Doing the dreaded desk lunch a bit too often? That’s practically criminal in the foodie city of Parramatta. With a range of eateries all set to serve up a fabulous meal on a time limit, there’s no reason why you can’t grab a more satisfying lunch on the go. 

Yum cha: hasty and tasty 

Walk in, sit down and the dumplings are at your side in seconds – this is what happens at the biggest yum cha in Parramatta, at Phoenix Chinese Restaurant. This three-level behemoth is situated within the equally huge Westfield shopping centre, but great street views through the plate windows on two of those levels means it feels light, bright and an entity unto itself. Yum cha starts from 11.00am daily (10.30am on weekends) and arriving early will ensure that you beat the crowds. 

Level 4, Shop 4070, Westfield, 159-175 Church St Parramatta 2150; Open Monday - Friday 11:00am - 3:00pm and 5:30pm - 10:00pm, Saturday - Sunday 10:30am - 3:00pm and 5:30pm - 10:00pm.

Platter of plenty 

Bring a workmate to Sahara Restaurant and you’re in for one of the more luxurious express lunch offers in Parramatta – and at only $20 per person, one of the best value. This Mediterranean grill has put together a two-tier platter of mezze dips, roasted vegetables, chargrilled meats and shish, pide bread, pilaf rice, salad and aioli for two people or more, and it’s part of its express lunch menu running from 11.00am till 4.00pm weekdays. Other dishes available on the menu include delicious wraps, char-grilled specials and gozleme. 

Westfield, Shop 2185, Argyle St Parramatta 2150; Open daily 10:00am - 10:00pm. 

Deli nice 

Behind a shopfront-wide picture of a European Alpine scene hides a wonderfully colourful and aromatic Polish delicatessen named Tatra. The sights and smells of sausage, cheeses, cakes, pastries, smoked fish, strudels and pickles galore is mouthwatering, to say the least, so it’s good news that you can also grab fresh bread rolls filled with meats and cheese, alongside sugary Polish doughnuts that will get you through the afternoon. Pick up some ready-made pierogi dumplings (photo below) to take home, and a comforting Polish dinner is sorted too. With 4.9 stars on Google Reviews you can't go wrong. 

5/20 Victoria Road Parramatta 2150; Open Monday - Friday 9:00am - 6:00pm, Saturday 9:00am - 3:00pm, closed on Sundays. 

Use your noodle 

In the emerging area of George Street, Oriental Tuckerbox is turning out no-fuss, no-frills Asian dishes that let their flavours do the talking. The real superstar here is laksa – creamy, spicy and authentic – but you can also get cooked to order such popular hits as pad thai, Malay fried noodles, Chinese-style noodle soup or soya-stained char kway teow noodles. Crazily reasonably priced frozen ready meals are also sold here. 

Shop 4, 101 George Street Parramatta 2150; Open Monday - Friday 9:00am - 8:00pm and Saturday 9:00am - 2:30pm. 

Not your average chook 

There’s your everyday chicken and chips, and then there’s El Jannah in Granville. This much loved local institution efficiently serves up mountains of charcoal chicken and endless amounts of their famed, fluffy garlic sauce, sure to cure whatever ails you (except for garlic breath). You can also enjoy lamb skewers, shredded beef (shawarma) and falafels, chips and gravy, dips and pickles, and even the odd burger. But they don’t call it the best charcoal chicken in town for nothing, and the hordes of adoring fans who come to the shop every day know it.  

4-8 South Street Granville 2142; Open Monday - Saturday 10:00am - 12:00am, Sunday 10:00am - 11:00pm. 

Main image: El Jannah, Aaron Jones.