The Urban List’s Eating Guide To Vivid Sydney 2016

By Angela Law
29th May 2016

vivid sydney 2016

When the lights come on in Sydney for Vivid for your viewing pleasure, some of Sydney’s best restaurants will have their banquet menus and chilled wine at the ready for your eating pleasure. Sydney is really turning it on (quite literally) this year, so get ready, Vivid is here! 

The Ternary 

Darling Harbour 

From Monday to Friday during Vivid, you can enjoy a two or thee-course meal at The Ternary. The menu celebrates their three-tiered love of grill, wok and wine with teriyaki prawn skewers with avocado and sesame dust, roasted lamb rump with lentils du puy, confit shallot and baby spinach and, for dessert, Ternary’s Eton mess. Plus, you will have a choice between cocktail, mocktail, wine or beer and the kids will get a glow fun pack to take out to the festival afterwards. 

Where: The Ternary, Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour 
When: Monday – Friday, Friday 27th May – Saturday 18th June from 6pm – 9pm 
Cost: $55 - $65 per person 

The Tilbury 


The Tilbury has got your pre-Vivid dinner sorted this year, with their early bird dinner between 6pm and 7pm every night during the festival. The two-course dinner from their gastro-style restaurant will feed you up before you head out into the chilly streets and join the festivities. Their menu offers fresh and seasonal dishes that allow the produce to speak for itself. Think sliced Tasmanian salmon pastrami with pink peppercorn and caraway or ricotta gnocchi with garlic prawns, scallops, red capsicum and heirloom tomatoes. Along with the food, you’ll also have the choice between a schooner of Colonial wheat beer or a glass of Underground Pinot Noir.  

What: Get Vivid Early Bird Dinner 
Where: The Tilbury, 12-18 Nichols Street, Wooloomooloo 
When: Wednesday 25th May – Saturday 11th June from 6pm to 7pm 
Cost: $40 per person 

Hilton Hotel Sydney 


Embracing the colourful theme of Vivid, Hilton Hotel Sydney is amping up their usual offerings with a bright new cocktail and food menu in Glass Brasserie's wine bar, Marble Bar and Zeta Bar. Notable additions are the Midori Margarita and Glassy Pavlova and their Vivid themed sliders which come in four flavours and colours. If you are looking for a caffeine hit, Caffe Cino is offering a colourful twist on the classic cappuccino alongside a bounty of bright macarons. We suggest heading in before you head out to see the lights... You know, for sustenance.

Where: Hilton Hotel Sydney – 488 George Street, Sydney 
When: Daily during Vivid

Sydney Table 


The chefs that will be appearing at Sydney Table in Carriageworks have finally been announced and we have a feeling that you will not be disappointed. Coming out strong, to kick off the series of bespoke dining experiences is Mitch Orr (ACME) who is quickly followed by Sam Miller (Silvereye), Hamish Ingham (Bar H), Mark Best (Marque), Claire can Vuuren (Bloodwood), Mat Lindsay (Ester) and Alex Herbert (Bird Cow Fish). Phew! Taking place over Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings throughout the festival, 50 guests will be treated to an evening designed by a featured creative from the fields of food, music, art and design.  

What: Sydney Table  
Where: Carriageworks – 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh 
When: Friday 27th May – Saturday 18th June 
Cost: From $150

Q dining 

Circular Quay 

Sip wine and treat yourself to the seasonal menu on offer at Q dining, with their a la carte menu or group menu package with both two and three course options. Q dining offers an unrivalled view over the Sydney Opera House where you can take in the kaleidoscope of Vivid colours through their floor to ceiling windows. It’s basically the lazy person’s way to enjoy Vivid, from the vantage point of a warm restaurant and cold glass of vino. Hey, no judgement.

What: Q dining lunch and dinner
Where: Q dining, Circular Quay

The Deck 

Milsons Point 

Combining a generous dinner, good times and mulled wine, The Deck has announced their Vivid offerings and they will not disappoint. Perched on the water’s edge at Milson’s Point, diners will enjoy a Mediterranean style menu, which is huge by the way. There are eight options each for entrée and mains so we’re confident that you’ll find something to satisfy your needs. Standouts are the beef carpaccio and the pan-fried parmesan gnocchi with roast butternut pumpkin, rocket, pine nuts and parmesan cream. After dinner you’ll be able to enioy a free ride on the Ferris Wheel at Luna Park and a mug of mulled wine or hot chocolate. Now we’re talking. 

What: Ferris wheel rides and dinner at Vivid Sydney 
Where: The Deck, Luna Park 
When: Friday 27th May – Saturday 18th June from 5pm to 7.30pm and 7.30pm to 9pm 
Cost: $55 per person (two courses) and $69 per person (three courses) 

Fort Denison Dinner De-LIGHTS

Get in early or miss your chance to experience the Dinner De-LIGHTS at Fort Denison restaurant throughout the Vivid lights festival this year. After complete sell-outs in previous years, they have decided to host a series of special dining experiences yet again. Trust us, you don’t want to miss this one. The menu is impressive, with plenty of options to cater to your personal taste (and dietary requirements). Standouts are the quinoa and haloumi salad starter, roast pork belly with apple chutney, fennel and citrus salad and the coconut panna cotta to round out the meal. The ticket cost includes a two-course meal and return water taxi transfers as well as a tour of the Martello Tower.

What: Fort Denison Dinner De-LIGHTS
When: Friday & Saturday Nights, 27th May – 18th June
Where: Fort Denison Restaurant, Sydney Harbour
Cost: $112.50 per person

Bennelong Restaurant 

Bennelong Point 

Eat among the sails and experience the diversity of Australian produce, celebrated in the menu at Bennelong. Exhibit A is the locally sourced red claw yabbies from Mandandanji country in South West Queensland, served with lemon jam, cultured cream and buckwheat pikelets. Wash it down with an Aussie rum-based cocktail, lovingly named ‘The Bennelong Billy,’ made with river mint, quandong liqueur and strawberry gum served over crushed ice. We would expect nothing less from one of Australia’s most celebrated chefs, Peter Gilmore. 

Where: Bennelong Restaurant, Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point 
When: Friday 27th May – Saturday 18th June 
Cost: Three course menu $130 

Vivid Dining at The Governor’s Table 


Modern Australian and Italian cuisine is what you can expect from The Governor’s Table, located in the Museum of Sydney. The menu is extensive, with three options per course and our favourites are the burrata mozzarella with grilled asparagus, prosciutto and rocket and their cumin and honey lamb ribs with bitter greens, pomegranate and feta. You’ll be spoilt for choice, with packages ranging from a simple main course and glass of wine, to two and three course options as well. The kids won’t miss out at The Governor’s table, with a kid’s menu and main course and ice cream package for only $12. 

What: Vivid Dining at The Governor’s Table 
Where: The Governor’s Table 
When: Tuesday – Saturday from 5pm during Vivid 
Cost: $29 - $45 per person 

Pei Modern 


A good opportunity to visit one of Sydney’s must-visit restaurants, throughout the Vivid festival, Pei Modern will have a special set menu on offer each night (excluding Sunday). With choices between two dishes at each course, your evening could look a little something like this: start with smoked wild-caught prawns, cucumber and celery heart, before moving on to roast Hillside Farm chicken with pine mushroom and snake beans before moving on to a dessert of dehydrated chocolate mousse with passionfruit sorbet and fresh passionfruit. Deeeelicious! 

What: Vivid Sydney Menu 
Where: Pei Modern – Four Seasons Sydney Hotel, 199 George Street, Sydney  
When: Monday – Saturday during Vivid from 5.30pm to 10.30pm 
Cost: $49 per person (two courses) or $59 per person (three courses) 

Want more Vivid? Here are some events you may not have heard about.

Image credit: The Deck

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