Sydney's best new restaurants
Sydney knows how to put on a feast, and in 2022, there’s even more on the menu. From boundary-pushing fine dining restaurants to eateries taking inspiration from around the globe, here are the hottest tables to book when you’re next in town.
ELE by Federico & Karl, Pyrmont
Prepare to be moved, in every sense. The Star Sydney’s latest dining concept, ELE by Frederico Zanellato (LuMi) and Karl Firla (Oscillate Wildly, Est, Marque) takes over the former Momofuku Seiobo restaurant space, engaging all the senses via the elements – earth, fire, air and water – with its elevated menu and unique dining experience. Don’t expect a regular two-hour seating – diners will move around the restaurant, setting off on a course of courses.
Embark on an odyssey into the Middle East, right in the heart of Sydney. Inspired by architect Harry Siedler’s curves of Martin Place’s MLC building, AALIA’s plush interiors push the boundaries just as much as chef Paul Farag’s (Nour, Fish Butchery, Monopole) inspired menu. Diving deeper into the region, try masgouf, an Iraqi char-grilled fish with a delicately sweet and sour sauce, or Egyptian-style foie gras with pickled grapes.
Oncore by Clare Smyth, Barangaroo
A bucket-list experience led by Michelin-starred London chef Clare Smyth, Oncore is Crown Sydney’s most anticipated fine-diner, with 360-degree harbour views and a dazzling menu to match. Choose between a seven-course degustation or a three-course selection, both options filled with Smyth’s luxurious and mind-bending dishes like her signature potato and roe, poached for eight hours in an umami-loaded seaweed beurre blanc.
The Blue Door, Surry Hills
Farmers have the final say on the menu at sustainable Surry Hills restaurant The Blue Door, with executive chef Dylan Cashman only serving dishes based on what’s available from his personal network of local producers. To accompany the all-NSW food menu, sommelier Angelica Nohra’s wine list features NSW-only wines by the glass, and a 90% Australian wine menu.
Besuto, Circular Quay
You're in good hands at Besuto, a tiny 14-seat Japanese restaurant in the new Quay Quarter complex by Sydney Harbour, where its omakase menu means diners must trust the chef on what gets served. The incredibly considered and creatively plated 18-course menu is made up of only the freshest seafood from the fish market that day, turned into elegant sashimi, sushi and more.
Baba’s Place, Marrickville
Welcome home. Reminiscent of a cosy grandmother’s house, Baba’s Place is an ode to growing up in Western Sydney, with the menu pulling inspiration from the region’s multicultural diasporas. Feast on crispy-skinned roast chicken served with Lebanese-style toum or tuck into a comforting bowl of bouillabaisse bolognaise with Shanghai noodles, a nod to the city’s Chinese community.
Whalebridge, Sydney Harbour
What could be better than lunch right beside Sydney’s sparkling harbour? How about when that lunch is a French feast of Sydney Rock oysters, mussels marinières, caviar on blinis or decadent lobster thermidor. Neighbouring the Sydney Opera House, Whalebridge is the new al fresco home of chef Will Elliott (Hubert in Sydney and St. John in London) – a sunny spot with views to write home about.
Pellegrino 2000, Surry Hills
Not your average Italian diner, Pellegrino 2000 is from the clever minds behind Sydney’s hit steakhouse Bistro 916. With chefs Daniel Pepperell and Michael Clift dishing out stylish Italian classics like fritto misto and burnt butter ravioli, and sommelier Andy Tyson curating the drinks side of things, this neighbourhood trattoria in Surry Hills is injected with contemporary cool.
Bay Nine Omakase, The Rocks
The newest addition to the waterfront Campbells Cove precinct, Bay Nine Omakase’s intimate dining space serves elegant Japanese-inspired plates omakase-style at its 10-seat counter, featuring premium seafood and the freshest produce available that day. There’s also a set menu available in the 30-seat restaurant area, with some of Japan’s finest sakes to match.
At this three-in-one enoteca in Darlinghurst, regional Italian fare stars alongside a legendary wine list that celebrates small-scale, artisanal varieties. Have a drink at Paski’s downstairs bar-slash-bottle-o before heading upstairs to the cosy dining space to feast on freshly made pasta and seasonal dishes.
Jane, Surry Hills
Don't expect a plain Jane at chef Tristan Rosier’s new venue; his sleek Bourke Street sibling to acclaimed restaurant Arthur is dedicated to serving Modern Australian cuisine at its best. Dive into a plate of native Murray cod curry, simmered in a lemon myrtle, mountain pepper, pepper berry and roasted macadamia sauce; or snack on the kangaroo tartare, piled high with French fries. The 70s-style designer interiors make Jane a place you’ll want to linger a little longer.
Parlar, Potts Point
Graze your way from Barcelona to Spain’s French border at Parlar, a slick new restaurant bringing the flavours of Catalonian cuisine to Potts Point. Inside an opulent fit-out complete with marble floors, leather furniture and velvet cushioning, the menu stars decadent (and photogenic) tapas snacks like anchovy-topped gilda toast and glistening pan tomate, as well as mouth-watering mains like the blowtorched bonito served in ajo blanco, a traditional bread and almond soup.
Senpai Ramen, Chatswood
Sydney has no shortage of high-quality bowls of ramen. But a ramen degustation? This is slurping at the next level. The brainchild of Chase Kojima (Sokyo), the seven-course menu at Senpai Ramen features a variety of fresh sashimi, your choice of ramen (our vote goes to the smoked duck shoyu) and finishes with dessert. Wash it all down with a Japanese-inspired drinks menu designed by PS40’s Michael Chiem, including beer, sake and inventive cocktails.