Ask the Expert: Magdi Zarzour Talks Sydney's Underrated Destinations

Amora Jamison Sydney chief concierge Magdi Zarzour shares his top tips for Sydney, including pristine water views and authentic Indian dishes.

What is your favourite place to enjoy water views?
Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel. What a spectacular location to enjoy a sit-down meal with a glass of icy-cold wine. You can even get a fish and chips to take away and enjoy in the park, relaxing in front of the water views. On a nice day, it's an unforgettable experience.

What is an underrated Sydney destination?
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, a national park approximately an hour-and-a-half drive from Sydney, best to enjoy with a full-day tour experience with Sydney OutBack tours. These include a bus tour and a scenic catamaran cruise from which you can admire all of the ancient Aboriginal rock engraving sites. A real underrated Sydney destination, which this day tour makes more accessible.

What is your favourite meal to have out (and where can we find it)?
Hmmm! What a difficult question; I love all foods and all flavours. Recently I was invited to a tasting dinner at a newly opened Indian restaurant just down the road from the Amora Jamison Sydney called The Grand Pavilion. As I walked in I was astonished by the peculiar décor and the huge variety of authentic, delicious Indian dishes on the menu. My favourite dish was the chicken biryani, a unique combination of chicken with rice and Indian spices served hot and baked. Don’t forget to try the fresh mango lassi—amazing!

If you were going on a shopping spree, where would you go?
Alexandria and Waterloo, neighbouring suburbs in Sydney's inner-west. Catch a bus from the city to Botany Road in Alexandria, or a train along the Airport Line getting off at Green Square. From there, make your way along Botany Road to the Wittner outlet on Bourke Street in Waterloo, where you'll find great prices on shoes. If you want more then try the nearby FSW Shoes on McEvoy Street in Alexandria. Along Botany Road there are a few sports shops, such as New Balance and Puma. You'll also find great discounts on high-end fashion brands such as Seafolly and Marcs. For kitchenware, check out Victoria’s Basement and Peter’s of Kensington.

What is your favourite thing to do for free in Sydney?
The Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. All you have to pay is the bus fare using an Opal Card. You can catch bus 333 from Alfred Street in Circular Quay to Bondi Beach, only about a 30-minute ride. When you get off, head towards Bondi Baths and enjoy the views along the way. I love this walk especially during the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition in springtime.

Kirsty Sier
About the author

Editor of Where Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast)