From hedgehog-shaped (not hedgehog-filled) dumplings to gelato burgers with Nutella, say goodbye to winter and get some spring in your step (and your belly) at these Sydney restaurants and cafes this weekend!
For when you’re looking for a more nautical vibe, hit up Wild Sage. Decorated with a classy seaside feel, the natural light and neutral colour scheme open up the bright, fresh dishes coming out of the kitchen. Bringing the inside, out, this is the perfect place to make the most of however much sunlight there may shining this weekend and munch on some lunch. Dishing up contemporary Australian food, the twice-baked duck Maryland and the slow cooked lamb shoulder with mash potato and spinach in marsala sauce will definitely put some pep in your step.
Sit down for a long lunch this weekend by the beautiful harbour at Cruise Bar at The Rocks. Freshly renovated, the bright, white garden-themed outdoor seating space is the perfect place for a lazy spring afternoon. Unwind with a baby snapper fillet served with grilled cos and herbed buttermilk dressing or a pork cutlet with apple bacon jam and crispy brussels sprouts. Show your love and grab a carafe to share. You’ll be falling in love with the Sunrise, Some Fall, with Belvedere Pink Grapefruit Vodka with fresh orange juice, mint and honey, finished with Aperol and pineapple chunks. Spring has definitely sprung with this fruity, juicy menu.
You are most welcome to recently-refurbished, The Henson, a former grubby pub, now a family-friendly happy space where you can huddle in a booth or kick back in the huge beer garden while the kids (not necessarily yours), play in the rumpus room, complete with ball pit (note: too shallow for adult use). With a snazzy new menu, you can sip on local favourite, Young Henrys from Newtown, while munching as many cherries as you can on the Pacman and pinball machines. When you’ve exhausted yourself (and perhaps your hopes at being a professional pinballer) snuggling up with some mac ‘n’ cheese will make your weekend truly weekendy. Decadently delicious with baked cauliflower, leek, and silverbeet, the notion of a local pub is being redefined at The Henson.
The Village Inn
Bringing back the old charm of Paddington, The Village Inn is one for the whole family this weekend. Recently renovated, The Village Inn harkens to the historical and local in every way, with convict-hewed bricks and an emphasis on the local community. Not too fancy and not at all a dive, you’ll enjoy parking your caboose in a plush leather booth while chatting away and munching on pub favourites with a twist, like the Big Bad Wolf burwich (burger+ sandwich) featuring smoked ham, pork belly, bacon, fried egg, and Gruyere cheese on a milk bun. Not-so-expected dishes like citrus-scented olives and Nordic-style cured salmon will rope in the fancier side of you, and if the food doesn’t hook you, the antlers on the wall will. But the food is good. So good. Your weekend will thank you.
Luyu & Yum Yum
You’ve just got to make time to dine at Luyu & Yum Yum for the yum yummiest dumplings you’ve had in a long time and the cutest meal you’ll eat not only this weekend, but any weekend. Ensconced in this modern space of high ceilings, decorative bamboo, a wine cellar wall and glassed in kitchen, you will weep while eating because everything is so delicious and beautifully plated up. Try the flying seafood dumpling. Shaped to look like it wants to fly into your mouth and straight to your heart, each dumpling has little wings referencing the flying fish roe hiding inside with scallop fish ball and prawn. The Mr Luyu starburst dumplings are named for the rainbow of pastel colours they are dyed, as well as the way they burst in your mouth with chicken soup. Hedgehog dumplings and Kiss Me dumplings are fellow must-eats. The cellar wall is chock-full of biodynamic wines, but you must also try their range of tea-infused cocktails. Grecian’s Garden mixes Citron Vodka with a hint of fresh mint, lychee, and elderflower is one of our faves and will be yours too.
Cremeria de Luca
Settle your kettle, we’ve not forgotten the all-important sugar hit that ties up any night out! Cremeria de Luca is a secret Sicilian sweet shack that deserves your tender love and affection. Home to old-fashioned gelato, made the same way since 1937, Cremeria de Luca offers true Italian cuisine, with a lot of hashtaggable indulgence mixed in. The gelato burger is not something you can leave without trying. Picture this: a brioche bun on a wooden board, filled with two scoops of house-made gelato (the custardy zabaglione flavour is a winner), topped with panna (cream), and smeared with Nutella. Don’t forget the dusting of icing sugar on top! A mouthful and a half, you’ll definitely need a couple of napkins. For the surgeons in training, there is the Nutella arancini served with a syringe of panna that will end any meal with a gooey, happy mess.
Image credit: JackieLyn Powell at Wild Sage