Great Lockdown Takeaway Options with Lee Tran Lam
October 1st 2021
Photo: Will Reichelt
Whether you were a little too enthusiastic about the lockdown pet nats last night and need something on the carb-ier side of life, or you’re looking for a superfood-loaded vegan treat to put a spring in your 10,000 steps, Local Fidelity host/famous foodie Lee Tran Lam has scoured all corners of Sydney for some excellent takeaway options.
There was a moment when it seemed like the latest winner of FBi’s Best Eats award had closed forever. But after a lockdown pause, the restaurant is (thankfully!) back to offer its signature jollof rice, goat stew, wonderfully rich plaintains, Nigerian meat pies, moin-moin and other staples that evoke owner Adetokunboh Adeniyi’s upbringing in Lagos.
Beloved Sydney institution Golden Century might’ve (temporarily) closed its doors, but you can still find its signature dish – the XO pippis – at its sister restaurant XOPP. Don’t miss its remixes of Chinese flavours: the potato wedges with salted egg yolk and the garlicky crunch of the typhoon shelter cauliflower are worth ordering.
Owner Anu Haran draws on her Indian heritage and offers samosa pies and cumin-and-cheese scones at her brilliant bakery. But this FBi Best Eats nominee also showcases flavours from around the world: Jerusalem bagels, honey and sea salt croissants, Moroccan-spiced sausage rolls, finger lime cheesecakes, Mexican bread pudding, laksa biscuits and the city’s best cinnamon scrolls have all featured on her menu.
El Jannah, Granville, Kogarah, Newtown, Smithfield, Burwood, Punchbowl, Blacktown, Campbelltown, Penrith
The OG location near Granville Station opened in 1998 and Andre and Carole Estephan’s ultra-popular Lebanese charcoal chicken joint has since taken over Sydney, with nine locations throughout the city (including its first drive-thru outlet in Smithfield). You can credit its famous charcoal chicken and garlic sauce for its big following – but don’t overlook the hot chips roll, either.
Co-owned by Yidinji woman Nyoka Hrabinsky, this cafe focuses on First Nations flavours – like Davidson plum drizzle on a brunch dish or muesli sprinkled with cinnamon myrtle and wattleseed. Its gangurru (kangaroo) burger was created in response to January 26, and like most of its menu, you can order a meat-free alternative (made with saltbush, wattleseed and pepper leaf).
Flavio Carnevale used to jump on his bike to deliver baked goods to nuns and priests at The Vatican – dropping off Roman specialties like Lariano bread. He evokes that period of his life (where he’d eat maritozzi after a night of clubbing) at his Marta Roman Bakery: get in quick for the cream-filled maritozzi buns, Roman focaccia and other regional treats (he also pays tribute to his time in southern Italy with sfogliatelle, which resemble lobstertails).
Pupusas are the national dish of El Salvador and here, they’re served by someone who was once honoured with the Salvadoran of the Year award by the El Salvador embassy: Marvin Antonio Barahona. This is his permanent shop after his food truck has established quite a loyal fan club for its signature snack: corn tortillas stuffed with beans, cheese or pork, and grilled on both sides.
Yu Ozone has created a menu that’s accessible to everyone, regardless of your allergies and dietary restrictions. Her onigiri, sushi, curry and shokupan (Japanese milk bread) are all gluten-free and vegan and her sourdough doughnuts – which have made people literally cry with happiness – were originally created for a young boy who could not consume egg, nut, seed, gluten and dairy products.
The family behind this Balkan bakery are karate champs, but that’s not the only notable thing about this institution. The flaky, well-stuffed burek inspires queues – whether the pastries are filled with cheese, meat, greens or potato and deliver a savoury punch, or are sweet fruity versions (like the one that might remind you of an apple turnover).
This eatery specialises in “Hong Kong sips and snacks”, so there are dishes that will evoke trips to cart-noodle vendors, chicken skewers that’ll make you think of smoky streets and cups of milk tea that spark images of cha chaan tengs and their cosy booths. You must order the mochi (especially the milk tea flavour), which put Sugarcubed on the map: these glutinous treats went viral after appearing on the Subtle Asian Traits Facebook account.