Wandering around The Rocks you can find plenty of amazing heritage buildings, great boutiques and swarms of tourists on any given day. But, if you’ve got a healthy appetite and know where to go (which you will, after reading this), the harbour side area of Sydney can be a haven for foodies, with plenty of different cuisines to explore and try. These Sydney restaurants are definitely worth the sidewalk battle with slow-walking tourists.
Fish At The Rocks
Seafood fans have had 27 years to get among the delicious things the folks at Fish At The Rocks has been serving up. It’s the perfect place to crack open a bottle of wine and settle in for all the oysters, prawns, fish and lobster you can possible fit in without bursting your jeans. The ravioli of scallops and prawns is a winning way to start, follow it up with a whole baked barramundi and you’ll be in seafood heaven.
Kent Street Kitchen At The Langham
So luxury hotel group The Langham have rolled into town and bought us Kent Street Kitchen—a large and lavish dining room full of comfortable details, like cushioned banquettes and three types of butter (yes, THREE). Head Chef Daniel Rudolph has previously worked at est. and Berowra Waters Inn and is now serving up sophisticated dishes like the fall-apart 14 hour sous vide beef short rib and truffled chicken farce at The Langham. If you want to really give yourself a treat down in The Rocks, this is where you want to head.
Lord Nelson Brewery
It doesn’t get much better than grabbing a seat and a pint at the Lord Nelson after a hard day of being you. The Lord Nelson is Sydney’s oldest continually licensed hotel and brew six of their own ales for you to work your way through. Sounds pretty fantastic, if you ask us. If you needed any more convincing, the restaurant menu is a far cry from soggy schnitties, instead offering oregano seasoned pork chop with saffron risotto and Himalayan spiced fish curry.
You can’t talk about modern Japanese dining in Sydney without Sake being mentioned at some point. Led by sushi master Shaun Presland who uses his traditional training and passion for flavours to prepare some of the best Japanese dishes in Sydney, like sashimi tacos and salt and pepper tofu, the food is fresh, innovative and exciting. For those who would rather grab something delish and sit by the water, they have also started doing takeaway.
It’s flirty, sassy and luxurious. Sipping champagne, eating escargot surrounded in 1920s décor – we’re not talking about Paris, we’re talking about Ananas in The Rocks. Even Better! This award-winning French restaurant in Sydney is the kind of place you come for a quick glass of bubbles and then stay for dinner… And then stay on for after dinner cocktails. It’s not indulgent, it’s European.
Sailors Thai has been a Sydney institution since opening its doors in the early 90s. These guys are the OGs of creating inspired renditions of classic Asian dishes, carefully balancing flavours and letting the produce shine. Add some great service and The Rocks location outside the CBD madness, and you’ve got yourself a winning restaurant. Kick off your food fest with a traditional chiang mai pork sausage with green chilli relish, before getting into the main events which will make you wish you wore your eating pants – like barramundi jungle curry and crispy salted beef rips with ginger and garlic.
Head Chef Yoshii Ryuichi started his career in traditional, fine dining establishments throughout Japan, before setting up shop in The Rocks and offering Sydneysiders his more creative and adventurous take on Japanese cuisine. Stumble through the bamboo façade of Yoshii and find yourself in one of The Rock’s most stylish and elegant eateries, digging into some fusion cooking which combines new ingredients and traditional Japanese style that won’t leave you hungry.
Image credit: Anita Wilhelm for Fish At The Rocks