About

This is a travel food blog by Shawn and Alison. We live in Sydney and love travelling, and the main reason we travel is food. When we eat out and when we travel we pay for everything ourselves. Our posts aren't biased by sponsorships, guest dining experiences, media events or any other freebies. We got a free magazine once but ended up buying a subscription anyway.


When travelling we find the best food by eating as the locals do: this is often on the side of the road...


...and in food courts, markets and no-frill restaurants.


The best street food is made by tops old ladies (check out the old-dear in the top left corner above), but there are also abundant treasures in supermarkets and even Seven-Elevens (in South East Asia you can live out of Seven Elevens).

Kaki Lima Cafe Kingsford Sydney

Alas we can't afford to travel all the time. But fortunately we live in Sydney where there are hundreds of little no frills restaurants that service the local immigrant community and homesick overseas students with wonderful street food from the old country. Pictured above is one of our all-time favourites: Kaki Lima Old World Malaysian Breakfast Favourites in Kingsford.


When looking for good street food joints there is a golden rule: dodginess is next to godliness. Indicators of quality street food are basic no frill street signs, preferably broken.


Basic flooring, hard seats and cheap tables are essential, extra points for traditional formica tables.


One of the best indicators of authentic street food is the cutlery and condiment set on each table, extra points for a jar of tooth picks.


Some places offer little clue to English speakers as to what the hell is going on. We reckon the less printed or spoken English is involved, the better the food will be. Spelling mistakes and bizarre English on the menu is the next best thing.

Street food can also be found in more upmarket restaurants, supermarkets, markets, festivals and lunchboxes. We have been street food junkies for years and have decided to get with the 1990's and start blogging about it.

We've written for SBS Feast magazine and The Guardian Australia Food Blog, reviews for the Eating and Drinking Guide to Sydney, been translated into Chinese in Outside Magazine (China), and have done spots on radio on 2SER Breakfast and 702 ABC Sydney. So here we are...

~ Alison & Shawn ~

Contact us at: hellostreetfood@gmail.com

or via the friendly postman:

PO Box 3236
Marrickville Metro NSW 2204
Australia

and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest @streetfoodaus

ACHTUNG PR & RESTAURANT FOLKS: please note we don't accept free meals or attend PR gigs, we just like to do our own thing and keep it fun. We don't have sponsored posts, paid in kind reviews or posts from media releases.

What we are interested in is writing, photography or speaking gigs on food, travel or blogging related topics, potential partnerships and hello kitty merchandise. Contact us if you want permission to use our words or pictures or any other crazy reason you might want to speak to us. We're nice folk, honestly.







The Street Food team. Alison & Shawn are the good looking ones.

44 comments:

  1. Hey Miss Chicken and Mr Shawn, i just stumbled across your blog (as u do when u type random stuff in google!) and i love it! some of your pages have made me LOL (i'm at work, it's a bad thing!). i'm gonna go back to your funny menu you found in HK and reveal to you what those engrish dises really were hehe.
    Lucy

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your translations Lucy - we have searched the internet with no answers until now - much appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
  3. no problem ;) if you have anymore un-explained dishes let me know and i'll to translate for you lol.

    ReplyDelete
  4. you guys are my new heroes!! have long been a fan of the chinatown food courts. now have a little more direction.
    thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is a wonderful blog, I look forward to going back east and looking it up frequently, Hx

    ReplyDelete
  6. hey..love your blog. would love to see what you reckon about new place in Randwick called Aseana. I've eaten there about 4 times now. The Nasi Lemak is good..the duck breast stew is really really good. cheap too.

    other picks around Coogee / Randwick. the soto ayam at Java. The sweet soy sauce chicken dish at Jimbarin. bothh great restaurants. also the Gai Yang adn Crying Tiger at Chilli Box when it reopens in Coogee

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey Grapsta, funny you mention Aseana, I was just reading about it this morning, think I have to try that duck breast stew. Methinks we have been overlooking the East!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi guys, regular blog reader and occasional comment poster here. I came across a place in Kingsford that hasn't been reviewed yet:

    Bakso's House/Roserbery Martabak
    341A Anzac Parade Kingsford

    The menu is split into Martabak Telur and Martabak Manis with different fillings. I look forward to reading a review in the future! If you're interested in it that is :).

    - SK

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi, Like others before me, have stumbled onto your blog while trying to find Ramen restaurants on google near me. Recently I watched a movie called 'Tampopo' and am now a bit obsessed with finding a local restaurant that serves good, cheap, authentic ramen noodle soup. Can anyone recommend anything around the Hurstville area? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great blog! Thanks. I'm looking forward to trying your `top five' one-by-one!

    ReplyDelete
  11. どれも、美味そうだ。
    しかし、自分は食べたことないのも多い・・・・

    ReplyDelete
  12. your blog is great service to the nation

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks Dheeraj! It's a vocation to be proud of.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hey Alison and Shawn!

    Great food blog you've got here. I'm glad I've stumbled upon it randomly :)

    I gathered from reading some of your posts that you guys are most probably of Malaysian origins? :P If so, high five! Another ex-Malaysian here :)

    I now have a little more guidance when hunting for good, authentic Asian places to eat in Sydney now, thanks to you guys :)

    A big shout out to a few of my fav places:

    Shalom (no Westernised watered down stuff here!)
    Makan@Alice
    McLuksa
    Ayam Goreng 99
    Basically almost every Indonesian place in Kensington lol

    Keep up to the good work!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi xar - Sorry to say we aren't Malaysian, although we've been through there a few times in our travels. Asian food and culture is close to our hearts, and the places you mention we've mostly tried and will get to the one's we haven't. So much food, so little time!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Have you guys been out to Harris Park yet? It's kind of like the Surry Hills of Parramatta.

    My favourite place there is Taj Pure Vegetarian on Wigram Rd. Their veg thali is $12.90, best value in town. I usually order a North Indian thali, but ask them to add a bowl of sambhar from the South Indian thali. Best of both worlds! Ask for a little bowl of their tamarind sauce as well - it's yummy.
    This is where big Indian families come to enjoy brilliant food with a South Indian twist - dosai, uttapams, idli + chat snacks every day.
    An excellent cheap lunch is the channa battura - amazing chickpea curry with deep fried poori bread, chopped onion and chutney for $6.90.
    I got them to cater my birthday party once.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh Citizen P how you taunt us with this idea! We have been travelling around a bit lately on the train and it's a constant source of ideas. Harris Park is now higher on the ever growing list.

    ReplyDelete
  18. You just cracked me up!!! I love the photo.

    ReplyDelete
  19. An old Sydney lad.June 29, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    You guys have ruined my life !!!
    I've lived in Canberra for the last 10 years.
    Originally I'm a Sydney boy. I've lived in Stanmore, Petersham, Marrickville to name a few. They were my stomping grounds as a young lad. I knew all the good "street food" places.
    Consider the agony you put me through when I read your excellent food blog and I compare it against what Canberra has to offer.

    I cant take this anymore .
    "Goodbye cruel world !!!"

    ReplyDelete
  20. Can you please review the Coogee Bay Hotel desert menu. I've heard the chocolate ice-cream is worth the effort.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi there,

    I am also one that has accidently stubbled on your site! Very well written and funny too. Another obsessed foodie that loves Asian! Looking forward to reading your whole blog.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Great blog you have here, I've just stumbled upon it this weekend but will be checking back regularly :) Your comment about spelling mistakes made me laugh.. have you been to Pasteur in Chinatown? I'm sure you have - did you notice the number of different ways they spell "noodle" on the wall menu???

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi there, please go and try Nguyen's Bakery at Canley Vale, 33 Canley Vale Rd. BEST Vietnamese bread roll ever!!! Especially the honey chicken roll, totally to die for!

    ReplyDelete
  24. very brave aussie!!!!!! I finally found someone shared similar interests and hold the same opinion of food

    ReplyDelete
  25. Love your blog, I now have so many food places to try in Chinatown it'll keep me busy for months!

    I have a suggestion - you should go to Eastwood Chinese Restaurant (it's in Eastwood!). They do Shanghai and Cantonese food. And between 2-5pm they have this excellent afternoon tea special, for $6.90 you can get a decent meal with a drink included. They have quite a few choices, the special menu is in Chinese only so you need to know what to ask for. Try asking for the sour&spicy noodle soup, another one I like is the chicken laksa (its like a mild version of a normal laksa), or tom yum noodle soup. Other choices are pork dumplings (xiao long bao), pork chop noodles, beef brisket noodles plus a bunch of other things I can't remember but they are mostly noodle soups. For drinks you can get a choice of regular pearl milk tea, jasmine pearl milk tea, lemon iced tea or hong-style hot tea/coffee.

    ReplyDelete
  26. We've been to Eastwood Korean Restaurant, so it's only fair that we try Eastwood Chinese Restaurant. Sounds great, thanks for the tip!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Merci beaucoup! It's reasons to live

    ReplyDelete
  28. OMG i can't believe I stumble upon this blog. I feel so hungry looking and I just had lunch!

    Just read about your trip to KL, you guys are quite the adventurers.

    ReplyDelete
  29. OMG, that "top 5" page is making me wish I lived in Sydney again… *drools*
    Mind you going back to Singapore where I grew up might be an even better idea…

    ReplyDelete
  30. Just a little suggestion if you come visit Hong Kong next time, try going to Kowloon City, there're many Thai restaurants, Thai grocery stores, Thai massage places. Many Thai people live in there.

    I usually treat myself a weekend "Thailand" trip by going to Kowloon City!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Love this blog! Great reviews guys! By the way the Indonesian word for delicious is enak :) thought you should know hehe.. and try our favourite weekend regular street food noodles joint at Maroubra - Mie Kocong Bandung. We always go for Bakmie / Mie Panorama. It's the best! And they also have other food items hard to find in other Indo restaurants e.g. Gudeg. Give it a try guys I think you'll like them :)

    Cheers,
    Hanny

    ReplyDelete
  32. Great blog, really, really like it. Subscribed -cheers for that :) Tried to join the Aus Food Bloggers Ring advertised on your page and failed, over and over again...it just would not accept the spam verification (I think I tried 6-7 times)Any ideas for me? Couldn't find the group using Google. Cheers, Angela/sweetrosie

    ReplyDelete
  33. great blog and love it! we are going to Bali soon in 6 weeks time and ur blog is really helpful. on the other note tho, didn't you guys have tummy-ached or diarrhoea from the street foods? we gonna bring young kids too, so not so sure if it's ok

    ReplyDelete
  34. I didn't have any stomach problems at all on the Bali trip, I have in the past though.

    There's a few articles on the net such as this one: http://www.idreamofdurian.com/2011/01/worrywarts-guide-to-eating-asian-street.html that should help.

    The best food in bali is the nasi campur (a mix of dishes on rice) which is preprepared. Hunt for it mid-morning to lunch time when it is super fresh (and safest). If a stall/shop is busy it should be fine. This food is in another league to the versions you will get in the tourist restaurants, simply because it is so fresh. Also the locals really appreciate it when you dig their food, it can lead to some lovely experiences.

    I'm not sure whether I would feed it to kids though.

    Most stomach problems I have had I reckon are from bad water or ice (manufactured ice will be fine) in combination of running my resistance down from too many boozy nights.

    We carry some antibiotics in case we get a bad stomach bug.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thank God I found your blog! I now live in LA and miss Sydney oh so much, especially the City and Cabra. Thanks for easing my homesickness

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi Quick question, sorry could not find your contact details. Would you be interested connecting / linking to our blog we have a similar small blog. We connect to yours and others for the benefit of viewers.

    http://sydneyfoodssafari.blogspot.com.au/p/other-blogs-we-like.html

    ReplyDelete
  37. Howdy, great to see another obsessed foodie! Alas we don't have a blogroll - grabyoufork and chocolatesuze have lists of all sydney bloggers if that helps :-)

    ReplyDelete
  38. This is one of my favourite food blogs. There are a couple of places in North Sydney and Chatswood that I recommend you guys try to help out the north shore lack-of-accessible-street-food victims like me....let me know if you are interested and I can post the details!

    ReplyDelete
  39. What a most radical blog - massive props! If you ever need a food chump to go exploring with - i'm keen! Happy eating my merry munchers!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I love your philosophy of finding good street food. Ever been to Taiwan? We live here and it has some of the best street food around. Mostly Chinese of every description, but also Japanese, Korean and increasingly lots of choice from SE Asia as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yah, we're trying to get to Taiwan at Christmas.

      Delete
  41. Love love LOVE, your blog guys!! Your posts always make me chuckle.
    I agree dodginess is next to godliness!!! LOL

    ReplyDelete
  42. Love your blog, been following it for a while now! Way better than Urban Spoon ;P

    Just a recommendation for a restaurant, you haven't yet reviewed Stix Noodle in Harbourside Darling Harbour - You wouldn't think there'd be good stuff here but this is Pyrmont's best kept secret! it's opposite Grill'd tucked away in the corner next to Mad Mex (upstairs/outdoors bit). There are only two things worth getting here that are stand out dishes - Sukho Thai and the Boat Noodle. $7.80. It's only seen on the back of the 3-fold menu, they try to hide it for some reason. Yummo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip! We love reader suggestions, might even go this weekend.

      Delete

Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great nom noms that come along with it. Think Maeve O'Meara, not Masterchef :-)

Our ethics: We pay for all our own meals and travel (although sometimes our Mum shouts us).