Hope you're hungry, Sydney—because here we have yet another very long list of new eats and treats to try.
This month we're loving Maybe Sammy's fancy new hotel lobby bar, hidden away within the slick new A by Adina Hotel complete with a baby grand piano and some very theatrical cocktails. The empty Freda's site is now The Barrie, a super-chill, zero-fuss, late-night spot with live music every night of the week. Marrickville Metro's glow-up includes some pretty tasty new restaurants, and Sydney's emerging era of sandwiches has scored two new dedicated sando spots.
Ready? Here are the best new restaurant, cafe and bar openings to try in Sydney this month.
Dean And Nancy On 22
Dean and Nancy is a fancy hotel lobby bar within the all-new A by Adina boutique hotel in the heart of the city. Behind the concept is the award-winning Maybe Sammy team. Ascend a golden staircase to the seriously stunning 120-seater bar, which has been designed by George Livissianis (Sammy Junior, Chin Chin, The Apollo). With a super slick black and gold palette, a baby grand piano, low leather banquettes, intimate lamplit tables for two, and a view of the twinkling city skyline that, come nighttime, Dean and Nancy feels a little bit like Sophia Coppola's Lost in Translation.
Maybe Sammy creative director Andrea Gualdi has crafted 15 new signature concoctions written into a journey of a menu, including some high roller cocktails made with super-premium spirits and non-alcoholic cocktails too. Try the Coffee Champagne cocktail, where—magically—your hands become the garnish via some keepsake hand cream, or the “Rolling A Double”, which comes with a pair of dice; roll a double and you’ll win a cocktail upgrade. The menu of hearty bar snacks has been dreamt up by legendary Sydney chef Jane Strode and includes the "Fireball", a ball of whipped cream cheese, nduja, marjoram, and lemon that’s wrapped in a nest of Kataifi pastry, baked until almost molten, and served on a dab of tomato jam with pickles.
Pro tip? Go at sunset to see the bar glow like nothing else. Dean and Nancy opening hours are here.
If you've been wondering what would become of the old Freda's site in Chippendale—we finally have an answer. Picking up where the legendary late-night spot left off is The Barrie, a no-fuss cocktail lounge and live music spot from Chris Garner, Chris Turvey, and Liam Stanwell. While the trio counts Employees Only, Rockpool, and Restaurant Hubert in their bar experience, the vibe at The Barrie will be much more low-key.
Serving only Australian wine and beers alongside a neat edit of signature cocktails, cheeses, and charcuterie from LP's Quality Meats, The Barrie isn't trying to be anything but a good time—which is totally the sort of unpretentious vibe we can get behind in a post-2020 world. Kick-off your night with the fruity and refreshing "Cash on Delivery" cocktail, made with cognac, Brookie's macadamia and wattleseed, passionfruit, citrus, and peach bitters, before moving on to something delicate and smoky like the "Finger in the Ocean" with Vida mezcal, Amaro Montenegro, Espolon blanco tequila, grapefruit and rosemary, topped with sparkling wine.
The Barrie has live music most nights of the week ticking off everything from blues to reggae and disco. The Barrie's opening hours are here.
Rice Pantry is a part of Marrickville Metro's amazing (and very welcome) new glow-up. On the new Smidmore Street dining precinct, the all-day diner is a follow-up to St Peters' super popular Rice Pantry outpost, only this time, former Masterchef contestant Bryan Zhu has joined the kitchen as head chef, whipping up even more friendly Aussie-inspired Vietnamese treats.
As the name suggests, rice is the hero of the menu, and alongside a daily selection of rice paper rolls, bao, signature bowls and pho, are things like okonomiyaki loaded tots, made with nori salt, furikake, Japanese BBQ sauce, kewpie mayo, shichimi togarashi, bonito, and lime, as well as spring onion roti, and sriracha loaded fries. There are a bunch of signature cocktails to sip (our pick is the "Lychee Umeshu") and, for dessert, Zhu is serving his famous yuzu ice cream, made with layers of lime meringue, citrus, and saffron pineapple combined with sago and mint. There's also a Vietnamese coffee lamington that needs to be on your sweet treat hit list.
Rice Pantry's opening hours are here.
Among the top-billed eateries at the new South Eveleigh dining precinct is Lucky Kwong—an all-new eatery from Kylie Kwong. It opened at the end of May and is centred on the idea of simplicity, flavour, and food as nourishment—a far cry from the theatre and extravagance of some of Sydney's recent restaurant openings.
Just serving lunch, Lucky Kwong is a walk-ins-only, pay-at-the-counter venue, plating up Kylie Kwong favourites Monday through Friday for dine-in and takeaway. Pop in for caramelised pork belly with Davidson’s plum, savoury pancakes with fried egg, vegetables, Asian herbs, and caramel-tamari, and Uncle Jimmy’s steamed Hokkien noodles.
Lucky Kwong's opening hours are here.
Dreamt up by the same team that brought Sydney Chaco Bar and Chaco Ramen (chef Keita Abe and ex-Sasaki head chef Kensuke Yada), Haco is a pint-sized 12-seat omakase dedicated almost entirely to tempura. Housed within a concrete cube at the Surry Hills end of the CBD, it's a first of its kind in Sydney where the sheer theatre of deep-dried deliciousness takes centre stage ("haco" translates to "theatre").
At Haco, you're in for a relatively vague set menu of 20 bite-sized dishes—kept vague because chef Yada likes to really move with what's in season (we love to see it). Expect to sample lightly battered king prawn, lotus root, and, for dessert, banana, alongside braised pork belly, kombu-cured lobster, and bonito sashimi, while you sip sake, Japanese beer, and house-made umeshu and yuzushu.
Haco is a super special experience—but you'll want to plan ahead. Being a 12-seater, it is booked out a few months in advance. Haco opening hours are here.
Good Ways Deli
With a nostalgic palette of Aussie Colourbond green and a neat menu filled with top-tier sangas and CWA-style bakery treats, Good Ways Deli is the sort of sunny corner spot you dream of stumbling across while roaming around on the weekend. Behind the new hybrid cafe-deli-bakery, is chef-baker Jordan McKenzie (whose resume casually ticks off Cornersmith, Cho Cho San, the Orana Sydney pop-up, and Small Talk Coffee) and Tom Pye of Coffee Supreme.
Here, sandwiches are a cut above the rest, to say the least. Made with housemade wattle-seed-permeated ciabattas—in the AM, go for the breakfast roll with hot butter, fermented potato, egg salad, and onion jam. Or, cure that hangover with a perfected cheese and apple toastie with Maffra mature cheddar, pickled apple, and mayo. Get fresh with a next-level salad sanga packed out with beetroot, carrot, sprouts, cheddar cheese, broadleaf rocket, mayo, and a lick of mushroom pâté.
As for the sweet treats—slabs of rhubarb-jam lamingtons, Vegemite scrolls, gluten-free wattleseed brownies, and Anzac biscuits are all on the agenda, each created by McKenzie and Good Ways baker, Greer Rochford.
Good Ways Deli opening hours are here.
Another entry on the sandwich front this month is Kosta's, Rockdale's newest hole-in-the-wall sandwich joint with stacks of attitude. Painted bright blue and white, the zero-fuss menu is divided into "You Like, You Buy", "Classic, Not Basic", "Tell Your Missus", and "Best Coffee In Town", (which reveals more of Kosta's overall vibe as opposed to what they actually serve but, whatever, we dig it).
As for what you can actually fill up on here, the menu has been crafted by ex Cornersmith Chef Cameron Harris and Delicious magazine recipe writer, Helena Moursellas. Hero sandwiches are the Super Deli panini, with turkey ham, basturma, marinated peppers, spinach, graviera, fennel butter, lettuce, and salsa verde, and the classic poached chicken sandwich, which is
chicken, avocado, slaw, chives, mayo, and salsa verde on Tuscan-style schiacciata. There's also a schnitty sandwich served on an olive oil bun, classic shakes, smoothies, frozen watermelon juice and coffee by Veneziano Coffee Roasters.
Kosta's opening hours are here.
RND (an acronym for “Raw Next Door”) operates out of neighbouring Harry’s Bondi just three nights a week (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). Behind the menu at RND is Jack New, who headed up the kitchen at Edition Coffee Roasters, as well as another secret Japanese spot tucked away at the back of a poke bowl bar in Woollahra called Izy Izakaya.
With a Japanese meets Bondi mindset, standouts on New's menu include a lobster tempura sando with yuzu slaw and fermented chilli mayo, karaage chicken with ginger dressing and black garlic aioli, crispy rice with spicy tuna tartare, and then overnight master stock pork belly skewers with sweet, sticky glaze and yuzu kosho mayo.
RND's opening hours are here.
- Byron Bay eatery Harvest is due to open its first Sydney venue at the new surf lodge at Wisemans Ferry in 2022
- AP Bakery, a brand new bakery concept from Ester's Mat Lindsay, Reuben Hills' Russel Beard, and Ping Jin Ng, the man behind the beautiful Paramount House Hotel
- Hickson House, a warehouse gin distillery and bar in The Rocks
Now, work your way through this list of the best restaurants in Sydney.
Image credit: Steven Woodburn, Steven Woodburn, The Barrie, Leigh Griffiths, Lucky Kwong, Nikki To, Kosta's, Kitti Gould