Neon neighbours

31 Oct 2019

While the glow of neon on Little Hay may tempt you like a moth to the flame as the evening descends, this is a street alive day and night with things to do, places to eat and opportunities to treat yourself.

9AM: Sun’s up, buns up. Get the good times rolling early with something sweet— more specifically, a bubble tea and pastry combo from Bengong Black. Served hot or cold, the bakery’s signature drink is filled with brown sugar syrup-infused black pearls, and tastes much like a choir of angels singing. Then grab one of the Asian-inspired French pastries, or a pillow-soft bread filled with fruit cream and topped with fresh fruits.

11AM: Now that you’ve treated your tastebuds, indulge in something else. Just around the corner, FIVE Beauty is responsible for some of the best manicures and pedicures in the city and is in the know on all the latest nail art trends from Korea. If a cut and polish doesn’t take your fancy, they also offer every other beauty treatment imaginable, including high quality, full eyelash extensions. Just remember to book first!

1PM: Wander those twinkle toes on down to Dopa, a new concept from the people behind the much-loved Devon café (Surry Hills, Barangaroo, North Sydney). From their very appealing half-sweet, half-savoury menu, we’re leaning toward a don rice bowl for a Japanese twist on lunchtime.

3PM: Let’s get threaded up. Distract those 3pm cravings at fifteen sheets, a multi-label lifestyle and fashion store with a focus on individuality, simplicity and quality. Inspired by the casual contemporary fashion and vibes of Los Angeles, expect labels like Descendant of Thieves, Alternative Apparel, and Weekend Offender. For the ladies, there’s new brands like Beyond The Vines from Singapore and Nala from Malaysia who will be making their first physical store appearance in Australia. Your cool kid on the block aspirations just got real.

4PM: On a street of electric treats, it’s easy to get distracted. We understand if you need to pop into Shortstop for a coffee and donut or to Kürtősh for some warm, spiced Hungarian pastry. Side note: did you know the name Kürtősh is based on the Hungarian word for chimney; kürtő”? Neither did we! But it’ll all make sense when you see the small cylindrical tower of deliciousness approaching your mouth.

6PM: Enough eating for the minute! Take a breather and check out the teams playing Mahjong in the Square. Feel like joining them? You can pick up a Mahjong set from Gelato Messina.

: It wouldn’t be a proper Sydney experience without a delicious dinner somewhere vibey. The Filipino street food masters at Rey Jr (from the team behind Rey’s Place) have snacks, street food and sweets covered on little Hay Street. Expect a shareable menu featuring the flavours of the Philippines with some surprises.

8.30PM: Look up! The neon Brendan Van Hek artwork should be well and truly glowing by now. The work is made completely of discarded neon and is intended to represent all the energy, vibrancy and noise of Chinatown. Can’t you feel it? 

8.35PM: While you’re here on Little Hay, why not stop in at Hair Corner for a late night trim or blow dry. Ranked as one of the largest up-market salon chains in Hong Kong, Hair Corner is now here at Darling Square, offering treatments, beauty advice, and a whole heap of luxurious skin and hair care products.

10.30PM: To end the evening with the sweetest dreams, our pick is Gelato Messina. Three scoops are always better than one, especially when you’re sharing with a sweetheart of your own.