Opera Kitchen, Sydney, Australia

As the name suggest Opera Kitchen is a restaurant at the Sydney Opera House. It’s situated on the west side of the Opera House with an open dining area that looks out to Circular Quay, the Overseas Passenger Terminal and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It’s an excellent location.

With a premium location comes a premium price. A burger with chips for $25 and $13 for a beer – ouch!

The menu was quite good variety wise for both meals and drinks – so anyone will find something that suits their taste.

The burger I ordered was semi decent, certainly nothing to write home about, definitely not worth $25!

If you are a tourist and you want to see the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge while having a meal and drink, then this is the place. Nowhere else can compare.

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Caminetto, Sydney, Australia

The Rocks in Sydney is a very touristy area (opal stores and shops selling cheap (in value, not price) souvenirs) and that means that the prices are usually tweaked upwards knowing people spend up when they’re on holidays.

So it’s good when you find somewhere that isn’t taking the piss price wise.

Caminetto is an Italian restaurant set a little bit back from the main drag, just behind the Holiday Inn.

On a nice evening you can sit in the courtyard and enjoy a good meal. Decent sized pizzas and calzones await you, along with all other manner of Italian dishes.

If you want a good Italian meal, slightly away from the hoards then this is your place.

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Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel, Sydney, Australia

In over a hundred trips to Sydney I’d never stayed at the Sydney Harbour Marriott. I’d stayed at the other Marriott up on College Street but wasn’t impressed – it is not longer a Marriott.

The Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel was seen as the flagship Marriott in Sydney and it has a location that can’t be faulted.

I don’t know how long this property has been the Marriott, atleast for 10 years from what I can guess, but you can see that it’s a little dated if you really look. Just little things like the odd missing light switch, the tiling in the bathroom that’s been repaired shoddily, or the quick gaffer tape fix that was applied to the bathroom sink that you can only see when you’re sitting on the loo.

But don’t get me wrong, overall it’s a very good hotel. Check-in and check-out are always efficient and courteous, as are the concierge staff.

InterContinental up the road is probably a slightly better hotel, but the Marriott is also a great place to stay.

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Hokkaido, Sydney, Australia

On Loftus Street there is a Japanese restaurant. You have to enter by a dodgy door next to a convenience store, go down a flight of stairs enter the door that doesn’t quite close. The name of the previous tenant, a Chinese restaurant, is still visible if you look.

But the food at Hokkaido is pretty decent. My go to dish is the Chicken Katsu curry. Washed down with a Suntory Premiums Malts or 2.

The Torikatsu Curry is almost upto the standard that you’d expect in Japan. I was surprised.

Their gyoza and chicken karaage were reasonable but I just didn’t get that “wow” like I got with the Torikatsu Curry.

I did try the Ramen one time, but it didn’t capture my imagination like the ones I had in Kyoto and Nagano.

If you like Torikatsu Curry then this place is a definite.

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Customs House Bar, Sydney, Australia

I’ve been doing a bit of travel to Sydney every couple of weeks – I always stay in the CBD.

Customs House Bar is part of the Marriott Hotel. You can enter it by going through the hotel from Pitt Street, or you can enter it directly from Macquarie Place Park at the corner of Loftus and Bridge Streets.

There is a large outdoor area abutting the park where you can enjoy your drinks and a meal. It’s nice when the weather is warm, but can be chilling during the winter even with heaters.

The Food menu is pretty much standard pub fare with not too many choices but what’s there is pretty good. A selection of ribs and burgers, and a number of sides.

The number of beers on tap is very impressive though and they have one of my favorites, Dogbolter.

If you want a pub meal in the CBD with a good beer this place is a good choice. Be warned though that food prices are more aligned with what you would expect from a large international hotel chain, not your local.

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