The focal point of college life at Mandelbaum is the dining room.
Forget any assumptions about bland institutional food. It’s not like that here. Of course life is easier and healthier when you get freshly prepared meals without needing to cook, shop or go out, but for us food is much more than just fuel.

The thinking

Eating well is about nurturing not only the body and brain but also the spirit and culture. So meals with us are designed to be social and positive, restoring your energy on every level.

With fresh, seasonal ingredients and a constant focus on quality, wellbeing and presentation, our chefs explore wide-ranging traditions, flavours and combinations that encourage even the most stressed-out student to take the time to relax and rebalance.

The details
  • Seventeen meals per week, prepared on site in our kosher kitchen by professional chefs: breakfast, lunch and dinner from Monday to Friday and brunch and dinner on Sunday. During the winter break (6 weeks) and a week following exams, the kitchen is open for breakfast/brunch only (excluding Saturday).
  • Lots of menu variations week by week and choices at every meal.
  • Menu is reviewed by a nutritionist and has received 100% compliance- read full report!
  • Vegetarian and vegan options at every meal.
  • Adjustments for individual dietary requirements such as gluten free and lactose free.
  • Fresh fruit, cereals, bread and drinks to help yourself to between meals.
  • Takeaway lunches and late dinners if you can’t be at college for meal times.
  • Feedback and recipe suggestions warmly encouraged.



We provide breakfast on weekdays with DIY eggs, mushrooms, cheese, spinach, fresh fruit, breads, cereals and yoghurt. We also add a "special extra" on different days including waffles, pancakes, fresh smoothies, porridge and French toast.


Every weekday we serve a hot lunch and fresh salads. We don’t usually serve meat at lunch but there will always be a protein option such as fish.


The dinner menu includes meat, vegetarian and vegan main options, a variety of side dishes and dessert. Soup is available during the winter months.

Weekend meals

On Sunday we provide brunch and dinner.

Formal dinners

We hold formal dinners once a month with an extra-special meal, including wine, served by waiters. Everyone dresses up and we invite interesting guest speakers. For photos and article about our dinners, please visit read our resident blogs. Guest speakers have included:  Holocaust survivor Eddie JakuChancellor Belinda Hutchinson AMA/Professor Lilon Bandler, Mark Tedeschi AM QC,  Vice Chancellor Dr Michael Spence, newsreader Nas Campanella, world renowned pianist Simon Tedeschi,  visual artist Loribelle Spirovski, Social entrepreneur Ronni Kahn, archaeologist and alumnus Michael Leadbetter, Director of International Earth and Space Technology Kim Ellis, visiting academic Professor Matthias Henze; psychologist Sue Morris and many more!

Theme dinners

We celebrate the diverse cultures and heritage of our community via Theme Dinners. Residents liaise with the chefs to create a special menu related to the theme. Residents decorate the dining room and informally share information about the theme with fellow residents. Recent dinners have included Latin America, Diwali, The Moon Festival, American breakfast for dinner, Persian New Year, Israel Independence Day, the Olympics and Eastern Europe. It is a fun and festive evening!



Our kitchen operates throughout the academic year (late February to late November).

During University of Sydney semesters (17 weeks each) the kitchen serves 17 meals a week. We also provide extra evening snacks during the study vacation and exam period to help residents during this stressful time.

The kitchen is closed on Saturdays.

During the June/July winter break (6 weeks) we only serve breakfast.

Meal times

Monday to Friday
Breakfast 7.00am to 10.00am
Lunch 12.30pm to 1.45pm
Dinner 6.00pm to 7.00pm
Sunday and Public Holidays
Brunch 10am-12pm
Dinner 5.30pm to 6.30pm
Summer break

The kitchen is closed during the summer break (late November to late February). It is possible to reopen the kitchen for group bookings or a function during this period.


For residents the meal component is bundled with accommodation into the 19-week semester fee and can’t be separated or refunded.

Guests are welcome to dine at Mandelbaum House. If you’re coming for lunch or dinner, please call 02 9692 5200 or email one day in advance.

Guest prices
Breakfast $15
Lunch $19
Dinner $23
Formal dinner $30 (must be invited by a resident)
Value lunch pass $76 (5 x lunch)
Value dinner pass $92 (5 x dinner)

Meal vouchers must be pre-purchased from the office and presented to the chef.


Mandelbaum is a kosher college, which means we follow the food rules of kashrut in our kitchen and dining room.

What is kashrut?

Kashrut is the set of Jewish dietary laws for keeping kosher. The Hebrew word kosher means ‘fit’ (in this context, fit to eat). Our kitchen strictly follows the kashrut.

One of the basic principles of kashrut is total separation of meat and dairy products. Meat and dairy may not be cooked or eaten together.

Some animals are not considered kosher. Meat from grazing animals that chew the cud and have cloven hooves (beef, lamb, goat and deer)is kosher. Pork, camel and rabbit are not. Domesticated fowl such as chicken and turkey are kosher but wild birds are not. Only seafood with fins and scales are kosher, so most fish are fine to eat but calamari, octopus and any shellfish (crab, lobster, prawns, clams etc.) are not.

The Mandelbaum kitchen is kashered for the festival of Pesach and visitors are welcome to dine here. Meal passes need to be purchased beforehand at

How does it work in practice?

The Mandelbaum kitchen is separated into two sections,meat and dairy, each with its own dishes, utensils and cookware. Breakfast and lunch are prepared in the dairy kitchen and dinner is prepared in the meat kitchen. The two ‘dairy’ meals always include non-meat protein. Fish and eggs — along with fruit, vegetables, grains, pasta and so on — belong to a third category, pareve, of foods are neither meat nor dairy and can therefore be prepared and eaten with either.

We ask residents not to bring any outside food into the dining room, as we need to keep this space kosher.


The Mandelbaum kitchen is separated into two sections, meat and dairy, each with its own dishes, utensils and cookware.

As you can see from our menu, we serve a wide variety of excellent food. We consult with a nutritionist to make sure we’re providing the right balance to enable all residents to eat well, whatever their dietary preferences are.


Mandelbaum House is certified under the NSW Kashrut Authority. A feature piece about our college can be found here: Kashrut Authority of Australia feature article 2020.


A welcoming and warm place immersed in cultural diversity,
great memories and friends for life!

Audrey, New Caledonia

It is wonderful to have a spacious and fully furnished bedroom
to which I can retreat to after a busy day of classes!

Julio, Colombia

I love that I always have a healthy option
at every meal that is also delicious!

Rebecca, USA

When you go to uni with 60,000 people,
it’s nice to come back to a family of 40 at the end of the day.

Michael, Australia

Mandelbaum House has been the most diverse,
welcoming, active society I have ever been involved in.

Alex, USA