Sydney has an amazing dining culture, with world-class restaurants showcasing cuisine from virtually every country and region of the world.
Asian food is as varied as it is vast: it covers a huge array of peoples, cultures, regions, cuisines and food traditions. From Japan, Vietnam and Thailand to Iran, Turkey, and Mongolia, and everything in between.
Some Asian cuisines have become incredibly popular and mainstream, others are often overlooked and decidedly niche. And of course, there are also the exciting flavours of Asian fusion. In cosmopolitan Sydney, you can find all types of cuisine and every type of Asian eatery.
In the following article, we have compiled some of the best Asian restaurants in Sydney. However, it’s only a small selection of what is available in this vibrant, culturally-diverse, melting-pot of a city.
Travelling internationally has become so much harder these days. Instead, why not take a whirlwind tour of Asian cuisine by exploring Sydney’s eclectic food scene? There’s so much choice to taste and savour.
To help you make your choice of restaurant easier, we’ve recommended a selection of thriving establishments below. Good luck and happy dining!
Location: 15 Goulburn Street, Haymarket, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 9211 1668
Mamak is an award-winning Malaysian restaurant, with two establishments in Australia. Their name is inspired by the roadside food sellers of Kuala Lumpur, that sell Indian Malay street food. The restaurant is famous for its fragrant and bold flavours along with its beautiful decor and amazing service.
Three friends who lived in Malaysia started Mamak, with the intent to serve the great roti, satay and teh tarik.
They wanted to serve authentic food, so they started their business as a street food stall. It eventually grew, and now they have two restaurants. They serve roti, satay, rice and noodles, desserts and main dishes.
Their roti is served with curry dip and sambal sauce, and they have sweet options such as their roti kaya with coconut, or savory options such as their classic egg roti.
They serve mains such as their tangy fish curry, kari ikan, stir fried sambal tiger prawns, and stir-fried chicken with herbs, ayam goreng.
If you find yourself in Melbourne, check out the Malay food at Laksa Garden.
Location: 60 Riley Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010 Ph: (02) 9698 4355
Red Lantern is the world’s most awarded Vietnamese restaurant, and it’s right here in Sydney.
The team aim to lift the human spirit through food, good service and love.
Love! You Say? Well, the restaurant is also a wedding venue, as well as a function space, so yes – love.
Red Lantern Restaurant is housed in a French Indochine-inspired building, with influences from the French colonial era. It is decorated with elegant Vietnamese patterns and paintings.
They serve street food snacks such as crispy scallion fritters with tamarind sauce and turmeric and tiger prawn cakes, as well as prawn and pork rice paper rolls with hoisin sauce.
Some of their entrées include their famous chili salted squid, their prawn and pork rice cakes, their crab and papaya salad and their fried tofu with black vinegar.
Their mains include roast duck with yellow curry, fried fish with mango and ginger, and the Angus beef and mushrooms.
And in case you were wondering – all of those awards are totally deserved. Red Lantern is definitely one of the best Asian restaurants in Sydney.
Location: 12 Argyle Street, The Rocks, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 9259 5656
There are seven saké restaurants in Australia, and it is an immensely popular Japanese restaurant. The Sydney restaurant is in an elegant heritage building, with Japanese design influences, and high-end decor. Available for events, as well as private dining, and the space is simply beautiful.
Their menu features the best quality Australian produce and Japanese craftsmanship. The result is fresh, hearty and sustainable dishes.
Their à la carte menu has a sushi bar including nigiri and sashimi with salmon belly, prawn ebi and scallops.
They sell sushi rolls, along with hot starters such as miso soup, scallops with shiitake rice, steamed prawn dumplings, popcorn shrimp and grilled eggplant.
They have some great mains such as their teriyaki lamb chops, tooth fish tempura, miso chicken, seared duck with crispy onions, as well as their tajima wagyu strip loin.
Location: 96 Kepos Street, Redfern, NSW 2016 Ph: (02) 9319 3919
Popping an Israeli restaurant into a look at the best Asian restaurants in Sydney might seem a stretch, but bare with us. Geographically, it’s part of Asia, though it also borders Europe and Africa. Complicated, hey?
Anyway, Kepos Street Kitchen is a restaurant specialising in Middle Eastern cuisine, specifically Israeli. Their menu includes flavourful dishes that are complimented with their delicious drinks, juices and teas.
They are currently not open for dinner, but their sister business Kepos & Co is open five days a week for evening meals.
Some of their lunch dishes include watermelon, feta and mint salad, cauliflower with pomegranate salad, hot smoked salmon salad with olives, dukkah and eggs. And we love their fish burger with pickled cucumber and dill.
They have their famous shakshuka – an unforgettable dish of soft eggs with tahini and toast. Also wonderful is their moroccan lamb cigar with goats cheese and a herbed salad. At Kepos & Co, the menu incorpoates some of the best seasonal produce, with lots of herbs and spices.
For dinner, they offer mezze options where you choose 2 dishes. Some of these include eggplant mutabal with pomegranate, swordfish and harissa barbeque sauce, salmon pastrami, wood-fired sardine fillets, duck cigars, whipped feta with oregano and rice stuffed vine leaves.
Their main meals include baby rainbow trout with muhamara and white grilled red spot and tomatoes and oregano. And we have to mention their delicious lamb rump with eggplant and olives.
If you’re heading to the Victorian capital and want to dine on Middle Eastern fare, see our guide to the Best Middle Eastern Food in Melbourne
Location: 204 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010 Ph: (02) 8593 4957
SOUL Dining is a contemporary Korean restaurant that offers unique Korean dishes with modern Australian techniques as well local and seasonal ingredients.
They serve raw dishes such as half a dozen oysters, king fish in kimchi water with avocado purée, chilli tuna, wagyu tartar with seaweed crackling, as well as a range of salads such as their yellow beetroot salad with white radishes and a mustard dressing.
A real show-stopped is the prawn tteobokki, with king prawns, nduja and capsicum salbal in a prawn bisque. Their iconic spicy charcoal chicken with gochujang sauce and crispy rice is another standout.
SOUL Dining offers a tasting menu too, with all the above plus desserts. If you’ve never tried Korean desserts, now’s is the time to. Their purple sweet potato pastry with milk sorbet or their green tea baba with yuza syrup and black sesame gelato are delicious. Plus, they offer a range of complimentary dessert wines.
Korea is well-known for its barbecued meat, fish and veggies. Check out our Best Spots for Korean BBQ in Sydney
Since we first wrote about SOUL Dining, its reputation as one of the top Asian restaurants in Sydney has increased. And as this fine eatery has grown in standing, so has its stable of venues.
Following the success of the original SOUL Dining, the team has since opened SOUL Deli – a more relaxed Korean cafe – and Bar SOUL – a Korean tapas & wine bar.
For more on the breakfast options at SOUL Deli, see our review of the Best Breakfast Places in Sydney
Location: 20 Campbell Street, Haymarket, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 9211 1808
Chat Thai opened over thirty years ago, as a convivial place for diners to share dishes and socialise. They aim to create the most authentic Thai dishes, along with the freshest ingredients and versatility within their menu.
Their motivation is simply to cook food that we crave; soulful and bursting with flavour. Their menu embraces street food as well as rural cuisines, to the highest quality.
They serve starters such as grilled pork skewers, chicken satay, spring rolls with smoked fish, chicken and crab, fried fish cakes with pickled cucumber, fermented pork and rice sausages, fried prawn mousseline, as well as their crab spring rolls.
They also serve Bangkok chicken wings, fried marinated pork loin, char grilled beef tenderloin, green papaya salad with fermented fish and pickled cab, spicy mango salad with dried shrimp and fermented fish, as well as a large range of Thai curries.
This includes green curries with eggplants and Thai basil, hot and sour red chicken curry with winter melon, and mild and sour king prawn soup.
Everyone loves Thai food, so it’s no surprise we’ve added this place amongst our best Asian restaurants in Sydney.
Location: 18-20 Kensington Street, Chippendale, NSW 2008 Ph: (02) 9281 0822
Spice Alley deserves a mention due to its love for Asian cuisine – in all its incarnations. Spice Alley is an alley in Chippendale, containing only Asian eateries and street food stalls.
It is home to six eateries, including Singaporean, Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian and Southeast Asian, with an array of bars, too.
Alex Lee Kitchen serves Singaporean food within Spice Alley, with dishes such as Hainanese chicken rice and beef rendang with roti. Ginger Spice serves more Singaporean food such as chilli prawns and ketchup manis squid.
Viet specialises in Vietnamese cuisine with favourites such as Pho and Banh Xeo crispy pancakes. Meanwhile, Bang Luck offers Thai food such as Pad Thai, and fried pork belly with broccoli.
Shanghai Dumpling Bar serves rustic Chinese food such as rainbow dumplings and pork chop noodles. Hong Kong Diner serves some amazing cantonese food such as wontons, fried prawn dumplings and barbeque pork buns.
Over at Sedap you’ll find iconic Malaysian street eats such nasi goreng (fried rice) and pai kut wong (spare ribs). Yum Yum serves Southeast Asian street cuisine such as barbeque chicken and mango ice cream with sticky rice.
Finally, Kyo-To serves traditional Japanese ramen, sushi and mini chashu (seasoned pork).
Location: 294 King Street, Newtown, NSW 2042 Ph: (02) 9550 6277
Thai Pothong was voted the best Thai restaurant in Sydney for four consecutive years. It is known for its authentic Thai food, superb service and the ambience of the restaurant. And with a track-record like that, it simply must be one of the finest Asian restaurants in Sydney.
The restaurant was founded in 1996, and has been a popular choice for over twenty years. It can seat a staggering five hundred guests, and it is wildly popular.
Some of their dishes include Thai fish cakes, papaya and crab salad, calamari, chicken and prawn pastry, chilli scallops, BBQ octopus with fresh ginger and chicken coconut soup with lemongrass. For those who prefer plant-based meals, there are vegetarian dishes such as their tofu spring rolls, betel leaf tofu with lemon, cashew, and coconut, and their fried golden tamarind tofu.
Location: 4/6 Cowper Wharf Roadway, (Ovolo Hotel) Woolloomooloo, NSW 2011 Ph: (02) 9380 6744
China Doll serves modern Chinese food, and has won several awards for its service and food. All of their ingredients are locally and ethically sourced, using modern techniques from China, Hong Kong and Japan with Chinese cuisine.
Their food is flavoursome and bold, and is perfect for families and friends with their sharing platters and spectacular views of Sydney.
They have cold sharing plates such as pickles, oysters, New Zealand salmon sashimi, king fish and avocado, and duck and watermelon salad.
China Doll offers popular dim sum and medium plates such as steamed prawn dumplings, crispy chicken and garlic wontons, truffle wagyu rice paper crispy rolls along with prawn sesame toast and pork and peanut san choy bau.
They also have delicious mains such as steamed fish, salt and pepper king prawns, green fish curry with snake beans, and pork belly with chilli caramel.
When you combine their beautiful food with their stunning location, it’s definitely one of the best Asian restaurants in Sydney.
If you love Crispy Duck Pancake Rolls, you’ll love our gluten-free hoisin sauce recipe. Its quick and simple to make, and absolutely fool-proof.
Location: Level 1/78 Harbour Street, Haymarket, NSW 2000 Ph: 0417 054 555
Bornga restaurant serves some high-quality and great tasting Korean BBQ food at an inexpensive price. Their food is authentic and healthy, using Korean techniques and high-quality Australian produce.
And in case you were wondering, Bornga first opened in 1993 and has had several name changes along the way.
In 2002, it was known as Bornga, opening in China, Indonesia and Singapore between 2002 and 2012. The restaurant has over fifty restaurants worldwide, and it is still delivering exceptional Korean food.
They serve authentic meats to barbeque at your table, such as kkot sal (marbled beef), woo samgyup (thinly sliced beef belly) and saeu gui (salt-roasted shrimp).
Also worth trying are the traditional noodle and vegetable dishes to grill along with your meat. They serve stew such as the chadol duenjang jjigae (beef brisket and soy bean soup), as well as bornga bulgogi (marinated beef with vegetables).
The restaurant also serves rice/noodle soups such as kimchi jigae (spicy beef noodles), as well as yukgaejang (beef and vegetable soup). There are also side dishes such as haemul ssamjang (spicy seafood) and gyeran jjim (Korean steamed eggs).
Looking for some char-action in Melbourne? Here is our guide to the Best Korean BBQ Restaurants in Melbourne
Location: 3/490 Crown Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010 Ph: (02) 9331 3413
Nour is a modern restaurant, serving classic and exciting Lebanese food. They cook classic Lebanese food and flavors, to their full, exciting potential.
Their mezze selection features oysters with rose, grilled Arabian scallops, chicken shawarma with pickled cabbage, cabbage skewers with macadamia tahini, wagyu skewers, beetroot, sheep’s curd and pomegranate. One of their most-loved plates is Fremantle octopus with fried potato and whipped roe.
They have a wood-fired oven, as well as a coal grill. This makes amazing dishes with a bold flavour. These dishes include pink snapper with black garlic and tahini, lamb shoulder with preserved hindbeh, and beef short rib or sirloin with fruity house chermoula.
They have delicious, fresh orzo with salted mushrooms and spring greens, as well as fried cauliflower with wood-fired grapes and ras el hangout for the perfect middle-eastern flavor.
Their desserts are unique and sought after, such as their burnt milk pudding with roasted white chocolate, and their wood fired coconut basbousa with fenugreek custard.
Location: 71 George Street, Parramatta, NSW 2150 Ph: (02) 9633 9926
Temasek restaurant was founded in 1992, serving authentic Singaporean-Malay cuisine of the best quality. They have special order food that needs to be ordered in advance such as Singaporean chilli crab, and curried fish head.
In addition to this, there are appetisers such as pork spring rolls, crumbed king prawns and curry puffs with beef or vegetables. Other great options are their soups such as chicken cream corn or laksa soup.
They serve their iconic laksa Singapura noodles which come in a dried shrimp soup and can be eaten with chicken, prawns or fishcakes.
Other dishes include their boneless whole Hainanese chicken, fried chicken rice, beef rendang in coconut broth, fried calamari, five spice meat roll, balacaan fish, and the delicious almond butter king prawns.
They also have sambal prawns or chicken, along with tamarind dishes. Their menu is extensive, with lots of options, even spicy curries with fish cutlets or chicken and potatoes.
Location: 559 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills, NSW Ph: (02) 9310 3300
We head back to the Middle East for the next of our best Asian restaurants in Sydney.
Din Din Persian Kitchen serves amazingly authentic Iranian dishes with lots of flavor and color. This popular restaurant is beautifully decorated with lots of colors and patterns.
They have dishes such as zeytoon parvadeh which is marinated olives with walnuts and mint. Or perhaps you prefer shishlik kebabs, consisting of flavourful rice, lamb cutlets, onions, charred tomatoes, lemon and spinach?
Also on the menu is their popular Iranian appetiser which is grilled tandoori eggplant, and it is used as a spicy dip. They serve dizi abgosht, which is a spicy Iranian stew with mutton or lamb shanks, beans, potatoes, chickpeas and onions. This delicacy is boiled for hours to make it soft and delicious.
They also serve their akbar jojeh, which is tender chicken, marinated in pomegranate butter and saffron.
Hunting for a good kebab joint? Here are our top Kebab Shops in Sydney
Location: 2-9/1 Railway Street, Chatswood, NSW 2067 Ph: (02) 9884 7104
In case you didn’t know, Filipino cuisine looks like it might be finally coming into its own. And not before time.
Pamana is a Filipino restaurant in Chatswood, that serves homely, delicious Filipino food. Their restaurant is cozy and warming, with darker colors and comfortable seating. The restaurant is defined as the legacy of filipino cooking.
They serve small dishes such as lumpiang shanghai which is deep-fried spring rolls with minced pork, as well as fried chicken wings that are marinated in fish sauce with herbs and spices.
They have their spicy sisig, which is pork jowl and chicken liver in garlic and chilli. There is also their broiled eggplant with pork and egg, as well as their fried tofu with boiled pork.
In terms of main dishes, they have chicken adobo in a vinegar and soy sauce, as well as their ginataang manok, which is chicken cooked in creamed coconut and lemongrass.
They have a large range of pork dishes, such as their crispy pork belly adobo, their bicol express (pork belly in coconut), as well as their pork binagoongan (slow cooked pork in shrimp paste with seasonings).
They have a range of hearty soups, noodles, and vegetable dishes. Let’s not forget their desserts, though! They have desserts such as their leche flan with crème caramel, or their banana fritters.
For more amazing Filipino Dessert Recipes, see here.
Location: 3/2-10 Kensington Street, Chippendale, NSW 2008 Ph: 0400 991 011
We return to Korea for the last of our best Asian restaurants in Sydney.
Jung Sung is a contemporary Korean fine dining restaurant, with a lot to offer. It’s a fusion restaurant that serves exciting Australian-fusion dishes, using Korean techniques with high-quality ingredients.
Each dish uses traditional Korean fermentation techniques, using native ingredients, too. Their restaurant is elegant, and the perfect representation of fine dining in the city.
For dinner, they serve courses with paired wines. They serve tuna hwe with gochujang and honey, as well as a catch of the day with white asparagus and gonchimi.
For the third course, they have MB9+ wagyu beef with croutons and white asparagus, crispy pork with brussels sprout kimchi and native macadamia, or spring lamb with dubu, almond and black garlic.
The fourth course consists of lemon basil with bee pollen and spring berries. There are options to add caviar to your dishes.
Looking for a new drinking spot? These are our Best Bars in Sydney (and some great pubs too).
Location: 98 Fitzroy St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010 Ph: (02) 9331 5175
The closure of Mabasa was a sad day for many fans of the Korean restaurant in Balmain. However, all is not lost as the dinky Sang by Mabasa has popped up in Surry Hills. And though it is small, it’s already one of the top Asian restaurants in Sydney.
With a vibe more reminiscent of enjoying a meal at a Korean friend’s place rather than a lively Korean BBQ joint, Sang restaurant is doing the usual Bibimbap and Bulgogi, and so much more.
Our go to picks include the beautiful Saewoo Jang – raw king prawns preserved in soy with gochugaru & Korean watercress. Another stand-out is the do-it-yourself wrap platter – Guleolpan. With 9 tempting fillings to play with, it’s a great way to try a range of new tastes and textures.
Whatever you choose, at Sang by Mabasa you are sure to love their take on modern Korean food.
Sydney has a vast array of cuisines, and many world-class restaurants have emerged to showcase their culinary highlights. Be adventurous and choose an restaurant or eatery that you’ve never tried before. There’s every chance that, whatever establishment you choose, you’ll be introduced to a cuisine or particular dish that will rank amongst your favourites.
And what could be more fun than working your way through the finest Asian restaurants in Sydney?
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