28 December 2018

2018 Gone but not forgotten - our end of year round up of lost eateries

They've collected the plates and wiped down the tables one last time. Here's our annual round up of those places closed for good in 2018.

Each year we spend time to mark the passing of food places we loved and places we missed out on eating at. It's our annual reminder to get back to favourites, relish what's around now and not be so obsessed with the new.

This year we were most sad to see Mother Chu, Zhou Mum and Oden House in Chinatown close and Little Devil Cakes and Bakery in Glebe. Near to our home Azzi Fruit Market will be sorely missed, especially the super friendly Mr Azzi. The happiest return was Kebab Al-Hojat in Merrylands, open once again after a fire last year. If we have missed any of your favourites, let us know in the comments below.

Sydney CBD
What can we say about the state of the Sydney CBD besides its obvious horror. Many places closed last year to make way for the new Metro line, while others are suffering under the construction of the light rail with lawsuits a plenty. The Coffee Club on Pitt St closed, Vivo Cafe on George St. Tim Ho Wan closed all of its Sydney stores. Yummy Cuisine in Martin Place closed when all the stores in that small arcade were redeveloped. Take and Taste Vietnamese closed in the Bridge St mini food court. The long standing Laksa stall in Hunter Connection also closed end of 2017, as did the Hong Hai Noodle Bar this year.

Around Central Station Singapore Raffles became Jaipur Sweets (which moved from up the road when it was India Gate). Sumo Salad and Furin Ramen closed and the Huoshao King donkey meat restaurant that replaced it didn't last long.

In Thaitown both Lucky Thai grocery stores closed and the Thai grocery store cnr Pitt and Hay in the old colonial building closed as well. Pinto Sydney has been locked out by the landlords.

Chinatown continues to shift and change. With the redevelopment of the East Ocean Arcade, Mother Chu's Taiwnese closed, a favourite of our for breakfast. In Dixon Street Mall, Taiwan Ganbei, Yogurberry and Golden Harbour closed. Wagaya closed it's fun press button service restaurant on Harbour St, La Mesa Filipino Restaurant closed and Lao City Thai went. Takata Japanese became Taste of Lan. On Ramen is now Kanu Ramen. We think the area is really feeling the squeeze of development on both sides and will benefit when many of the apartments are finished and the population increases locally.

In the food courts, Eating World lost Yummy Kitchen, Red Charcoal, Chi Fong (now Pho Viet Long) and a brief lived malatang stand. Both Sussex Centre and Dixon House closed their Malatang stalls, Oden House and Ajisan closed in Sussex Centre and Weng Xiao Chu, Zhou Mum and Pondok Selera both closed in Dixon House.

Down Broadway we go to Ultimo, Pho Hanam Vietnamese is now Duoway Chinese Noodle Hub,
My Duo Pie briefly became Yi Taste and is now 1927 convenience store. Essen is now One Rice One Noodle. Destination Roll led the departure of pork roll shops in the area. The Thai place in Mountain St courtyard closed, in Broadway Food Court QY Dumpling Bar is now Xinruyi Chinese Street Food.
E-rashai Japanese is now Xi'an Biang Biang Noodles and LuShi Hot Pot has never quite opened.
Ezy Food and Juice in Broadway Shopping Centre closed, one less pork roll supplier.

In Glebe we had two more pork roll suppliers close, leading to a great problem in our weekly pork roll fix requirements. Little Devil Cakes & Bakery closed after more than 15 years in the area, this is a place where we got a pork roll for the last 12 years and we loved every one. VR Vietnamese Rolls closed after about two years, but will still be missed for a quick banh mi. Nearby at University House Eat Falafel and Lina's Kusina (and the short lived Lebanese that replaced it) have closed. The Roxbury Hotel at Forest Lodge is set to become short term accommodation. Fresh Choice Chinese closed after a wayward truck rammed through the front doors, ? Cafe on Ross St closed (goodbye plain salad sandwiches), while Well Connected Cafe, the supermarket cnr Mitchell St, Himalayan Char Grill and The Record Crate closed on Glebe Point Rd.

We travel along King St in Newtown nearly every day, so we really see the changes there. It's a long list so, from the City Rd end: Charming World Grocer, Queen Roll and Juice Bar, Gould's moved further down King St but closed in that beautiful old building, King St Grocer, La Riena Arepas, Persian Broil now Kurrachee, King Buffet then Ha Long 2 then Gold Ginger now closed, Asakusa is now Taste of China, Jamaica Bar, Thanh Binh, Belle Sweets Avenue now Holy Pho, Doughnut Time, Max Brenner, Mad Mex.

Advanced Loan, Bliss n Chips, Ballado, Jimmy Grants, Old Street Chinese now Thai Terrific, Pretty Dog, Whateley Lane Italian then Falafel joint then Wraps and Plates now closed, Moo Burger, Salmon and Bear, Iberico, Burger Fuel now Burger Doctor, Sushi King became Dinnings now closed, Get Fresh next to IGA closed.

Down south Cafe 2042, Hot Wok Noodle Bar became White Angels Cafe, The Shack is Solo Indonesian, Bench was Mona's Indonesian now closed, Nonna Gio, Molly Coddle Cafe, One Stop Fruit Shop is for sale, Foodarama. Both The Bach Eatery and Fiji Market are due to close soon, one closing up shop the other on the market.

The fire at Happy Chef means this placed hopefully will only be closed for a short time. The huge outpouring of love for a Chinese restaurant is something special.

Enmore Road continues the drive to convert every second shop into a bar. Oz Fuss became Kahve and Friends, Fatous African hairdresser closed, Saba Tobacconist now Cottonmouth Records, the wonderful Azzi Fruit Market is now Hopsters, wonderful second hand shop St Lukes Op Shop shut up and moved into their church yard around the corner. We also note the 'For Lease' sign that has recently appeared on top of Bovine and Swine. Pia the toy obsessed doggie from Koru Framing has ripped the head off her last toy. Wynstan our favourite street pat cat on Metropolitan Rd has gone missing, feared cat napped.

In the inner west, Illawarra Rd in Marrickville saw a number of older stores closed. More and more we are seeing fishmongers, butchers, small fruit and grocery stores close down all over the inner city.

Phuc Hai Seafood closed, Illawarra Rd Meat Market as did Papaya Grill Lao and Quyen Vietnamese.

In Sydenham fire destroyed the General Gordon Hotel during the middle of renovations. No news on its fate.

Around the inner west in Summer Hill Summer Bakes closed, in Dulwich Hill The Valley Lebanese Bakery closed, in Annandale Stir Classic is shut and the Olympia Milk Bar in Stanmore is still closed. In Leichhardt Living Juice Bar, La Cocina de la Abuela Mexican, Sofra Turkish and The Colonial (now Fan Tong Dumplings) closed. Sushi Rashai moved to a new shop next door. AC Butchery closed after the death of the founder.

Masters Satay and Grill closed just after we had eaten there a few times. We have been slow to blog places this year and we missed out on putting this one up before it shut up shop. Lesson learned for us in the new year.

In Eastern Sydney The Naughty Chef moved to Martin place and is now Hanh Phuc Vegetarian Vietnamese. Great Aunty Three became Saigon Summer. Taprobana Sri Lankan closed in Centennial Plaza.

In Surry Hills the impact of the light rail works were still felt along Devonshire St with Bollywood Mirch Masala closing and becoming the excellent Wow Malaysia. Masala Lovers on Cleveland St, previously a long running ramen place also closed. Most of Oxford St in Darlinghurst has shut down due to major redevelopment, apart from the clubs and pubs there's a large number of empty shops. Sir Allen Taylor & Co in Taylor Square closed as did long running hospitality store Fraser & Hughes.

In Bondi Junction both the Windmill Hotel and Cock n Bull Hotel closed, redeveloped into apartment sites. Sydney pubs are either being knocked down or bought out by Merivale, we're not sure which one is worse.

In Mascot the heavy hand of redevelopment has fallen, the Mascot Telephone Exchange has been demolished. Baan Thai is now Dapoer Shalom.

Out west in Merrylands Kebab Al Hojat burned down in November 2017 but reopened not long after. Al Shami moved across train line and Mazar Restaurant is now Kabul Sydney Restaurant.

In other areas, (and we're getting close to the end now) in Hunters Hill the Grand View Chinese Restaurant closed and in Neutral Bay Lipo Dumpling closed.

We were sad to lose one of Australia's finest 'big' attractions at Port Stephens with the destruction by fire of the The Rock Roadhouse previously known as Leyland Brothers World.

Overseas the Tsukiji Fish market in Tokyo closed and moved to new shiny digs in Toyosu. The parade of trucks in the early morning, marking the change over to the new site, would have been something to see. In the West End of London Gaby's Deli, open since1965, is set to close.

Food people who departed this year were Terry-San from HaNa Jurin, the chef from Panlasang Pinoy in Kogarah (we saw a sign in store), Simon Lay from Peiking Duck in Box Hill, Carlo Colaiacomol, from AC Butchery (Angela passed away last year) and Sisto Malaspina from Pellegrinis. Of course Anthony Bourdain, Jonathan Gold and Joel Rubuchon. Mastanamma, the 107 year old Indian You Tube chef, also passed away.

We'd also like to tip a last drink for Pete Shelley, Spencer Jones, Tony Joe White, Conway Savage, and Stephen Hillenburg.

Finally, the one thing we won't miss seeing around Sydney, if only the rest would go...

See you all in 2019 for more adventures in the Wonderful World of B-Kyu. We might post less these days here on the blog but we're always up to something, somewhere.

Alison & Shawn


  1. I lived in Newtown 5 years until 2 years ago when we moved out to The Hills (had a newborn and a home business that needed space). Going back a couple of times this year I too have noticed the amount of closures on Newtown, Glebe and Enmore. It must be a record. It's a real shame. I wonder if the high cost of living is biting so much that it's hard to get people to spend enough to sustain so many businesses. I know I am much more frugal than I used to be.

    1. The changes are so much more frequent. High rents and passing fads mean places just don't last long. We do wonder about the amount of research places must do before they open (none) because some just seem badly set up to begin with. Others are stores that seem to just not be able to compete.

  2. I just passed mother chu’s on the way to jinmen in Sussex centre - and it’s reopened (and bustling)! Might be different owners but signage looks the same

    1. Thanks for the outstanding news! And how great is Jinmen, eh?!?!?

  3. Please edit Your blog. Fiji Market not closing down. We love our community and are here to stay.
    Kirsty Lai - owner


Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great eats that come along with it :-)

Our ethics: We pay for all our own meals and travel (though sometimes Mum shouts us).