January 13th, 2011

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

This Week's Column - Student Friendly Eats

Published in the Bondi View and City News.

This week I have turned my column inches over to Matthew Blakely, a media student from the University of NSW. As you will be able to see, Matthew is passionate about both food and writing; and he’s keen to channel both into a professional food journalism career. The mission I set him was to uncover some student friendly eats in time for the first semester back in 2011. I’ll let you be the judge of his endeavours…

Student Friendly Eats
By Matthew Blakely

Which came first, the international student or the international cuisine? If ever there was a better-served location for food from all parts of the globe I certainly haven’t experienced it and don’t think I need to. With the combination of Newtown‘s King Street restaurants, the Glebe Point Road eateries and the many hole- in-the-wall cafes and diners dotted around the wider Broadway area, the starving student could not want for more. From Giulia’s, a busy breakfast spot famous for their rhubarb waffles to Badde Manors, a relaxed vegan restaurant minus the holier-than-thou attitude, the region really has every taste and budget covered.

A must for the solitary wanderer is Sappho Books Café. If you want to ponder the more challenging revelations of Marxist theory then this is the place to do it. Reminiscent of the backyard of that über-cool uni friend, the almost entirely outdoor space is great for catching up with a friend or a little bit of alone time with their excellent coffee. Try the pumpkin, rocket and pine nut salad for a light lunch or graze your way through their generous servings of banana or pear and raspberry bread. Service is a little on the slow side, so it is best to not be in a hurry, but this is a relaxed space so those who are short on time are best advised to avoid it.

If you should find that your study group has whittled away the hours in the law library, despite none of you actually being law students (law students hate this), then take a break from the boredom at Kuleto’s cocktail bar. Thursdays are the best nights for the cash strapped intellectual as any cocktail comes with... another cocktail! YES! Free booze! The bar staff will make any of the classics you like, but have a range of exciting concoctions on the regularly updated menu. You could be mistaken for thinking you had somehow teleported away from the grungy King Street scene into a trendy Surry Hills bar, but are delightfully reminded that you are indeed in Newtown as these cocktails are at most $17 apiece. Try the Apple and Passionfruit Collins...

If your food budget can only stretch as far as cheese toast and Fantastic noodles you might be thinking that your dining out options are few and far between. Fear not my penny-pinching friends as there is almost an entire suburb dedicated to your needs. A short bus ride down to Haymarket provides ample face-stuffing opportunities. Try the Marigold for yum cha or Market City Food Court for a quick bowl of laksa. There are also numerous small eateries lining most side streets, so the only issue will be in choosing which cheap eat is most to your liking. A little closer to the CBD on Pitt St is the little known Japanese restaurant Sakura. The food is fast, tasty and dirt-cheap and the portions are generous, with my favourite chicken katsu coming in at under $10. Space is at a premium, but you rarely stay more than half an hour.

There are so many restaurants to choose from in the area that you may find your worries about budget are replaced with making a decision on where to eat. If you like eating it then there will be a restaurant to suit your tastes. You need only let your feet do the walking.

Sappho Books Cafe
51 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
Ph: (02) 9552 4498


157 King Street, Newtown

Ph: (02) 9519 6369


683 George Street, Sydney

Ph: (02) 9261 8988


325 Pitt Street, Sydney

Ph: (02) 9261 0711

92 Abercrombie Street, Chippendale
Ph: (02) 9698 4424

Badde Manors
37 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
Ph: (02) 9660 3797