Sydney is a mecca for food lovers, especially if you like to explore your taste buds. The strong influence from Asia means that you will find a very vibrant food scene here when it comes to Asian and Asian-inspired food compared to the US and particularly compared to Europe. This is your chance to either try some new food you would not find easily - if at all - in Europe, or to awake past memories of pleasant holidays in Southeast Asia.
Din Tai Fung (Taiwanese) at World Square. Best dumplings ever...really!. Must have: Steamed pork dumplings with soy and vinegar, Vegetarian Delight, Pork Wonton with Tangy Sauce, Hot and Sour Soup, and Taro or Black Sesame ice cream. Don't be scared off by the queue. You get a number and a rough waiting time so you can wander off for a bit. Use your time waiting to choose your order, and food is served straight away when seated (so no more total waiting than usual).
Chefs Gallery (Taiwanese) on Bathurst street at Town Hall. Certainly worth a visit. Would probably be 'World famous' if it was in Europe, but Sydney is spoiled with also having Din Tai Fung. Chefs special: silk tofu...very delicate.
Mamak (Malay) in China town: Best Malay! This is a must go place. Must have: Roti Chanai, Lamb curry with rice. Also try chicken skewers, dessert Roti with Banana or Kaya, and any of their home-made hot or cold Malay drinks. Come early but don' be scared off by the queue. Use waiting time to choose your order. Food is served straight away after you get a seat (so no more total waiting than usual).
Petaling Street (Malay) on George street. If you just can't cope with the queue at Mamak, then Petaling is certainly worth a visit for some classic Malay dishes, such a Beef Rendang and Roti Chanai (one of the few places on George street worth a visit when it comes to eating).
Home Thai (Thai) on Sussex street just a 5 minute walk straight north of the conference venue. You often have to queue, but it it worth the wait.
Yok Yor Food Factory (Thai) on Campbell street: Are we in Bangkok? Don't tell anyone! This is one of Sydney's best kept secrets...and it is cheap. Their menu is extensive, but try their crispy coconut pancake and Thai milk tea.
Two other very good Thai places (on the same street as Yok Yor) are Chon Siam (just opposite Yor Yor) and Chat Thai. The latter has often a long queue but to be honest the food is both better and cheaper at Yok Yor.
Just 1 min further walk to the east under the railway you find two other Thai restaurants that also standout above the crowd (and the crowd is pretty big and competitive here in Sydney). Spice I am and House. The latter offers North Eastern Thai cuisine, which is less wide spread in Sydney. Try their BTS (Better-Than-Sex), which is truly BTS if you are a dessert lover.
Jaipur on Elisabeth street (Indian), is a large eatery with all the usual stuff and abit more. If you like it spicy, try the Hilarious Bollywood Bum Burner "that make you smile the next" they promise. And yes, it is really true!
Marigold on George street and East Ocean on Sussex street 2 mins from the conference venue both serve Yum Cha (Chinese lunch: dim sums etc). Both are Sydney classics for Yum Cha and located in China Town. Typically people go out for Yum Cha on the weekend for lunch. Yum Cha is for groups. The more people you are the better.
Spicy Szechuan Restaurant. Luckily Chinese food is more than just the take away fried food that have spread all over much of Europe. Szechuan offers a unique spicy experience to the Chinese cuisine, famous for its small peppers.
Glebe Point Road (just north of Sydney University Campus) and King st (just south of campus) have an abundances of restaurants (good and cheap). Ask one of the locals (or eatability.com.au) if you want a tip on where to go for Thai, Indonesian, Sri Lankan, African, or various parts of Chinese etc. A visit to Newtown for dinner is recommended after the Public talk, which is held nearby.