The University of Sydney’s
boutique residential college
and best-kept secret



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
  • Eighteen meals per week, prepared on site in our kosher kitchen by professional chefs: breakfast, lunch and dinner from Monday to Friday; brunch on Saturday; brunch and dinner on Sunday.
  • Lots of menu variations week by week and choices at every meal.
  • Vegetarian options at every meal.
  • Adjustments for individual dietary requirements such as vegan, gluten free and lactose free.
  • Fresh fruit 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, waffles, fresh fruit, breads, cereals and yoghurt. We also add a "special extra" on different days including 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. Every Friday we have a meat lunch and each fortnight this includes a BBQ.


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

Weekend brunch

On Saturday we serve brunch from the chilled cabinet including smoked salmon, bagels, a selection of cereals, banana bread and muffins. Continental breakfast is also available. On Sunday we add even more options including DIY eggs.

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. Our semester one guest speakers include: A/Professor Lilon Bandler, Mark Tedeschi AM QC,  and Vice Chancellor Dr Michael Spence. In 2016 guest speakers included triple J newsreader Nas Campanella, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Registrar) Professor Tyrone Carlin, Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku, archaeologist and alumnus Michael Leadbetter, Director of International Earth and Space Technology Kim Ellis, and visiting academic Professor Matthias Henze.  

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, 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 18 meals a week. We also provide evening snacks during the study vacation and exam period to help residents during this stressful time.

During the July winter break (4 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
Saturday and Sunday  
Brunch 10.00am to 12.00pm
Sunday 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 $10
Lunch $15
Dinner $18
Formal dinner $25 (must be invited by a resident)
Value lunch pass $60 (5 x lunch)
Value dinner pass $72 (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.

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