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Sydney Layover

Practically every time I want to leave Australia to go back to the US, I have to stopover in Sydney for a few hours. Sometimes I schedule my flights so that I have a whole day to hang out in Sydney before I board my (usually) evening flight home. This time, I decided not to spend the extra $$ and leave my small carry-on at airport luggage storage and lugged it around the city – bad idea. Living in Adelaide makes me forget what living in a really big city is like and I forgot that there are tons of people and lots of crazy freaky people as well. Dodging traffic and people while rolling my carry-on proved too exhausting so my jaunt lasted only a few hours. In the few hours, I was able to eat at my favorite Japanese hole-in-the-wall restaurant that I ALWAYS manage to eat at (at least once) whenever I go to Sydney.

KURA, Shop 3, 76 Ultimo Rd

Haymarket NSW 2000

Phone (02) 9212 5661

Located in Chinatown (Haymarket area) across from the famous (and tacky tourist trap) Paddy’s Market is a cash only, tiny (about 14 seat capacity) joint that often has a long queue at lunchtime. If people are waiting, you go inside to get a number and wait for your number to be called before going in. On this occasion, because I was alone, I was seated with another single young man in his early 20s eating his lunch. Normally it’s not a big deal to me being seated with a complete stranger but this table was so small that I was less than two feet from him! If I leaned over even slightly, I would be able to kiss his forehead! Needless to say, I didn’t complain but we were both rather uneasy with the intimate space we were sharing in complete silence. We didn’t even glance at each other nor did we make eye contact (he was listening to his iPod). The food is so good that I was willing to put up with this type of discomfort (and that’s saying a lot)! It isn’t gourmet but it is good quality, home-cooking at fantastic prices! Everything is good here but I especially come here to get either the chirashi or sushi combination with only costs about $10. They have daily lunch specials that come with miso soup and the takoyaki here is authentic and tasty.  This time I couldn’t help but get the six-piece aburi (lightly grilled on top but kept raw underneath) salmon sushi and mini udon special even though I knew I’d get fed soon on the plane. Yummy! This place is pretty authentic and is a great place for good Japanese food for a great price. Just remember that just like in busy restaurants in Japan, they want you to pay for your meal right after you order it so don’t be surprised by their polite request for you to do so!

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