2015 has been good to us foodies so far. We’ve filled our bellies with food that sometimes has us questioning our motives the next day, but then again, if it’s as delicious as these new Sydney restaurants, how can we resist? We’ve found the best new restaurants in Sydney so you know where to go for a meal that’ll keep you satisfied all week (until you try the next one a week later).
Thievery in Glebe has is believing that modern Middle Eastern is the next big thing. Chef Jordon Muhamad brings you exotic Middle Eastern food that is in a different league to those classic street kebabs. They offer everything from hummus to Lebanese fried chicken and hearty kebabs of wagyu beef. For all you sweet tooths out there, Thievery’s dessert menu will live up to your standards with pomegranate roast figs or an indulgent ice cream kebab with chocolate, rose floss, and chocolate pearls. But if it’s Saturday brunch you’re in the mood for they even do that too—fried eggs with labne anyone?
Italian tastes best when it’s shared with a room full of friends, and that’s what they think at Besser too. Your tastebuds will explode with delight as you dig into their speciality ossobuco or, if you’re hungry, order the roasted chicken (served whole and divided at the table for true friend-bonding time). Wine is also readily available on tap, including six Italian wines and two Victorian drops. Tip: come early for their daily 6pm risotto that keeps Besser worthy of being one of the best new Sydney restaurants this year.
With a name like “Chicken Institute” you’d expect to be eating top-quality chicken without disappointment, and that’s exactly what you get at this Surry Hills eatery. They serve ‘damn good’ fried chicken that really lives up to the name and their BBQ grill steam bun hits the spot too. If you’re not in the mood for chicken (we’ll let it slide even though you’re going to a chicken restaurant), do us a favour and order the sweet potato doughnut and dulce de leche—it’s the next best thing.
Waterman's Lobster Co.
Every seafood lover knows that the best lobster comes from Maine, and that it’s best eaten between a fresh bread roll and drizzled with a hint of lemon. Luckily three Aussie chefs have opened up Waterman's Lobster Co. so we can forgo the airfare to the USA without missing the taste of the best lobster on offer. With a focus on fresh and simple food, Waterman's have also crafted a menu inspired by Australia’s local produce including king prawns with corn, chervil and herbs, and scallop rolls with pureed peas and pork floss. We know where our next meal will be!
Luyu & YumYum
Dumplings have hit the Sydney food scene hard. At the top of the dumpling-to-eat list is new Sydney Chinese restaurant Luyu & Yum Yum—a Newtown eatery that serve some of the best dumplings in town. Order their Snow White dumpling for a taste sensation of prawn, asparagus, bamboo shoot & Luyu home-made creamy soup in chrysanthemum infused potato starch dough that’ll have you wanting to kiss the chef with happiness after eating it. The fresh and creative menu doesn’t stop at dumplings either—they’ve got everything from tea-infused cocktails to biodynamic wines to keep your tastebuds tantalised.
This new Surry Hills restaurant is serving up mountains of pork and beer, and we couldn’t be happier. The menu at Pork'd might be small but it certainly packs a punch. We suggest you hit up the pigsy plate which comes with an assortment of porky treats which includes the likes of pork belly, bacon, kranskies and ham hocks. The menu even has clear instructions on how to enjoy your piggy-feast: score a table, order a beer, examine the menu, and head to the open kitchen to get your swine. You’ll be as happy as a pork chop after eating here, we assure you.
Bang Street Food
A little bit of Bangladeshi flavour is gracing our streets with new Sydney restaurant, Bang Street Food. You can dine like a Bengali with their duck egg omelette or maybe the goat curry will take your fancy. The desserts are no disappointment either; choose from rum drunk doughnut with caramelised apple or the light and delightful mango ice cream. Be sure to take gaze over the cocktail list though, we’re told they’re served with a smile and a story.
If you’ve ever travelled to Naples you’ll understand that once you taste this style of pizza there’s no going back. Just thinking about the light yet crunchy base has you wanting to book a plane ticket, stat. Cue Lucio Pizzeria, the restaurant that’s been giving Aussies a taste of Naples for nearly a decade ago, has now opened a second restaurant in Zetland. Head chef De Falco was born and raised in Naples, so he sure does know what he’s cooking when it comes to pizza. The new Zetland location even has a mozzarella bar to keep the usual pizza list a little more interesting—and we’re ever so grateful because it’s delicious.
Nothing expresses the integrity of an ingredient like an honest piece of wood, says Firedoor’s head chef Lennox Hastie, and you’ll probably say it too after eating here. With a focus on local produce, minimalistic cooking, and good flavour, this Surry Hills restaurant is changing the way people think about fire cooking. Wood is treated as a central ingredient, chosen specifically for their unique properties and paired to enhance the flavour of each shellfish, meat or vegetable. It’s Australia’s first fire-powered menu but it’s one of the best restaurants Sydney has ever seen.
Barrel Bar & Dining
Bringing even more sophistication to Sydney’s North Shore is Barrel Bar & Dining, the ultimate wine and food lover’s destination. From Sunday to Thusday customers can have their BYO wines matched to the menu for ultimate enjoyment. But if you can’t decide what wine to bring that’s no matter because there’s a stellar wine list available for you to quaff. The menu is split into snacks, smaller dishes and larger plates so every foodie can indulge no matter how big their appetite.
Dragoncello takes innovative Australian dining to a new level. With their focus on food that’s fresh from the garden, each dish has a unique balance of flavour—ranging from the slow cooked chicken ballotine to the potato chip cake with sour cream, salted caramel and pear. The wine list and cosy atmosphere make this Sydney restaurant even better and well deserving of a spot on the top 2015 list.
Saké Double Bay
This Sydney Japanese restaurant houses all the classics the original Saké Double Bay has to offer, as well as modern creations that keep you coming back for more (as many times as it takes to get through the whole menu, we like to think). All the produce is sourced from the freshest suppliers and updated daily including Australian Wagyu beef, Alaskan King Crab and of course, seasonal vegetables. Long story short: dine here and you won’t regret it.
How does sipping cocktails while watching the sunset over Walsh Bay sound? Or maybe discovering the taste sensation of spanner crab with bergamot and green apple takes your fancy. You can have this and more at the newly opened Gantry Restaurant. Perfectly located between Sydney Harbour and The Rocks, The Gantry is a gastronomic experience that’s got everything from taste to hospitality to views.
Tim Ho Wan
Michelin-starred food at the lowest of prices is what’s happening at Tim Ho Wan which pleases both our stomachs and wallets. The menu is short by Chinese restaurant standards with about 25 dishes on the menu, which includes their famous baked BBQ pork buns, steamed egg cake, and vermicelli roll with pig’s liver. The queue can be a bit of a wait, but it really is worth it when the food arrives.
With a menu that changes its food and wine each month it’s difficult to get bored at nel. Think venison carpaccio with a chocolate dust and pickled enoki mushrooms with slow-cooked Tasmanian lobster, matched with two wines per dish to tickle your tastebuds with unique sensations every bite. Note: you may be in a food coma when you leave, but that’s all right because you’ll be happy and full.
Image credit: Lisa Brooke for Dragoncello