Sydney Part II: QVB, Chanoma, and Chinatown

Just in case you missed it, you can read Sydney Part 1 here.

I mentioned before I left that I was being used as a GPS for my mum for this trip. It definitely turned out to be very true during our 4th day when my mum and I explored the city by ourselves to let our aunty take a rest from shopping all day every day. Thanks to the recommendation of Angie, our first stop was the beautiful Queen Victoria Building (QVB) in the CBD. We bought train tickets to Town Hall, and QVB is almost literally across the train station when you exit. Behold, one of the most splendid shopping mall establishments I have laid eyes upon. It makes you want to speak British..


My camera hates people taking photos of me. I always come out blurry…


The Palace Tea Room looks exquisite for High Tea.

Calling it a shopping mall sounds too inferior for such a pretty place grand abode (see what I mean?! Simple English does not do this place justice). There are the high end stores like Versace, Ralph Lauren and other names I do not know, but the lower levels have the more appropriate-for-everyday-shopping stores (unless of course, if you’re loaded and can afford Versace as everyday shopping) such as Victoria’s Secret, T2 and the T2 Brew Bar, and so forth. My mum was immensely excited to browse the higher end stores while I dutifully played my part of a typical tourist and vlogged the place to show my sister back home. Now that I think about it, I did a lot of shopping but hardly any buying. I had only a 7kg carry on baggage allowance (my mum paid extra in her ticket for a 20kg checked in baggage and said I could use it too but of course that never happened), and most of the things I bought were shopping requests from my friends so baggage space and weight became fairly limited. Next time I go on a holiday, I don’t think I’ll tell anyone so I can have more luggage space to myself for my own shopping haha.

There’s an Adriano Zumbo kiosk in the QVB too! I had already planned on buying macarons on the last day to bring home for others from The Star, but when they’re right in front of you, it’s hard to resist. I bought one to try but found the Zumbaron (Zumbo macaron) disappointing- the display fridge temperature was much too cold so the Zumbaron was also cold, a little hard and quite chewy.  This was also possibly because it’s a kiosk so the cakes and macarons are delivered there and not made fresh. I recommend getting Zumbarons from The Star which is near Darling Harbour because those are made fresh in store, and they were freaking amazing. I’ll save that part for a whole new post next. Here’s a sneak peak photo though:IMG_8821a

If you’re going to eat, I would avoid eating at QVB. I got hungry and said I could wait but my mum, being her usual over-protective self was convinced I was about to collapse of hunger at any second and insisted we quickly eat something. We popped into The Fat Buddha  which is yum char on the higher floors and that decision came with a price. It was empty (always a danger sign), no trolleys of food and service was bordering upon condescending. The price we had to pay for all of that?

20140703_172329_20140704215916589-1$19.00 FOR TWO DISHES. TWO. One was har gau, and the other was the bean curd roll. And $3 for tea?! We were given the menu to order some more dishes but needless to say, the exorbitant prices made me full very quickly…

Another to-do on my list was to visit Chanomaa Japanese Matcha cafe. It’s next to KFC on the intersection outside the Town Hall station and has a wide range of matcha drinks and desserts.

Matcha Latte


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Matcha Anmitsu

I don’t really know what to say about this place. It’s not the best Green Tea ice cream but it was good enough. Worth a visit I guess. Wishing we have a Via Tokyo (look it up on Instagram and drool away) somewhere because their green tea desserts look divine.

From QVB, it’s about an 18 minute walk down to Chinatown. It’s easier to get to Chinatown by getting off at Central Station but we didn’t know that buying a train ticket to Town Hall enables us to take the train to Central too since they’re both in the CBD area. It’s not a tedious walk though because there are so many shops and even more shopping malls along the way. It’s insane how endless the shopping is in Sydney. The timing of our trip was perfect because it was the end of the financial year so everything was on sale. Cha-ching!

Whilst walking to Chinatown. More photogenic buildings.

There’s Market City which is another shopping mall and also an underground market. I was going to buy a Totoro hoodie which was $15 but my mum did her usual “Look around for bit and there’ll be heaps of stores selling the same one.” We didn’t see it anywhere else, so she convinced me that there would be more shops out on the streets and then “Oh look, we’re back at the train station and it’s time to go home now.” *Collapses onto the floor Disney style and sobs my heart out*. Just kidding, I already knew that was going to happen while it was happening. I think I’m babbling too much again, I’m going to get straight to the point and skip these useless stories from here on. Sorry!

Across Market City is another small section of Chinatown, and there was a LONG queue for these Emperor Cream Puffs.

IMG_8717MYXJ_20140703142603_saveI figured it must be amazingly good, so I queued up too. It took an hour until I got to the front of the line. Dedication! Turns out that the machine spits out 3 cream puffs every 10ish seconds and since people were ordering about 60 puffs each (3 boxes), the task became tediously slow.

I found them again in Cabramatta and there was no line (yay!).

The outside is sponge-y and cake-y, while the inside is custard cream filled. Do we have this here in New Zealand? I’ve never seen it before! Also, is there another name for them? I only see European cream puffs coming up on Google.

Chinatown is the best place to just get lost and explore. We wandered around so many twists and turns and encountered many surprise shops without knowing where we were really going. CBD really requires a lot of walking which is good because I have a feeling those cream puffs have copious amounts of butter in them haha.

On the way back to Central Station from Chinatown, there is Daiso Japan, which is the same as the $3 Japan in NZ, only much more bigger and better. And you know what, if that wasn’t enough shopping, I also went to Paramatta Westfield mall which is huge, I think  there are 6 levels. Everything was on sale of course due to the end of financial year, but there were so much sales that I got overwhelmed that I felt like fleeing. I did buy 2 things though- lip balm because my Etude House one actually made my lips even drier after applying it (don’t fall for Etude House’s cute packaging like I did, their products never work), and perfume as yet another gift for a friend.

If you’re someone who impulsively buys things when you see sale signs, bring me along. I shoot my Mum and sister down all the time when they’re shopping ;D “You don’t need that. You won’t use that. Maybe, but let’s go with a no.” Or  not, I’m quite a killjoy :/

It’s insane the amount of shopping there is to do in Sydney. My cousin was telling me they wished they had the chance to take us to Flemington where all the markets are. I was simply aghast. There’s more?? *shakes head in disbelief*

Well, this shopping post is done, my next one shall be dedicated entirely to Ladurée, Adriano Zumbo, and Din Tai Fung.


11 thoughts on “Sydney Part II: QVB, Chanoma, and Chinatown

  1. Wow that shopping center does look really fancy, I also love all that light!
    Never ever would have gotten into that huge line but those cream cakes do look tasty :)
    Funny that we have a Cha no ma in Austria as well (proobably not the very same brand), only place you can get decent matcha drinks but better than nothing :D

    1. I had no idea Vienna would have multicultural things like Matcha cafe. Forgive my ignorance, I’ve always thought it was like Italy where people (in movies anyway) eat only Italian :O Yeah, I usually wouldn’t wait so long either but I was scared it might turn out to be something really famous haha

      1. Haha no we have some variety with restaurants (even a cat cafe), not a lot but getting there :) and only two Matcha places but I am grateful that at least some sell matcha! Haha at least you can say you have tried it

  2. Oh gosh! You sound just like my sister who keeps saying… “Don’t you have that already?” whenever I go shopping!

    The macarons at Laduree is fab! Looking forward to your posts!

    1. Woahhh, a word for word quote even! I’m totally guilty of that line too. Loving your up-to-date photo posts on Instagram, it feels like you’ve brought us along with you :D

  3. $9.50 for dim sum is crazy, though the cream puffs seem crazy cheap. They should bump up the price a little and maybe the line will be less long but they will still make a good living.

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