Tasting Sydney - Part 1 - Some of My Fav Dinner Spots by Cuisine
Updated: Aug 10, 2020
As a local, my opportunity to explore the food scene here is endless, which seems equal to the number of restaurants we have in this city! Seriously, there are just so many! Australia doesn’t necessarily have a particular ‘cuisine,’ instead, the food here really reflects the population and the community which is wonderfully diverse and enriched by so many people of all nationalities. As such, the Sydney flavour palate is wild and, mixed in with having some of the highest quality produce (particularly meat and seafood) in the world, we all get to reap the benefits of having such a great food scene here and across the country.
With this in mind, I cannot commit to just one food guide for Sydney - instead, as I discover more great places I’ll be writing more of these...because realistically, who gets bored of food?! Like, never!
So here is my Sydney Dinner Guide - Part 1 - I guess I’ll call these my pre-June 2020 favourites. I’ve sorted them by cuisine to help you choose where you may go based on the food you’re in the mood for.
The food at all of them was so delicious - unfortunately I don't have photos from all my previous visits but will be sure to take some when I go back soon!
Fav Asian - Fusion Restaurants
Mr Wong or Fei Jai or China Doll
3 Bridge Ln, Sydney NSW 2000
In the heart of Sydney’s CBD, this beautiful, industrial style restaurant serves modern Cantonese food and specialises in dumplings, mud crabs and duck - my advice, don’t leave without having had some duck pancakes - delish!
31 Challis Ave, Potts Point NSW 2011
In cool Potts Point, Fei Jai also offers modern Cantonese food in a slick but accessible venue - this is your super cool, super tasty local. My favourite dishes are the Tuna tartare spring rolls and the Sago pudding dessert with coconut, vanilla bean and passionfruit - both are absolutely essential dishes when dining at Fei Jai.
4/6 Cowper Wharf Roadway, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
The food here is always so good and the area is beautiful. Set on the stunning Woolloomooloo wharf, China Doll offers quality Chinese food, usually with either a fun twist or a luxe take on an authentic classic. They also have some really unique signature cocktails and a good wine list. All round, lunch or dinner makes for a beautiful time out.
Fav Greek Restaurants
The Apollo or 1821 or Aristotle’s
44 MacLeay St, Potts Point NSW 2010
This is one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney because the food is great, the ambiance is always electric, the wine selection is fabulous with a great menu of Greek wines featured, and because I’ve celebrated many happy occasions here so it’s sentimental. I love the decor of this stunning restaurant too! I always encourage getting the full set menu and going all out here - you’ll want to wear something with breathing room because it is a sizeable amount of food but it is so tasty! If you don’t do the full menu, make sure you don’t leave without having tried the saganaki.
122 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000
Aesthetics, aesthetics, aesthetics! This restaurant is so beautifully designed, it’s no wonder it often features on instagram! That said, I’m always a big fan of a restaurant that can back up it’s looks with quality food and 1821 certainly delivers on that front!
1/24 Young St, Neutral Bay NSW 2089
Across the bridge, Aristotle's is a beautifully designed, smaller restaurant that almost feels like a boutique hotel version of Greek dining in Sydney. Their food is top notch - everything we tried was fresh and cooked to perfection. The highlights for me were the Grilled Fremantle Octopus, Aristotle’s Haloumi with red grapes and for dessert, Aristotle’s Cigar Box. I’ve only been once to this restaurant so far and I cannot wait to return!
Fav Seafood Restaurants
Catalina or Doyles or Kitchens on Kent
Lyne Park, New S Head Rd, Rose Bay NSW 2029
This beautiful restaurant looks directly onto the water in an elegant dining room specialising in the best of seafood. With a great cocktail and wine list to accompany fresh, high quality seafood, a meal at Catalina is always a good idea! I personally would recommend the entree share platter, the Barramundi and finishing with the cheese plate...paired with wine and you have my ideal meal!
11 Marine Parade, Watsons Bay NSW 2030
Doyles is iconic. Since 1885 they have been serving up some of the best seafood that Sydney has to offer (and we truly have excellent, exceptionally fresh seafood) right on the beach in Watson’s Bay. Personally, I prefer going here for lunch because of the Harbour views but I figured having a seafood list that didn’t include Doyles would be like sacrilege for a Sydney-Sider. You can get all kinds of seafood from simple fish and chips to lobster mornay, and beyond, and meats too (but really, they’re famous for seafood so I recommend that). It’s truly gorgeous here and, as I said, iconic.
89-113 Kent St, Millers Point NSW 2000
Within the Langham Hotel, Kitchens on Kent has the best seafood buffet I’ve seen in Sydney. Unfortunately whilst a number of the hotels used to offer top quality seafood buffets, at least on the weekends, in Sydney, over the last few years they have slipped drastically leaving them looking quite stingy and unappealing. Kitchens on Kent is elegant, the service is excellent, the variety on their Lobster nights is pretty diverse in its offerings and the option to add a wine buffet to your evening certainly appealed. More than anything, the Langham hotel is just gorgeous and so this definitely makes for a good evening for anyone looking for a buffet or extragravent seafood meal.
Fav French Restaurant
2 Ash St, Sydney NSW 2000
Beneath the Ivy and in the centre of the CBD, Felix has a great selection of French food or seafood leaving me in an absolute happy place of choice. The restaurant itself has a quintessential brasserie feel, even being in a smaller alleyway, with perfect decor to match this style. Everything that I’ve eaten here has been delicious but the Twice Baked Gruyere Souffle takes top prize and the wine options are excellent - some of the best red wine I’ve drunk in Sydney has been within that restaurant. They make excellent suggestions and I really appreciate that their staff know the food and wine menu with confidence and make recommendations with expertise - I’ve enjoyed this restaurant each time I’ve been.
Fav Japanese Restaurants
Raw Bar or Soy or Sake or Washoku
1/136 Warners Ave, Bondi NSW 2026
Casual and delicious, you’ll want to get there early in summer months to make sure you can get a table to this very popular Bondi restaurant. Everything on the menu that I’ve tasted has been delicious but particularly good is the quality of their sashimi and it is this that makes them stand out amongst the many Japanese restaurants in the East, and especially in Bondi. Everything is tasty, fresh and really high quality. The miso eggplant here is divine as well and should feature on your order if you’re an eggplant fan!
3/38 Campbell Parade, Sydney NSW 2026
Casual and always yum, Soy is perfect Japanese restaurant to count on as your local. Set directly across the road from Bondi Beach, the restaurant is definitely in a convenient spot and offers nice meals - particularly good is the teriyaki salmon with mushrooms which doesn’t sound too traditional but is very delicious. They also make an excellent mixed seaweed salad!
The Intercontinental Hotel, 33 Cross St, Double Bay NSW 2028
Not in the same price bracket as the other three but a gorgeous setting for a nice dinner out, Sake’s food is unique and truly delicious. Their tasting menu is truly fantastic and well worth doing to give you an opportunity to work your way through the menu and to try things you may not have otherwise tried. I couldn’t possibly give you a stand out dish except to say, you’ll be wanting to come back and back and back.
52 New S Head Rd, Vaucluse NSW 2030
For a casual fix of delicious Japanese food, I’d be heading to Washoku for a great hot or cold bowl and anything that features the amazing MisoDashi eggplant - it’s seriously delicious! Their sashimi is very fresh and tasty and they have a great selection of entrees including the Salmon Taco which is a must! It’s definitely just a local go-to/great take away but the food is very good!
Fav Italian Restaurants
Big Poppas or Vino e Cucina or Tottis
96 Oxford St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
This modern Italian restaurant is one of the few late night, quality dining options available in Sydney's East and the best part about it is that it is always vibey. Located on buzzing Oxford Street, my personal favourite things on the menu are the Salumi plate to share to start, the Hand Cut Pappardelle with Lamb Shoulder Ragu and the Tiramisu to finish - delicious! The menu is really good all round though and the cheese selection at the end is right up my alley! Downstairs is an always popular bar so once you finish dinner, if you're ready for your night to continue, just head downstairs for some beautiful after dinner drinks - the cocktails both upstairs and downstairs are great!
211 Glenmore Rd, Paddington NSW 2021
Set in a cute terrace house in a great area in Paddington, Vino e Cucina has all your classic Italian favourites on the menu. Feeling indecisive when I last went, I ended up sharing in a range of entrees and salads with a friend and I can tell you that this was the ultimate decision and one I would highly recommend. The pastas look great but the goats cheese stuffed zucchini flowers were truly tops!
283 Bondi Rd, Bondi NSW 2026
To me, this one is all about the vibe! As a sucker for shared entrees (see above) the menu here suits me to a tee and their house made bread is delicious with burratas and cured meats galore. We loved all of our entrees and though we were underwhelmed with the pasta we chose, the glorious open roof terrace, with the real Italian vibes in the middle of Bondi totally had us hooked and I would absolutely head back in a jiffy for another feel of Italy right around the corner from home. 100% worth dining at!!
I have so many more restaurants in Sydney that I just love which made picking just a few of the best so tough. I also have even more restaurants in Sydney that I am yet to go to that I have on my list of places to try so I am excited to work my way through that list!
As I said, expect plenty more where this came from!