Does Brendan Maclean’s face seem familiar to you? You may have seen the actor and singer-songwriter in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, where Maclean played Gatsby’s perennial houseguest Ewing Klipspringer, or on the ABC comedy Fucking Adelaide or recently as the titular character(s) in Jekyll & Hyde the Musical – a role for which he earned rave reviews. You might also recall Maclean’s stint on Triple J from around 2007–2013. You can see him singing, dancing and pretending to be French in L’Hôtel at Sydney Opera House until November 13.

Read on for Brendan Maclean’s My Sydney.

Fave Sydney restaurant: Chinese Dumpling Master. Get the soupy dumplings and special braised eggplant, deeply powerful.

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Essential brunch or breakfast spot: Newtown’s Satellite Cafe. Sit in the sun with a Club-Mate. The music here is loud enough that you can opt out of conversations or pretend you didn’t hear people. A perfect hangover location.

Store to shop: Tenth Muse in Stanmore. It’s where I go to make guys think I’m wealthy on a first date. I buy fancy cheese, dolmades and the housemade hummus – then fill the rest of my picnic basket with stuff from IGA.

Most underrated place: El Jannah – any of their locations. Those chicken tenders have saved lives and marriages.

The thing that makes Sydney a better place: Big shout-out to the Hare Krishna Mobile Food Van that serves up meals by donation outside the Newtown community hub. If they didn’t exist, I’d have gone multiple nights without a meal during the pandemic. Love those angels.

Essential Sydney song: The Whitlams wrote a lot of songs about Sydney, didn’t they? They had that one about The Sandringham Hotel which was okay. Like, not good enough to stop the venue being turned into a soulless mini-golf bar for yuppies, but they gave it a whirl.

Ideal day in Sydney: Catch me holding court at The Bearded Tit, then we’re off to Macelleria on Enmore Road for steak and cinnamon-sweet-potato chips, followed by scoops of Turkish delight and cacao-coffee ice-cream at Hakiki. Stick a fork in me.

The thing I love most about Sydney: Has to be the affordable housing and lack of mould for me.


My Sydney” is a regular column discovering the places and spaces that captivate and entice Sydney’s well-known residents.