June 01, 2023
15 mins Read
The dining landscape in Sydney is vast, varied and constantly evolving. From reimagined restaurants to brand-new places to wine and dine. Here’s our pick of the best restaurants in Sydney.
With new restaurants popping up all the time, here’s a list of all our favourite newbies.
For a quick lunch, post-work drinks, a romantic date or a night out with friends, Kanade is the vibrant new place to be in Sydney’s CBD.
The menu is a seamless blend of traditional Japanese flavours with contemporary twists from an experienced team of chefs who have honed their craft in venues like Lumi Dining and Kuon Omakase.
Try the roasted duck breast with corn salad and sesame miso sauce, the fluffy miso cream carbonara with onsen egg and the wagyu beef steak with yakiniku sauce.
Pair your food with the delicious drinks list expertly crafted by top industry professionals from Maybe Sammy and Tetsuya. The special sake barrel cocktail was lethal and absolutely to die for.
The newest establishment to bless the shores of Bondi Beach, Rancho Seltzo has taken off with a bang. The Palm Springs vibe complete with clusters of cacti will get you in the doors, but it’s the food and drinks that will make you stay.
The signature Iced Tropical Whip, a fun, boozy version of the iconic Disneyland dessert, was the best cocktail I’ve had in my life. No word of a lie, I LOVED it. They also have four classic and seasonal beers from Bondi Brewing Co. and a rotating list of tropical hard seltzers from Bondi Brewing Co. that can be amped up to a seltzer spider with a scoop of house-made coconut ice cream.
The food combines Baja California flavours with Mediterranean influences. Must-try dishes are the burrata with chilli crunch, kingfish ceviche with coconut and the folded flatbread plates.
Located inside The Star Sydney, Rumble celebrates the four classic flavours that permeate Southeast Asian culinary culture – sweet, salty, spicy, and sour. The menu is simple yet punchy, and the inventive cocktail list incorporates a range of spirits infused with spices, herbs, teas and fruits from across Asia.
Don’t miss the Suea Rong Hai (crying tiger), a Japanese A5 wagyu sirloin with Nam Jim Jaew. Think melt-in-your-mouth and bursting with flavour.
Conveniently situated opposite the Sydney Lyric Theatre, Rumble is now open for lunch, dinner, drinks and pre-show snacks, seven days a week.
The much-loved Goji has opened a new venue in the heart of the city. The menu takes inspiration from Chinese, Japanese and Malaysian cuisines, and is cleverly crafted by head chef Sam Chang who has 20+ years experience across all Asian disciplines.
Everything is designed to be shared, so pick a few different plates and enjoy with your nearest and dearest.
My favourite dishes were the stir fry noodles with kung pow chicken and chillies, the twice-cooked green beans with garlic and chilli, the slow-cooked wagyu beef brisket rendang and the Ferrero Rocher fried ice-cream..
Métisse Restaurant in Potts Point is the innovation of world-renowned chef Opel Khan. The luxury degustation combines chef Opel’s French Avant-garde gastronomic techniques with his childhood memories of spices and salts. Métisse means mixed race in French which embodies the restaurant and its cuisine.
Chef Opel sources local produce for his menu, and the degustation has a premium French wine pairing curated by Métisse’s expert wine sommelier.
The Fruits de Mer, a fine dining version of a seafood platter, complete with Yamba prawn, octopus carpaccio, salmon confit and sea scallop was my favourite dish of the night. The burnt butter tied the flavours together and gave me goosebumps as soon as I tasted it.
The premium Kobe beef score 12 was also delicious. There’s nothing quite like some melt-in-your-mouth meat.
The artful presentation, purposeful flavours and innovative techniques that tell a story are on full display at Métisse.
Spice Trader is bringing the spice to the Porter House rooftop. The green marble bar, brass finishes and velvet throughout make a flirty first impression, and then you’ll be swept off your feet by the impressive cocktail list.
Opt out of the alcohol if you wish, several of the signature cocktails have been crafted with non-alcoholic alternatives as well.
To complement the cocktails, Porter House executive chef Emrys Jones has created a small list of snacks, designed to share. These include the hot, sweet and sour scallop and bay bug toast and the sherry-glazed duck milk buns.
Bookings will not be taken at Spice Trader, walk-ins only.
As it turns out, a seat at Sydney’s newest cocktail bar will get you a ticket to some of the world’s most famed culinary destinations.
Introducing Jackalberry – the newest restaurant venture for the Hyatt Regency Hotel, and a place where cultures come together in celebration of discovery and exploration.
The menu derives inspiration and flavour from some of the tastiest plates from around the world, accompanied by a cocktail menu that will transport your taste buds both near and far. Simply pick out a country, and the mixologist will whip up an ode using the finest local ingredients. From Havana to Norway, there’s a recipe for even the most well-travelled among us.
Talking décor, the botanical design boasts moody tones, with emerald velvet booths and safari wallpaper ready to welcome guests.
The Glebe Hotel is back baby, in all its post-renovation glory.
Formerly known as the Australian Youth Hotel, this heritage-listed bar and dining destination has completed seven months of interior and exterior renovation work, which includes a new name, menu, and a pretty jazzy jacaranda mural by Sydney artist, Indigo Jo.
After walking through the classic Glebe pub on Bay Street, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to encounter The Stables Bar & Grill: a beautiful, light and airy dining space with exposed brickwork, wooden tables and a bar.
The menu, created by British Head Chef, Ben Allcock, focuses on the kind of gastro-pub fare Glebe has become famous for over the years. For me, the hero was the seafood. Start with a small plate of Octopus, and back it up with the crispy skin Atlantic salmon. Buttery is an understatement.
Since opening in 2017, it’s hard to collate a list of Sydney’s best Italian without a nod to Rosetta Trattoria.
Located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, this relaxed, unpretentious space is home to your endless Italian bucket list.
First, you have the restaurant, which features a menu curated by Neil Perry and Head Chef Richard Purdue.
Expect an extensive antipasti selection, alongside a mouth-watering selection of house-made pizzas and pastas.
For those who like their Italian from the water, there’s also an impressive seafood selection, best enjoyed with one of the 26 white and red wines from both Australia and Italy.
Outside, the Little Rose terrace bar will transport you to the Cinque Terra cliff sides – just replace views of the super yachts with the sails of the Opera House. Both equally impressive if you ask us.
Every weekday from 4 pm to 7 pm, diners and inner-city workers can soak up the sun with $10 negronis, spritzes and house bellinis, $7 prosecco, wine and beer and complimentary bar snacks.
Have you ever been to The Cottage in the Sydney suburb of Balmain? If so, you’ll know it’s one of Sydney’s best-kept secrets – if not for the great pizza, then for their famous espresso martinis.
Well, the great news is, the same people responsible for The Cottage’s greatness have opened new digs on Glebe’s busy main street; Glebe Point Road – and let me tell you, one evening at The Charleston, will have you wanting for many, many more.
Part restaurant, part cocktail bar, The Charleston delivers on all fronts. To start with, there’s an awesome menu with a strong Southern influence. Think melt-in-your-mouth fried chicken, gooey, bubbling mac and cheese, cinnamon-coated doughnuts and mouth-watering tacos, complemented by super fresh ceviche and some of the most mouth-watering cocktails in town.
In terms of decor, The Charleston is a little more on the chic side, combining industrial elements with sleek brass, soft pinks and a touch of mint green – not to mention some eye-catching fernery. It’s the ultimate spot to catch up with friends and let the world pass you by.
When you think summer, sun and a great day out with friends, many of us will automatically picture the blue and white striped umbrellas that adorn the beer garden of the Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel. Pioneers of seaside favourites like oysters, prawns and amazing fish and chips – the Watsons Bay group have actually released a new Capri-inspired summer menu that’ll be a bigger draw card than the frosé.
Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel’s cuisine has always enjoyed an Italian influence and this summer’s menu was drawn from the culinary adventures of executive chef Dave Clarke in southern Italy. Dave said: “I spent time in Capri, Positano and the Amalfi Coast and saw how the Italian ‘beach clubs’ are real eateries on the water – seafood dominates the menus, produce is simple and locally grown and the meals have bold flavours but no fuss. Our new menu follows this mantra, taking each dish back to basics but as good as it can taste.”
For those who enjoy share plates, the calamari and zucchini fritti, prosciutto and refreshing melon and yellowfin tuna crostini served on sourdough will be the dishes to choose. If you’re after something a little more substantial, the kingfish and whole barramundi are set to be very popular, and one of Dave’s favourite additions to the main courses is a roasted half chicken with Tuscan rub.
But fear not, you’ll still be able to get your faves! Dave has complemented his Italian fare with popular Watsons Bay classics including beer battered fish and chips, sushi and sashimi plates and the Wagyu burger in a menu to please all palates and appetites.
I know what you’re thinking, hotel restaurants have a notoriously bad rep. That’s what I thought too, until I tried Glass Brasserie at the Hilton.
Helmed by chef and restaurateur Luke Mangan, the menu provides guests (and many Sydneysiders) with a true culinary experience. Just the interiors alone, designed by New York’s Tony Chi, are enough to get you excited.
The 240-seat space features a 13-metre floor-to-ceiling glass wall, featuring perfectly positioned booths that offer views of the Queen Victoria Building.
Serving modern Australian cuisine, emphasis is placed on local and seasonal produce. Kingfish sashimi and tiger prawns are entrée heroes, followed by an ‘off the grill’ section that will really start some dinner table conversation.
The staff are warm, attentive and helpful – writing the book on how civilised dining should be done.
It’s rare to find a Sydney restaurant that is yet to be flooded with crowds. In saying that, Dear Sainte Eloise is somewhere that deserves all the recognition it gets.
A tiny wine bar down a Potts Point laneway, Dear Sainte Eloise received its name from George Orwell’s memoir, Down and Out in Paris and London.
Featuring a 400-strong wine list, this venue is the perfect place to sit, relax and digest after a day of perusing. And with a menu that changes every few days (based on seasonal availability), it’s also the perfect place to keep going back to.
Before we get bragging about the incredible cocktails at Solander Dining and Bar, first, a history lesson.
Daniel Solander (1733–1782) was an instrumental figure in the early documentation and collection of Australian plants. Today, the Hilton venue has tipped its hat to the whimsical character in the form of a botanical-inspired restaurant and bar.
Now to the good stuff.
For the thirsty, the venue’s experienced bartenders create bespoke botanically-inspired cocktails, and mocktails and serve a range of spirits, wines and craft beers from the stunning emerald green terrazzo marble bar.
And food? Solander Dining and Bar’s emphasis is on modern Australian fare. Belgian chef David Vandenabeele was enticed by Manhattan’s Langham Hotel, creating a menu that boasts the very best regional and seasonal produce that NSW has to offer.
Located in the heart of downtown Sydney, Hubert is the kind of vintage hole-in-the-wall that will make you feel as if you’ve accidentally stumbled onto the set of a movie.
Upon entering, 4000 miniature liquor bottles line the spiral staircase that transports you into an alternative post-war Europe universe. The wood-panelled space is dazzling, romantic and topped off with a 100-seat theatre complete with a grand piano perched atop a stage.
Hubert is much about the ambience, good conversation and laughter, as it is the quality of the wine and the food. About which they also have plenty to brag.
To truly get the grand Hubert experience, we suggest travelling in a group. The banquet menu requires at least four people – and with the amount of food you get, you’ll also need at least four stomachs at the table.
Whether it’s the whole garlic chicken, prime beef tartare or the can’t-leave-without-trying Escargot – make sure you wear your stretchy pants.
You may have heard of the new kid on the block Alibi, the plant-based dining pioneer making waves out of the Ovolo hotel franchise. Well, I had not and was keen to give it a try.
The fresh new menu has been spearheaded by renowned US chef, restaurateur and global plant-based aficionado Matthew Kenney. This is his first venture in Australia and it does not disappoint.
The menu offers a seasonal, colourful and innovative selection and plenty of cocktails and wine to wash it down.
For signature dishes, Alibi offers kimchi dumplings with sesame and ginger foam, heirloom tomato and zucchini lasagne with pistachio pesto, plus kelp noodles and crispy olives.
For dessert (we know you’re interested), think pumpkin chocolate pie with coconut and cardamom cream or apple crumble with vanilla cashew ice-cream and almond maple caramel.
Just a 50-minute zip from the city is Berowra Waters Inn: a destination restaurant that has been held alongside Australia’s best since its 1984 inception.
Housed on Berowra Creek, the rugged gorges and gum-tree-lined site is only accessible to diners by boat or seaplane.
Head chef Brian Geraghty owns and runs the space, which boasts a frequently changing menu based on availability. If you’re a stickler for cuisine, however, I guess we can all settle on a mix of classic French with modern Australian.
The degustation menu heroes the venue, explained ever so pleasantly by the delightful staff. And with floor-to-ceiling windows, every table has a window seat.
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