While we love us a classic restaurant in Sydney, we also get super excited shiny new openings. And boy, does 2016 have some damn good new openings up its sleeve. Here are a few that have just, or are about to, open their doors this year.
Melbourne favourite, Chin Chin is moving in on Surry Hills with an opening confirmed for this year. The Thai slash Asian fusion restaurant will open in the Griffiths Teas building and we recommend you get there early to nab a seat because it will fill up fast.
Burger envy be gone! Ze Pickle is finally travelling down the coast to bring Sydneysiders a long awaited outpost on Foveaux Street, due in March. There will be burgers, bar snacks, beers and cocktails, oh my!
The team behind Frankie’s Pizza and Shady Pines are teaming up with Daniel Pepperell (of 10 William Street) to open Hubert, the European restaurant and wine bar you wish you stumbled upon on holidays last year. The menu will be Italian themed, with other European influences.
Merivale continues their Oxford Street takeover with Fred's, their newest restaurant due to open its doors in February. Making the most of the wood-fire oven, head chef Danielle Alvarez will be cooking up heirloom vegetables and native ingredients from the Blue Mountains, served alongside a 120-strong wine list focussed on small-batch drops.
The second Sydney installment of Melbourne-born Spanish tapas restaurant MoVida is due to move into Martin Place next month. As part of the (HUGE) makeover plan for Martin Place, you can expect outdoor dining a la European charm and an extensive cocktail list.
Sake is going new restaurant crazy this year, starting with their brand new Sydney restaurant Sake Live due mid-year. Set to be Sydney’s largest robatayaki grill and sushi bar, there will be an elevated DJ stage, 100 signature cocktails and a Tokyo-inspired light installation.
Not strictly a restaurant, Sake Jr.’s menu will boast all of the fresh Japanese style sashimi that we have come to love and expect from Sake, but will be entirely take-away and toteable. So, come mid-year, your lunch break will get a whole lot better.
Run, don’t walk to the first Australian installment of American burger giant Carl’s Jr. recently opened in the Central Coast, only an hour north of Sydney. They are here to stay and well worth the short drive up the freeway for some good old-fashioned greasy burgers (arguably the best kind of burger).
Rumour has it that our favourite fancy French chef, Guillaume Brahimi is honing in on George Street as the newest location Bistro Guillaume which has had huge success in Melbourne and Perth. He is holding his cards pretty close to his chest on this one, but it is tipped to open early this year.
Opening after Easter, Mercado will be a Spanish nose-to-tail style restaurant where rotisserie pig and chicken are the norm. As part of the group behind China Doll and with Nathan Sasi (ex-Nomad chef) leading the kitchen, we are pretty darn excited about this one.
A paddock to plate style menu with a Nordic theme and a Scandinavian martini is what you can expect from Norsk Dor, hidden behind a stainless steel door, floors beneath Pitt Street in Sydney’s CBD. Boasting their own house blended whiskey and a food menu to combat those pesky lockout laws, Norsk Dor will open in March.
Greek restaurant 1821 will deliver peasant-slash-fine-dining Greek food to keep even the pickiest yiayia happy. This new Sydney restaurant is set to open mid to late this year.
No. 10 Bistro
Contemporary bistro-style food is the focus at the Mint building, with the recent opening of No. 10 Bistro, on the first floor. Expect signature cocktails, craft beers and an a la carte menu with a focus on high-quality local produce.
Specialising in fried chicken, fine champagne and high end kicks, Butter opened recently on Hunt Street and is serving up their signature American style food to the good people of Surry Hills with a healthy dose of impulse buys in the form of sneakers.
Pepe Saya's Last Supper
Pepe Saya is here for a good time, not a long time, launching their Easter pop-up store on 23rd February at Bitton. It will stock all of our cultured dairy favourites as well as hosting a series of dinners on Tuesday evenings throughout March. Plus, there will be hot cross buns. I repeat. There will be hot cross buns.
The Grounds in The City
Insta-fave, The Grounds of Alexandria is branching out of their industrial digs and setting up camp in The Galeries Victoria. We aren’t sure of an exact opening date, but you can expect all of their signature deliciousness early this year.
No. 1 Bent Street by Mike
If you have been missing your sustainable pal Mike since Kitchen by Mike closed its doors in August, you can breathe a sigh of relief because he is setting up shop in the CBD with No. 1 Bent Street by Mike opening in the Wintergarden. It’ll be good to have you back, Mike!
KOI Dessert Bar
Perhaps not the kind of bar you were expecting, in our opinions it may even be better than the usual cocktails and wine variety. Reynold (of Masterchef fame) has opened his brand new dessert bar in Chippendale and people are going a little cray for his impressive chocolate creations. Our advice? Get in early, before they sell out.
Inspired by the always-popular Palmer & Co., Sussex 1854 is a prohibition-style tapas bar due to open in February in Fred’s basement on Oxford Street. Led by Merivale, it is sure to be a hit, with seasonally led cocktails where the local ingredients speak for themselves.
The newest bar by the same guys who brought you Lobo Plantation, Kittyhawk is due to open early April. Rumour has it that they’ve signed a lease for the two-storey space on Phillip Lane in the CBD, with plans to open a restaurant on the upper level later this year. Watch this space.
Brigade Lounge and Brigade Rooftop
Oxford Street is back! The Light Brigade Hotel will be opening two new bars in April this year. Brigade Lounge (formerly known as the Powder Room) will be a cool new 1920s style cocktail bar and Brigade Rooftop will be a lofty new destination that’s 83 metres above sea level with amazing views.
Image credit: Ze Pickle
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Image credit: Ariana Grille at Ze Pickle