Just when you think you had it all figured out the world has moved from Paleo and on to Pitaya… say what now? Luckily for you we’ve compiled a list of what you’ll be eating, and most importantly Instagramming, in 2016.
#1 Pitaya is the new Acai
Not to be confused with a town in Thailand, Pitaya aka dragon fruit is now taking over instafeeds the world over as the fruit of choice amongst health and food bloggers. Derived from cacti and most commonly found in South East Thailand, this fruit can be enjoyed raw, dried or blended and is a great source of antioxidants.
#2 Revenge of the herbivores
Put down your steak knives because plant based food is officially a thing. 2016 is giving your greens their time in the spotlight and thanks to top eateries like Yellow and Otto who have recently overhauled their menus to include a complete list of vegetarian offerings, meat free Mondays just got a whole lot more fancy.
#3 Healthy fast food
So we’re time poor and fail to adult occasionally but that doesn’t mean our calorie count has to suffer. With healthy eating always on trend, top end eateries like Sake are coming to the rescue in 2016 with the opening of Sake Jnr offering healthy lunch and dinner takeaway options along with organic kitchens like Aboutlife in Rozelle, Venus wholefoods Surry Hills and Real Food Connection Camperdown.
#4 Pop-up restaurants
Short-term activations by some of the world’s best chefs are here to stay in 2016. Whether it’s Noma’s René Redzepi or Heston’s Fat Duck in Melbourne, be prepared for more world-class chefs bringing world-class creations to our fair city.
While you’ll be able to get your vego on with ease this year you’ll also be able to tuck in to some damn good meats. There’s now more than one place to bring on the meat sweats from Hunter and Barrel in Darling Harbour, Firedoor in Surry Hills and Robata at Sake in Double Bay.
#6 Umami – the fifth taste
U-what-now? Umami is the taste sensation of 2016 (watch this space). A pleasant savoury taste when translated direct from Japanese and it really is just that. Umami is common in foods like fish, parmesan cheese, cured meats, mushrooms or what we would call a lot of the good stuff, so keep an eye out and your buds at the ready.
#7 Fried chicken is the new burger
There was a time when it felt like there was a new burger joint on every corner and now the same thing is happening with fried chicken (and we aren’t complaining). The deep-fried sometimes buttery, goodness is the snack food choice of many, and rightly so, with new joints like Butter in Surry Hills and Belle’s Hot Chicken Barangaroo making this one trend we are happy to have stay.
A Japanese citrus coming to a cocktail or dessert near you in 2016. Think tangy, tart and delicious the Ginga Ninja at Ms Gs is a top choice for your next (or first) Yuzu fix or give the Yuzu Breeze a whirl at Dead Ringer.
#9 Slow Food
We will always have time for the deliciousness that is slow cooking. Whether it’s a melt in your mouth 8-hour lamb at Porteno, a 12 hour beef rib at El Topo or a whole suckling pig at Four in Hand, slow foods will continue to be a favourite food trend amongst Sydney diners.
#10 Fancy food courts
Because you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your fancy for all the choice that is a food court. The folks at Westfield Sydney currently lead the charge on this one, offering diners a vast array of choices. But there’s more to come, Broadway will be ready to launch a whole new dining experience by spring.
#11 Death of the degustation
So while food courts are getting a makeover the ol’ faithful degustation could be on the way out. With favoured restaurants like Bennelong choosing to dish up quality comfort food like their five cheeses toastie, 2016 might just be the year we say a big fat ‘oh hello there’ to a more casual dining experience.
#12 Scroll ice cream
When it comes to ice cream we are all about the scroll. Inspired by the ice cream vendors of Thailand, scroll ice cream combines a teppanyaki cold plate, yes that is a thing, with some milk and cream-based goodness. You can get scrolled for yourself at 3 Mama Chef's on Pitt Street.
#13 Premium food delivery
What’s better than the best restaurants in Sydney at your fingertips? In 2016 it will be all about having them delivered to your door, meaning you can rock those sweatpants like no one’s business and chow down on some paella from Encasa, pork from Mr Crackles or ricotta gnocchi from Chez Sun. And if you’re lucky enough, you’re in the zone to finish it off with some Messina.
#14 Modern Indian
A lighter, little bit fancier version of the Indian food you’ve always known but without the oily curries and heavily spiced dishes (you know the ones that seemed like a good idea at the time but you inevitably end up regretting?). In 2016 Indu leads the way on modern Indian food in Sydney with their newly opened locale in Sydney CBD celebrating culture and Indian hospitality without the grease.
#15 Dessert for breakfast
Dessert is no longer a leave-a-space kinda meal but rather, finally, a meal in itself and something you can proudly tuck in to for the most important meal of the day. Like the freshly made waffle topped with chocolate sauce and ice cream at Barefoot Coffee Traders in Manly or the eight breakfast desserts and numerous pancake AND Belgian waffle varieties at Ironwood Coffee Company in Woolwich.
#16 Acceptance of dietary requirements
And finally, in 2016 you can proudly own those dietary requirements. Whether you’re a vegan, a lactose free vegetarian, or an anything but gluten, there is a place in Sydney to accommodate the uniqueness that is, well, you.
Something else that's always on trend is Pork Belly, check out where you can get your next fix here.
Image credit: Butter