Nest. Covered in buttery Frank’s Hot Sauce and dipped in bleu cheese sauce. Eating them is what I imagine doing meth feels like.

Master Surry Hills

Sophia Fukunishi | Editor, Pizza lover, Tea drinker

  • If it were legal to marry food, I would happily live out my days with Casoni's pumpkin ravioli with pistachios, burnt butter and sage sauce. (Side note: This one was submitted by everyone in the team. It’s just that good.)
  • Meat pies are my guilty pleasue and the meat pie I ate this year from Black Star Pastry was one of the best I'd ever had. I dream about it. No, seriously—I do.
  • I'm not usually a go nuts for donuts kinda gal, but the Grumpy Donuts donuts are easily the best in town in my books.
  • The big ball of burrata from Via Napoli in Surry Hills. Huge, creamy and served with prosciutto. It's basically the combination of my two favourite foods.
  • The burnt cabbage from Master. They make cabbage sexy.
  • Mr Bao’s karaage chicken bao is soft and crispy at the same damn time.
  • Pastizzi from the slightly old and rundown, but always comforting, Pastizzi Cafe in Surry Hills. It's cheap, tasty and goes reaaaaally well with a bottle of cheap wine.
  • Budae jjigae from The Sparrow's Mill that's full of Spam, 2 minute noodles, sausage and spice. It tastes like uni days, but waaaaay better.
  • Black sausage sanga from Ester. It just works.
  • What wedding diet? The Trufflenator from Dee Why Hotel is a total beast of a burger. Don’t even think about heading to the beach after this unless you want the world to see your food baby.
  • Still up north, the pecorino consommé, hand rolled fregola, spring beans and zucchini from Pilu at Freshwater made me so happy. It was cheesy, salty and pasta-y all at once and I didn’t want this dish to end.

Daniel Harris | BDM and Resident Shire boy

  • Acai Bowl at Culture Bean Cafe in Kogarah. Looks great and tastes better, an Instagrammers favourite from down south.
  • The wraps at Burraneer Bakery & Deli. A well-known secret (not for long) in the Shire and worth the drive for these hearty and delicious bread-wrapped presents.
  • Pho at Pho An Bankstown. It’s near impossible to finish, served up within a few minutes and in the mix for best pho in Sydney.
  • Burrito at Per Kilo. The chilli capsicum and garlic rice separate these burritos from your average Sydney Mexican joint.
  • Spicy Chicken Wings at Yau Chinese Restaurant Woronora. In the depths of the Shire in a small Chinese restaurant attached to the RSL, Yau Chinese serves up these relatively unknown spicy wings that are super addictive.

Kagura Japanese restaurant in Sydney

Zo Zhou | Senior Content Marketing Executive and Wildlife Warrior

  • The crab lasagna from Manta (mainly because I could drink the sauce just on its own). This is definitely one of those things you would NOT make at home.
  • Billy Kwong's crab. It's a pain in the ass to get into and worth every sticky-fingered second. 
  • The Butler's panna cotta. I don't even like panna cotta normally but this was somehow light yet also creamy and silky without being too gelatinous (which is like the dessert killer. If I wanted jelly I'd go to Coles).
  • Ox Tongue skewers at Kagura—Have to admit I like a bit of tongue anyway, but this smoky version... Omg. Also, their fried chicken. 
  • Barramundi at Spicers Sangoma, which is super clean and unlike any barramundi you've tried before (it's fished from the neck of a river in NT). It's actually about the ingredients here, they totally speak for themselves. Didn't even know they produce could taste this good. Their menu changes daily and it's for guests only, but basically everything was like, woah.  

Florence Tan | Junior Content Executive and Salted Caramel Fiend

  • In true American style, there's nothing healthy about the gouda covered broccoli at Hartsyard which is exactly why I love it.
  • The pate from LP's Quality Meats—I can feel it clogging up my arteries with every bite but I just don't care.
  • Any crepe with salted caramel from Four Frogs Creperie. I want to literally bathe in that sauce.
  • The green mango salad with crispy fish from Khao Pla: They changed to pear momentarily and I nearly staged a one-person protest, thankfully they've gone back to the original.
  • Run by two Italian guys, the ricotta agrumi gelato at Gelateria Gondola is so good I'd eat it breakfast, lunch and dinner if my metabolism would allow it.

Josh Berg | Senior Marketing Specialist, Vegan, and Recent Sydneysider

  • Beach Burrito Company's new vegan burrito 'The Chickpea' which had falafel in it. Nice and refreshing to have a secondary protein filler (after black beans) in a vege burrito that isn't tofu.
  • Black bean spaghettini with wild mushrooms, nori, pine nuts, and gremolata from Dandylion Bondi. This was a surprising pasta dish with a little spice added in. Medium sized and light, the perfect portion to eat before a night out.
  • The vegan big breakfast at Badde Manors. A rare occurrence to have your vegan needs taken care of for you. Much more to this vegan breakfast than you'd find anywhere else with a scrambled tofu in place of scrambled eggs (yum!) and roast pumpkin to top it off.

Still hungry? Of course you are. The challenge: How many of these bucket list eats can you tick off?

Image credit: Federica Portentoso at The Lord Gladstone, Daryl Kong at Master, Federica Portentoso at Kagura

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