Gourmet dining in Sydney
Sometimes, you just want to go all out. Gourmet dining in Sydney is among the best in the world and has its own unique character. Sydney’s dining scene is quite casual, so many gourmet restaurants aren’t what you would consider fine dining, but the food is five star. Get ready for an extraordinary experience.
Start with the legends of the Sydney fine dining scene. Quay, Bennelong, Aria and Cafe Sydney are set around Sydney Harbour, serving innovative modern Australian cuisine with exceptional views. Go for seafood and steak at the striking art deco Rockpool Bar & Grill and indulgent French-Japanese degustation at Tetsuya’s.
Each year the Good Food Guide awards chef’s hats (similar to Michelin stars) to top restaurants. Three hats is the top award. In 2019 it was awarded to Quay; Sixpenny, a smart and elegant diner in the Inner West; and Momofuku Seiobo, the first Australian outpost of celebrity chef David Chang’s empire in The Star.
The city’s two hat restaurants pride themselves on innovation. Expect to eat every part of the fish (from scales to eyeballs) at sustainable seafood eatery Saint Peter in Paddington. There’s no gas or electricity at Surry Hills’ Firedoor, where everything is cooked over a wood fire. Chippendale’s Automata serves bold food in an industrial dining room.
There’s also serious sophistication to be found. Chiswick in Woollahra is surrounded by lush gardens and serves up a hearty menu with produce fresh from the kitchen garden. Monopole in Potts Point is dark and moody with a 500-strong wine list. Est is classic white tablecloth fine dining where delicate dishes are bursting with flavour.
Embrace old school glamour at Hubert, a classic French restaurant with a dining room decked out in wood and velvet, set below ground in the city centre. Overlooking the water at Barangaroo, 12-Micron is a huge, bright restaurant serving Australian-inspired degustation with delicate, artistic plating.
Still hungry? Book dinner at the casual-but-exceptional Ester in Chippendale, the tiny Oscillate Wildly Newtown where the dining room seats just 25, Bentley with its cult wine list of more than 1,000 bottles or Pilu at Freshwater for a taste of traditional Sardinia. Bon appetite!