Big Sam Young is one of Sydney’s best-known hospo figures. He’s a chef who, after working around the traps at Mr Wong, Totti’s and Lotus 2.0, struck out on his own into the world of pop-ups and private catering. And while the catering game is still going strong, the pop-ups have been fewer and farther between since he opened his own restaurant, S’more, in Castlecrag. That’s what makes his upcoming dinner at Bouillon L’Entrecote so exciting. Book a spot at this four-course dinner at the French bistro, and you’ll be in for a night of Young’s signature more-is-more cooking – lobster, Wagyu and caviar will all feature prominently.

We caught up with Young for the lowdown on his favourite spots in town right now, from cakes and coffee to the best Cantonese cooking in Sydney.

Sam, what’s your go-to if you want a quick takeaway?

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I would go to Double Tap and get the chicken-and-sweet-corn sandwich. It’s super delicious. And I’ll get a coffee too, because Double Tap does the best coffee in Australia.

What about lunch on the go?

My day-to-day gets a bit hectic, so I’m really time poor. But I love going to The Eight for yum cha. I park my car at Market City (it’s two hours free parking if you get yum cha), then head up to level 3, order 10 baskets of dumplings, smash it in 10 minutes, then leave. I’ll also go to Thai Kee IGA for shopping and work – I’ll usually be in and out of there in about 45 minutes.

And your favourite spot for a snack?

I would go to Marrickville Pork Roll. My order is the classic pork roll with two extra meatballs (it just makes the whole experience much juicier).

If it’s a special occasion, where are you booking? What are you ordering there?

I would go to Lumi Dining and get the omakase menu. Federico [Zanellato] is the king of snacks and pasta, and I honestly think it’s some of the best food in the country.

Where’s your favourite coffee in Sydney?

Double Tap, Room Ten, Primary Coffee and Ellen, in Alexandria.

Do you have a go-to for a long lunch?

Mimis would be my go-to. Some of the best dining experiences in my life have happened there. The attention to detail, the atmosphere, the service, the food, the wines – it’s the whole package. I also love the energy in the dining room. It’s truly one of a kind.

How about a meal with a big group of family or friends?

Taste of Shunde would be my go-to. They do this amazing steamed fish platter with so many different kinds of seafood on there. I would also get a whole Cantonese-style roast duck, which is one of the best in Sydney.

What’s your bucket-list restaurant?

Asador Etxebarri, in Spain. I would love to go there as I love cooking with fire and want to experience what trying the best of the best is like.

If you’re after something sweet, where are you headed?

Flour and Stone does some of the best cakes and sweets in Sydney. Their brûlée tart, canelés, and old fashioned vanilla cake are just the best.

What is your favourite dish to cook at S’more, and why?

I lived in Canada and the USA for six years when I was younger, so I love cooking a steak. Especially over fire. It’s what we do best at S’more. When you’re craving a steak and it comes out perfectly cooked – that’s just the best feeling.

Is there a hidden gem in Sydney that you think is great?

Steam King is one of my fave restaurants in Chinatown. They specialise in soups and steamed seafood dishes. It’s real, authentic Cantonese food. There’s Buddha Delight Supreme soup, steamed whole fish, ginger shallot lobster with egg noodles, mud crab with Chinese celery and two kinds of stir-fried vermicelli. That’s what I usually order when I’m there.

Big Sam Young at L'Entrecôte is on April 16.