Terrifically Fast Food

By Franz Scheurer


If you’re a good shopper then you know that ‘fast food’ means wonderful produce arranged on platters and served with a smile. It’s hard to go past a plate of prosciutto with some fresh sourdough and fabulous French butter laced with salt flakes, a platter of freshly cut, ripe tomatoes with some Italian buffalo mozzarella topped with basil leaves and extra virgin olive oil, or good Tasmanian smoked salmon with onion rings and capers. All simple, fast food that impresses.


Here are my favourite ‘fast food’ morsels, available on the run, if you need to feed yourself and only have limited time:


Bah Ku The

Mysteriously dark, rich, medicinal master stock flavoured with meat (close to the bone), this hearty soup originates in Port Klang, Malaysia, and the best version I’ve found in Sydney is available at:

Sydney Kopitiam Café

592 – 594 Harris Street,

Ultimo 2007

Tel.: 02 9282 9883


Cheese and Bacon Pie

Everyone makes Cheese and Bacon Pies these days and most of them are average at best. Here however, the pastry is flaky, the filling cheesy, meaty, recognizable and well seasoned. And the pies are served fresh out of the oven if you time it right!

Pie in the Sky

1296 Old Pacific Highway

Cowan NSW 2081

Tel.: 02 9985 7018


Toasted Turkish Pide

Sevinch and Sam serve fabulous coffee and know that customer loyalty depends on the quality of their food. Turkish sausages, felafel rolls, superlative toasted Turkish pide with lots of different fillings, everything is freshly made, well seasoned, tasty, crunchy and just right. 

Café Biscotti

349 Pacific Hwy, Artarmon

Tel.: 02 9436 4366


Quiche Lorraine

I know real men don’t eat quiche but I love it. When they’re fresh, airy, cheesy, full of lovely bacon pieces in a crisp, flaky pastry case, then they’re sublime. The best are made by Didier Sockeel at Castlecrag.

Ganache Patisserie Francaise

85 Edinburgh Street

Castlecrag NSW 2068

Tel.: 02 9967 2882


Tarte Flambée

For the uninitiated, a Tarte Flambée (or Flammeküeche) is an Alsatian dish of very thinly rolled dough with very sparse toppings, cooked in an extremely hot oven (usually straight on the stone) and served on a wooden board. The ‘Classic’ has a simple topping of onion and bacon on a cream cheese base, while the Strasbourg has choucroute and sausage.

Maître Karl Café and Bistro

197 High Street

Willoughby NSW 2068

Tel.: 02 9958 1110


Prawn Dumplings

If you view dumplings as something you eat at yum cha to fill the gap before the duck arrives, then you’ve never tasted Jade’s prawn dumplings. Gelatinous, delicate, translucent morsels, where the salty-sweet, sea flavour of the prawn dominates and the wrapper adds to the textural sensation, making it a gooey, yet resistant-to-bite, delicacy. The best thing about these dumplings is that you can buy them to take home, with clear instructions on how to cook them. They’ll disappear so fast you won’t believe it.

blue eye dragon

Shop 2

42 Harris Street


Tel.: 02 9518 9955


Ham and Cheese Toasted Sandwich

Generosity is always noticed and the Ham and Cheese Toasted Sandwich at the Road Warriors Café is not just good, it’s big; in fact it’s gargantuan. Lots of ham, lots of cheese, a couple of thick slices of bread and the whole lot toasted to perfection, just melting the cheese but not burning the toast. It will give you the necessary sustenance to ogle the assembly of motorbikes in the parking lot (Ducati riders beware: you might not fit onto your bike after one of these sandwiches!)

Road Warriors Café

Old Pacific Highway

Mount White NSW 2250


Heisser Leberkäse

The Austrians, Germans and Swiss make a terrific meatloaf called Leberkäse or Fleischkäse. A thick slice of this dense and savoury delicacy is eaten either as part of a sandwich (with a good sourdough and some mild mustard) or accompanied by a Pretzel. The best Leberkäse in Sydney is made by Ricki and it’s available hot from Tuesday to Saturday. They’ll even make you a sandwich! (It’s also great fried with an egg for breakfast)

Bavarian Smallgoods

39 Bartlett Street

Ermington NSW 2116

Tel.: 02 9638 7809



These fantastic filled pastries are addictive. They are full of flavour with a superb texture and the perfect snack on the run. As Spanish as bullfights and as Latin American as Tequila. Bariloche in the Southern Lakes district of Patagonia in Argentina is said to be their original home and Sydney’s best are baked in Glebe at:

Café Bariloche

333 Glebe Point Road

Glebe NSW 2037

Tel.: 9660 3524


Fish & Chips

This is such a simple, old-fashioned dish yet it can push all the right buttons when it’s perfect, it’s one of life’s little pleasures. I don’t know a chef anywhere in Sydney that is more committed to how he buys, handles and stores fish than Stephen Hodges. He believes flathead is best for fish & chips (and I tend to agree), his chips are bloody good as well. Served in a paper cone with a wedge of lemon and tartare sauce this is perfect finger-licking harbour city food.

Fish Face

132 Darlinghurst Road

Darlinghurst NSW 2010

Tel.: 02 9332 4803