For a snapshot of contemporary Australia, look no further than Hurstville, 16km south-west of the Sydney CBD. This foodie hotspot is buzzing with restaurants, Asian grocery stores, noodle stores and yum cha restaurants. It’s like a little slice of Asia, with other cuisines adding flavour to the mix.
Hurstville was predominantly Anglo-Celtic in the 1930s and ‘40s. After the Second World War, Greek and Italian migrants settled in the area, followed by Chinese from Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. The Chinese influx ramped up during the 1990s and 2000s, and today around half the population claims Chinese ancestry.
The once fading suburb - just an easy drive to Sydney's spectacular Royal National Park - has been re-energised, and quite spectacularly so. Along with more gentrified housing, the streets are buzzing with restaurants and takeaways doing Insta-worthy dishes. Yet there’ll always be room for old favourites like Golden Sands, renowned for its Cantonese food and yum cha. The surroundings aren’t going to win any design awards but the food more than makes up for it, with dumplings, noodles, duck, pork ribs, congee, and rice noodle rolls among star attractions on the menu.
Another stalwart, Hurstville Chinese has been the go-to restaurant for many Chinese for more than three decades. The setting is relaxed, even basic, but the consistently high-quality food, especially the seafood, rates highly with locals. Check out the amazing lobster tank. Try the fresh barramundi with ginger and shallots, the garlic-buttered lobster, and the shallot mud crab.
Another top pick is Like Noodle, popular for its value-for-money noodle soups, speedy service and big portions. You definitely won’t go hungry here. The signature meatball noodle soup is a winner, but those with more adventurous palates might prefer the pork intestine soup. The fresh xiao long bao (soup dumplings) are also excellent.
Customers line up at China Jiaozi in the Hurstville Station food court to buy handmade youtiao (Chinese fried bread). Fluffy inside a golden crust, these strips of deep-fried dough are perfect for dipping into your morning coffee or the steaming soy milk that is made daily from scratch at this hole-in-the-wall takeaway. Spread with butter and/or kaya (coconut jam) for a taste of heaven.
Another hole in the wall delivering the goods is Phu Cuong King's Hot Bread, famous for its bánh mì. These Vietnamese buns filled with pickled carrots, fresh coriander and marinated duck or crunchy pork are scrumptious. Save some of your appetite for a slice of creamy watermelon cheesecake or warm choc chip cookie.Chow down on authentic Malaysian flavours at Kampong Boy, where the décor is reminiscent of old town Penang and the bowls of laksa will have you coming back for more. Try the impressive nasi lemak, the beef rendang or the tangy rojak salad, and be transported to places that we can now only dream of.
People come from all over Sydney to buy Oregano Bakery’s famous scrolls, delicious swirls of dough filled with cinnamon, salted caramel, Nutella, orange and macadamia, cookies and cream, and other flavour combinations. The traditional Lebanese baked goods they sell are to die for, but if sweets are not your thing, the downstairs section of the restaurant is all about pizzas and wraps.
Melbourne-born, Japanese-inspired pastry brand, Kurimu, is also a treat. The shop in Westfield Hurstville is famous for its almond-flavoured choux pastry filled with creamy custard and topped with crunchy almonds. This sweet sensation is positively addictive, just like many of the other treats in multicultural Hurstville.
Travelodge Hotels very first Hurstville hotel will open in the bustling city centre early next year. Developed by the Illawarra Catholic Club, the 124-room Travelodge property will sit adjacent to ‘Club Central’ and will have direct access into the club.
Comfort is a hallmark of the Travelodge brand and hotel guests can expect smart design in this super convenient location - just 7km from Sydney Airport along a main arterial route from the south, with excellent access to rail and nearby shopping districts and the Royal National Park. A focus on form and functionality will see guest rooms fitted out with twin or king beds as well as triple and quad configurations, each with a refreshingly simple design.
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