We’re convinced that Sydney never goes to sleep because she is constantly churning out new cafes, restaurants and bars. Every single day. And since it’s so hard to keep up, we have enlisted Neil Perry and the team at Parramatta Lanes, where Burger Project will be popping up, to give us his hot tips of all of the new places you need to check out this year, if you haven’t already.
Following the closure of Sydney institution, Rockpool Est 1989, we were all pretty relieved when Neil Perry announced that Eleven Bridge would be taking its place. Eleven Bridge has the same sophisticated charm that you became accustomed to at Rockpool, with a menu created from the same high quality sustainable produce. It also features new kids like tempura artichoke with miso braised shiitake and spiced dressing and warm apricot fondant with spiced biscuit and almond ice cream.
After huge popularity in Singapore and Perth, Long Chim finally made the pilgrimage to Sydney this year, much to the relief of those who were gutted when they chose Perth as their first Australian outpost. David Thompson has nailed the casual Thai street food and vibes and his Sydney restaurant follows his winning formula to the letter. We love the crunchy prawn cake, the Massaman beef curry with cardamom and coconut, and of course we can’t resist pairing it with a Thai inspired cocktail while we’re at it.
Restaurant Hubert very quickly became one of our go-to’s for margaritas come Thursday night and we aren’t even a little bit ashamed to admit that we have returned for round two (and three). Opened by the same crew behind Frankie’s Pizza and Baxter Inn, Hubert has more of a luxurious European vibe happening. The best dishes are the tried and true French classics like duck á l’orange and crème caramel, because it’s their specialty and they do it oh-so-well.
Although they’re new to Sydney, Bar Machiavelli is a spin off to the always popular authentic Italian restaurant, Machiavelli Ristorante. They specialise in house made pasta, but their cocktails are definitely worth a look in as well. Our top tip is to order the chestnut parpaddelle with mushrooms, because for starters, where else are you going to get chestnut pasta and also – it’s one of the best damn pastas we’ve eaten all year. Yep.
Finally Guillaume Brahimi has stopped holding out on Sydney and delivered on his tease of a restaurant in our harbourside city. He even over-delivered by tacking on a classic French patisserie, so you can reap the benefits from your table in the restaurant or take home for an after dinner treat. For savoury, we just have to mention the steak frites with béarnaise sauce and for dessert, nothing beats a classic lemon tart or chocolate soufflé.
It’s pretty exciting when you find a great burger that you don’t have to cross the bridge for, which is why it is so fab that Neil Perry is bringing Burger Project to Parramatta in 2016. Their burger offerings are the epitome of simple things done well, especially if we’re talking about their classic cheese with grass fed beef, cheese, onion, pickles, tomato, lettuce and secret sauce. If you’re feeling more experimental, order the fried chicken and bacon katsu burger but regardless of which burger you choose, grab a valrhona chocolate shake to go with it.
To celebrate the new restaurant, Burger Project will be popping up at Parramatta Lanes from Tuesday 11 – Friday 14 October.
No.1 Bent Street
After breaking our little hearts with the closure of his Rosebery restaurant, Kitchen by Mike, Mike McEnearney has returned to the city with No.1 Bent Street. Surprisingly, it’s located on Bent Street (har har) and the menu is true to Mike’s signature style of seasonal and delicious food with a nose-to-tail influence. Think chicken liver pate with four-spiced salt, and ash baked eggplant with saffron, freekah and green tahini
KOI Dessert Bar
Koi Dessert Bar is one of Sydney’s newest contemporary dessert bars and they are churning out things like “cheesecake” and “gelato” that more closely resembles art than actual cheesecake and gelato. MasterChef’s Reynold is behind the operation and while dessert is certainly their thing, they also have a set dinner menu featuring savoury offerings like crispy kale and balsamic tomato that you can enjoy in their upstairs dining room.
The Paddington Inn
Paddington locals were absolutely tickled to find out that their local institution was returning this month, and with things like cod pikelets and Black Onyx flank steak on the menu, it is definitely living up to the high expectations. The décor has had a huge overhaul, as you would expect, and while it still pays homage to the venue’s history, it is now a much brighter and lighter space.
Cake Wines Cellar Door
One thing we never realised we needed in our lives was an inner city cellar door, but then Cake Wines gave us one and we suddenly realised that we did (we really did). They serve charcuterie generously (and enthusiastically) on the daily and their selection of wines, which hail from Adelaide’s McLaren Vale wine region, are 100% delicious. Cake Wines also puts on different specials every day, like tastings from 2pm on Sundays, DJs, and pizza and wine nights.
You can never go wrong with a classic slice of New York style pizza and Epic Pizza is not only passionate about their pies, but also really bloody good at making them. This is for the nights when your feeling a bit peckish but aren’t sure that you can commit to a whole pizza, or those times where you want the whole pizza, but also want to try every single flavour. If you’re a pizza purist, then order the Fat Tony (margherita) or OK USA (pepperoni), but if you really want to lash out and do something crazy, order a slice of the vegetarian Rumble In The Jungle instead. Trust us, it’s the goods (and not at all sacrilegious, okay).
The best way to describe Acre Eatery is as an indoor-outdoor restaurant, because when you’re inside, you really do feel like you’re sitting outside (in a good way). The dining room is open and light-filled, but if you want to hang out in the actual outdoors then their acre container and garden sections fit the bill. It’s also surrounded by Pocket City Farms, so you know the produce is fresh.
Rising Sun Workshop
Rising Sun Workshop is basically the ambitious millennial of Sydney’s 2016 lineup, where food is championed in equal amounts to their motorcycle workshop. They serve breakfast and lunch seven days a week and dinner from Thursday through to the weekend. Their Japanese speciality of breakfast ramen is chocked full of bacon, egg, tomato and a buttered toast broth and for dinner; order a bunch of share plates and wash it down with a Young Henrys. Doubling as a motorcycle workshop, everyone is welcome (just book in, for obvious reasons).
As the newest recruits to Fountain Street, Nguyen Brothers want you to pho-get your traditional ideas of what is and is not ‘breakfast food’, because they’re bringing their Vietnamese style to brunch and beyond. The brunch menu features traditional beef pho and crispy onion topped sticky rice with pate, shredded chicken sauce and grilled chicken for brunch. True to the area, Nguyen Brothers is tucked away in a converted warehouse, where open plan is king and polished concrete floors are a non-negotiable. The hanging basket lanterns are just an added bonus.
The team behind Uncle Ming’s opened Norsk Dor as a secret Vikings-inspired bar that is more sophisticated than it sounds. The décor is what you would expect, with wooden fittings, cowhide cushions and exposed beams, but the menu features dishes that sounds big, tough and hearty, like the roasted bone marrow, but is unmistakably fine dining when it arrives at the table. The cocktail list is concise and every creation is beautiful, like The Violet Babygal, which is garnished with lavender and is the dreamiest shade of well, lavender.
Kittyhawk is the kind of place that you can head to for after work drinks, which turns into dinner and then into drinks again. This is Parisian chic at its finest and the sprawling bar, spanning the full length of the room is serving up classic 1940’s cocktails and wines. Half of Kittyhawk has been dedicated to booth seating and table service (which we love) and their share plates are perfect for sharing among friends and work mates (after the drinks we spoke about earlier). If you’re after something more substantial, well they have that covered too, with dishes like coq au vin pie on the cards.
You’d be forgiven for assuming that Bar Brosé is only for the bros and the rosé, but you would also be wrong. This Darlinghurst bar welcomes all to dine and imbibe on their (frankly, quite impressive) selection of share plates and drinks respectively. While there is definitely a larger than usual selection of Australian and European rosés, they also have many the white wines, red wines, cocktails and spirits on offer as well. Basically, there is something for every single one of you.
It is always exciting when a new restaurant pops up outside the usual inner city suburbs and Vernon’s Bar has not only done that, but they’ve also opened a great one. Coming over the bar are cocktails like their Pink Gin Fizz and The Basil Gimlet – punchy and crisp, just like Vernon’s. On the pans is Chef RJ (formerly of Longrain) and he is churning out dishes like plum and molasses beef short rib with cabbage, kale & kohlrabi to their happy diners. They describe themselves as cheeky, dapper and chill, which sums them up quite nicely to be honest.
Editor's note: This article is proudly sponsored by Parramatta Lanes and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.
Image credit: Norsk Dor