14 July 2016
Anna Lisle is a lifestyle journalist and passionate cook. For the last four years, Anna has held the position as Senior Editor of Best Restaurants, which receives 550,000 unique visits per month. As editor of the Best Restaurant blog, Anna regularly attends restaurant openings, cookbook launches, food and wine fairs and industry events.
When the weather isn’t beckoning you to the beach, what better time to hibernate in a cosy restaurant and test-run some of Sydney’s best new restaurants. From intimate venues to large establishments, 2016 has seen some of the hottest new digs swinging open their doors.
One hour’s drive north of Sydney CBD, The Newport is a trendy drinking, dining and entertainment hub formerly known as The Newport Arms. The Merivale property is a playground for adults, with sprawling grounds that include a vintage gymnasium with badminton, ping pong and a giant magnetic Scrabble board. Indoor and outdoor dining spaces overlook Pittwater and there’s a modern Australian menu of pizzas, burgers and fish and chips.
Indu is where you will discover the finest food from the Subcontinent in the basement of a heritage-listed building on George Street. While each dish is plated in a fine-dining style, the restaurant’s ethos remains humble – with a focus on village style food. There is an interesting cocktail list designed to pair perfectly with the menu; it’s been carefully crafted with tonics and spices that evoke India’s exotic heritage.
Through a secret door on Pitt Street in Sydney CBD and down a dark and narrow stairwell, discover Norsk Dor, a Scandinavian culinary cave filled with natural timber, Kangaroo hides and Nordic delights. Start with house pickles, Gravalax and roasted bone marrow with rye before tackling the venison sampler, featuring fennel and berry or the cured king fish with red currants and five-spiced kipfler.
Apart from Noma, this has been possibly the most talked about opening of 2016. The luxury hotel Frasers Broadway swung open its doors at Chippendale on the sites of the former Carlton United Brewery Administration Building and the Clare Hotel. The hotel features 62 rooms and three restaurants, including Kensington Street Social. Owned by Unlisted Collection, which runs upmarket restaurant-hotels overseas, Kensington Street Social is already making its mark on Sydney’s culinary scene thanks to Michelin Starred British Chef, Jason Atherton, in the kitchen.
Urban-farming has come to Sydney’s Inner-west at the 350-seater Acre. Formerly The Camperdown Bowling Club, this urban farm, restaurant, takeaway joint and bar takes its paddock-to-plate philosophy seriously. Sustainable produce is grown in the kitchen garden one day and the next it sits on diners’ plates next door.
When a chef takes on their first solo venture, there is a contagious mix of anticipation and hope in the air, which accounts for the energy that emulates at Bar Brosé. Co-owned by head chef Analiese Gregory, together with the ACME team, Bar Brosé is a narrow bar running between Victoria Street and Darlinghurst Road in Darlinghurst. Open until 1.30 am, the snack menu features the kind of food that’s best enjoyed with wine, from fresh oysters and gnocci to the famous late-night sandwich.
While The Resident’s views over Hyde Park are beautiful, the food is even better, orchestrated by Chef Pablo Tordesillas, who made his mark on the Australian dining scene at Ortiga. The Resident’s Mediterranean menu is enhanced by a liberal use of local ingredients from lemon myrtle to WA octopus and Cooroong skirt steak.
Bringing back old-school dining in its art deco dining room, private theatrette and baby grand piano is Restaurant Hubert. The French restaurant, from hospitality heavyweights the Swillhouse Group, has been carved into seven distinct areas, with Beatrix Dining Room offering bistro classics and a French vibe. Just peckish? Hang out at the wine and charcuterie bar for a bite and a cocktail.
No 1 Bent Street, Jason Loucas garnered such a cult following at his first café, McEnearney continues to serve honest, simple and generous foods. Designed with a minimalist layout and embracing the Victorian era sandstone interior, No. 1 Bent Street epitomizes the best of Sydney’s food scene.
While strictly not a new restaurant, Yellow is deserving of a place on this list after relaunching itself as a vegetarian restaurant early this year. Hospitality heavyweight Brent Savage (whose portfolio includes Monopole and Bentley Restaurant & Bar) has created a serious menu that will leave even carnivores begging for more.