It’s hot and stuffy. The sun is blazing outside and rudely creeping in through the blinds. Oh, my eyes! Why is it so bright? You move to roll over. Whoa…the bed, or wherever you parked yourself last night/this morning, feels like a tiny dinghy bobbing about on rough seas. *Bob, bob, bob, bob…* It’s too hot to keep sleeping and you really need something to settle down the party which has been continuing in your stomach and bloodstream despite you stopping hours ago.
Good morning (or afternoon), and a happy new year to you, your stomach, your pounding headache and…so nice of you to join us, Hangover!
Although there are no foods which can miraculously cure hangovers, there are certain foods that somehow make you feel better through nothing other than comfort or placebo effect. If you’re wanting something fast-food yet can’t bear the usual international chains, then Ocean Foods has many deep-fried and more virtuous non-deep fried options. The grilled barramundi with chips (below) is just one of them – it is unbattered and cooked on the spot like all their hot foods. Paired with some sweet, crunchy and not-at-all greasy crab claws as well as a small tub of salad (coleslaw in this instance, pictured below) and you can soothe that hangover whilst having a balanced meal. For something in a more central location, there’s that famous soft-shell crab omelette (unpictured) from Café Ish which the husband keeps raving to everyone about.
Or perhaps you want something a little more pure and soothing. Pho An has any combination of beef, fatty beef, beef meatballs, beef tendon, tripe, chicken, etc in a fragrant Vietnamese beef or chicken broth with slippery flat rice noodles where chewing isn’t even required. Topped with fresh herbs to awaken the senses, stir in chopped chillies for warmth and slurp to restore some much-needed hydration. Noodle bowls are available in small (regular) and large sizes, and your food will appear almost instantly by magic. Peruse the menu at the doorway or ask for a printed menu when seated, as the wall menus are in Vietnamese and Chinese only.
To combine the best of both worlds Ton Ton Regent has ramen, karaage chicken, gyoza and tempura amongst other things, whilst Menya Mappen has udon, soba, lots of fresh crunchy tempura and kakiage, poached egg and small rice bowls all for very affordable prices. And runny eggs always make things better.
Gumshara will give you a thick, sticky, flavoursome and soul-restoring soup where each bowl is taste-tested by the master himself before being served. The noodles are springy and the pork is plentiful. Add a soft-boiled egg and you’re absolutely set for the day. If you want an alternate to noodles the ‘Special Rice’ bowl is serious value at around $8 with a foundation of rice mixed with sesame seeds, soft-boiled egg and vegetables topped with roast pork, and then the whole thing repeated on top of it again – it will satisfy the most ravenous of hangover hungers.
For a variety of eats including deep-fried things, rice, noodles, soups and Hong Kong fusion-style pastas then you simply cannot go past a “cha chaan teng” (茶餐廳). Iced lemon tea rates highly on my long-time loves even though it’s only black tea, sugar syrup and fresh lemon slices. You’ll find sweet drinks incorporating azuki (red) beans and grass jelly as well as Hong Kong-style French toast “sai dor see” (西多士) – typically two slices of white bread sandwiched with peanut butter, deep-fried in eggy batter before being served with butter and golden syrup. Trolley/cart noodles used to be street food sold, well, from a mobile cooking trolley, allowing for personalisation of soup noodles (flat rice noodles, rice vermicelli, Hokkien noodles, flat egg noodles, thin egg noodles, etc) and toppings (dried squid, fish balls, fried fish skin, luncheon meat, ham, pig’s blood jelly, beef meatballs, pork meatballs, chicken wings, mushrooms, etc and an array of vegetables). Not available at many Hong Kong fusion-style cafés in Sydney, Victoria Noodle Restaurant offers a great selection of noodles and toppings as well as other menu items. Try their salt and chilli chicken wings with rice – hangover or no hangover – if you get a chance.
For something healthy and sweet, wowcow serves 98% fat-free yoghurt with active cultures that is smooth and slides easily down the throat. One of Sydney’s earlier frozen yoghurt chains, mix in whatever toppings take your fancy from their display window and pair with cinnamon-sugared wow-sticks (baked churros) for dipping. I spotted Joh Bailey bringing a group of friends here late one night, and don’t forget to crane your head back (provided it doesn't induce too much dizziness) to marvel at the cow feature adorning the ceiling!
Corner of Lyons Rd & Gipps St, Drummoyne NSW
Tel: (02) 9181 4336
Opening Hours: 7 days 9am-9pm
82 Campbell St (cnr Foster St), Surry Hills NSW
Tel: (02) 9281 1688
Opening Hours: Mon-Tues 7am-4pm
27 Greenfield Pde (near cnr Stewart Ln), Bankstown NSW
Tel: (02) 9796 7826
Opening Hours: 7 days 7am-9pm
Shop 10.16, Ground floor of Regent Place, 501 George St (cnr Bathurst St), Sydney NSW
Tel: (02) 9267 1313
Opening Hours: 7 days 11:30am-10pm
Shop 11, Ground Floor of Meriton Tower – Skyview Shopping Plaza, 537-551 George St (near cnr Liverpool St), Sydney NSW
Tel: (02) 9283 5525
Opening Hours: Sun-Wed 11:30am-10pm
Shop 209, Lower Ground Level, Harbour Plaza, 25-29 Dixon St (Chinatown), Haymarket NSW
Tel: 0410 253 180
Opening Hours: Mon CLOSED
Shop A8, Lower level of Victoria Plaza, 369 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW
Tel: (02) 9410 1822
Opening Hours: 7 days…11am-10pm
Shop 2, 304-308 Victoria St, Darlinghurst NSW
Tel: (02) 9326 0400
Opening Hours: Mon-Thurs 11:30am-11pm
Fri 11:30am-12 midnight
Sat 11am-12 midnight