15 Bligh St., CBD
Restaurant Hubert is the antithesis of most Sydney restaurants. Instead of the open-plan, bright, rustic serenity that pervades most of the city's dining establishments, Hubert is dark, romantic, and theatrical.
380 Oxford St., Paddington
Chez Panisse alum chef Danielle Alvarez packed up her knives and moved Down Under to bring her particular brand of farm-to-table cuisine to Sydney.
10 William Street
10 William St., Paddington
Yes, 10 William Street is technically a restaurant, but really it's a fun place to drink.
362 Oxford St., Paddington
At Saint Peter, there is a whole room dedicated to dry-aging fish. You might find mackerel or albacore hanging until its flavor has intensified to the satisfaction of chef Josh Niland. Niland applies the nose-to-tail approach typical for meat to all the fish he serves: Nothing goes to waste. A meal might include a round of local oysters, rock flathead (similar to a small cod) with barbecued corn and sorrel butter, and a simple lemon tart for dessert.
44 MacLeay St., Potts Point
The Apollo is a Greek taverna unlike any Greek taverna we know. There’s not a wooden beam, an open grill, or blue anything in sight. Instead, the interior is smooth, grey stone, marble, and moody lighting. It resembles an elegant showroom with the warmth of a local, convivial crowd filling the space. While there is fish in abundance on the menu, the oven-baked lamb shoulder is also fantastic. Throw in a side of garlicky roast potatoes and a Greek salad and you’ve got the perfect meal for a cool Sydney night.
270 Campbell Parade, North Bondi
In the league of restaurants turning Sydney into a world food capital, Sean’s tops the list. There’s something so quintessentially Australian about the place.
Continental Deli Bar & Bistro
210 Australia St., Newtown
Eaters the world over have gone mad for the art of preserving. Fermentation has never been so cool, and Continental Deli Bar & Bistro has tapped into this new zest for pickles. You can eat at the bistro or sample a drink at the bar or spend a happy thirty minutes peering at all the specialty products on the shelves (it’s all for sale), but we recommend a seat at the deli counter. A platter of silky anchovies preserved in oil, maybe some cheese, and a glass of Grüner Veltliner is the way to go. Wash down any remaining crumbs with a thimbleful of sweet, strong sherry.
80 Pyrmont St., Pyrmont
David Chang is impossible to avoid—and we’re very happy about that. The chef’s influence and restaurants seem to be in every city in the world. Momofuku Seiobo is the Australian outpost of Chang’s empire, and unsurprisingly, it’s good. Really good. Don’t let the seemingly casual redbrick walls and unfussy wooden tables fool you. Momofuku Seiobo is fancy and expensive. Chef Paul Carmichael grew up in Barbados, and his plates have a distinct Caribbean flavor. The dining experience typically involves several courses as well as some interactive aspects, like guests grinding up the sauces with a mortar tableside (it’s more engaging and fun than gimmicky). The tasting menu is ten courses, and every mouthful is sheer pleasure. But here’s a tip: The bar menu is cooked by the same chef and is a pared-down version of what you can eat in the dining room for a fraction of the price. The plantain tostada with fish ceviche and the pork chop with burnt, acidic lime are incredible, and don’t even get us started on the flan.
1/28 MacLeay St., Potts Point
Chef Kylie Kwong is a practically a household name in Sydney. In culinary circles, Kwong is revered for her take on Cantonese food incorporating the best of traditional Australian produce. On her plates, you’ll find unusual indigenous shrubs, fruits, and herbs, like pickled quandongs and wild rosella, alongside spicy pork belly. The dining experience is an adventure as much through the Australian garden as through the rigors of Cantonese-style dumplings and crispy duck. Unfortunately, the restaurant is closing at some point this year to make way for a new, as yet unannounced, Kylie Kwong venture. Go for those signature yabbies with XO sauce before it’s too late.
Icebergs Dining Room and Bar
1 Notts Ave., Bondi
Just standing in the room is a delight, and that’s before you’ve even eaten anything.
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