We were staying in DarlingTON, not HURST (as my previous message implied), so most of our eating was in the Newtown neighborhood, which is chowish in an affordable, multi-ethnic kind of way. Just a few highlights.
Le Kilimanjaro (King St., Newtown) - pan-African - not fusion, but dishes from more than one region. Limited menu and service, but tasty and inexpensive stewed meats. Definitely order at least one main per person, as the portions are pretty small.
Steki Taverna (just off King St., Newtown) - an extraordinarily delicious slow-baked-then-broiled lamb dish. They said it was their specialty. It reminded me of carnitas, so I assumed it was shoulder. Shareable apps were good; souvlaki got good reviews, though the meat seemed a bit chewy to me.
Thai-riffic (King St., Newtown) - solid Thai. Definitely one example of attempted gentification in Newtown. My Beef-chili-basil had a ridiculous variety of veggies. Several other Thai places on King St get good reviews from our hosts.
The Australian (The Rocks, I think) - This pub is known, I guess, for it's "gourmet" pizzas. Seems like they're all the same crust disk with a random cooked topping (pumpkin slices, tandoori chicken). Not memorable, except for watching the weird no-dribbling, no-backboard basketball game at the club across the street.
David Jones Foodhall (Central Bus. District) - For our trip to Taronga Zoo, we packed a picnic from the foodhall in the basement at the David Jones department store. Great selection of ready-to-eat dumpling, samosas, mini-pies, though not recommended for picnics unless you can heat them. Excellent salume and pastries and cheeses and breads. The $9 box of Betty Crocker cake mix threw me, but I guess ex-pats pay dearly for a taste of home.
Sorry I can't report on the places most likely to be asked about by chowing tourists. But we had lots of fun in Newtown - I'd recommend that any Sydney visitor spend an evening in that neighborhood.