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16 Of Sydney’s Best Valentine’s Day Dinners To Book In 2022

By Tim Piccione
28th Jan 2022

Aria restaurant dining room at sunset, with the Sydney Opera House in the background

If you agree there’s no better way to say “I love you” than by sharing a standout meal with your significant other, you’ve come to the right place.

Forget that boring (and overpriced) bunch of red roses, Valentine’s Day is a stellar time to treat your loved one to the culinary experience you’ve both been lusting after all year long. And, lucky for all you star-crossed lovers out there, a bunch of Sydney restaurants are dialling up the romance this Valentine’s Day with the chance to taste some of their best dishes in specially curated menus—and we’ve rounded up some of our favourites to help you out.

Whether you're after something extra-fancy or prefer to keep things low-key—here we've curated a mixed bag of some of the best places in Sydney to share a meal this Valentine's Day.  

Shell House

CBD

After an intense three year renovation that involved suspending a 400-tonne clock tower more than 10 floors up, the heritage-listed Shell House opened late last year to immediate adoration. The venue sits across three levels and offers four separate sections for the ultimate all-under-one-roof date spot.

You can book one of the two-level nine sections for Valentine's Day, choosing between the heart and soul Shell House Dining Room and Terrace or the city-view rich Sky Bar. The former lets you decide between a standard ($195pp) or premium ($295pp) menu, with dishes like polenta cacio pepe, coral trout crudo, and cruller with whipped fish roe and mojama. Opt for the more luxe menu if you’d like southern rock lobster as a main. While Sky Bar ($65pp) offers a selection of canapes like lobster rolls, rock oysters and raw beef with wasabi, a cocktail on arrival, and live jazz for your romantic night out above the city skyline. Book here

Loulou

Lavender Bay

We don't need many more reasons to visit Loulou, the three-in-one French bistro, boulangerie and traiteur (deli). You can make your way through the new Lavender Bay spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner–for treats like (very) freshly baked baguettes, pastries, charcuterie, small goods and dishes like hand-cut steak tartare or chicken liver parfait served with warm brioche. But consider Loulou for your Valentine's Day. The shared menu ($95pp) includes dreamy French dishes like pommes dauphines served with truffle and tete de Moine cheese, roasted scallops with sauce de Champagne and caviar, and whole roasted Aylesbury Duck, with plums and liquorice. Book here.

Giuls

Surry Hills

This newbie pasta spot from Rockpool alumni Giulia Treuner is turning the romance up a notch or three for Valentine's Day with a "Pasta is a love language" set menu. Soak up the vibey Crown Street atmosphere beneath twinkling fairy lights and pink and white-striped umbrellas with Giuls' al freso set-up, or get cosy inside with a view of the stunning tiled bar. On the Tuscan-inspired menu ($89 per person) are oysters with pomegranate dressing, burnt figs with ricotta, coconut snapper crudo, Giuls' fresh pasta, and more. Book here

Nour

Surry Hills

With its serene pale pink interior and always-delicious modern Middle Eastern fare, you really can't go wrong with Nour. From executive chef Paul Farag, the charming Surry Hills restaurant is putting on an eight-course Valentine's Day banquet ($129pp) you don't want to miss. The menu features Nour classics like the signature chicken bits shawarma and carob glazed lamb shoulder, with specially created dishes like sujuk filled "bastille" with soft shanklish, and Queensland king prawns with red shatta butter and pickled chillies. Book here.

IL PONTILE 

Woolloomooloo

IL PONTILE is the newbie on the Finger Wharf at Wooloomooloo. It's a sleek but relaxed Italian restaurant run by fourth-generation restauranteur Mario Percuoco. To help celebrate your love and to match the waterside views, the Naples-born chef is putting on a special Valentine's Day seven-course menu ($180pp). Expect Sydney rock oysters, jumbo scampi and wagyu beef tartare to kick things off, and dishes like king crab risotto, pistachio-crusted yellowfin tuna fillet and zucchini flowers filled with king prawn mousse to follow. Il Pontile is even giving you the chance to win a $500 Valentine's Day dinner if you feel lucky. Book here.

The Butler 

Potts Point

The Butler has to be one of Sydney's most charming restaurants—from the view across to the sparkly city to its stunning garden-style dining room, this is a spot primed for romance. For Valentine's Day, The Butler head chef Amber Doig is putting on a special set menu ($95pp), which includes Prosecco on arrival, six courses, and a special dessert-style cocktail to wrap up the night. Book your spot here

Pumphouse Sydney

Darling Harbour

After undergoing major renovations during a six-month hiatus, the heritage-listed Pumphouse Sydney has reopened its doors with a fresh glow-up. Once home to a major hydraulic station powering the local area, Pumphouse is now primed for your romantic dining experience.

Book in for their Valentine's Day experience ($180), sitting in the upstairs open terrace overlooking Darling Square. Start with a cocktail on arrival and a shared seafood platter that includes Sydney rock oysters, chargrilled king prawns, Tassie squid, ocean trout crudo and fish rillette. Then onto mains like red snapper served with fish broth, baby fennel confit tomato and black olive, or a classic steak frites with Café de Paris butter and port wine jus. Finally, finish off with a white baked cheesecake. Book here.

BLACK Bar & Grill

Pyrmont

Located in The Star, BLACK Bar & Grill is all about woodfired seafood and steaks sourced from Ranger's Valley in NSW's New England region. You can pop through anytime to treat yourself to some of the city's best and highest graded wagyu cuts. On Valentine's Day, they'll be putting on a set menu ($225pp) featuring entrées like king prawns with sesame and yuzu mayonnaise, mains like fillet wagyu MBS7+ with chimichurri, grilled flat bean and herb salad, and desserts like chocolate delice with hazelnut and wild strawberry sorbet. Book here.

Aria

Circular Quay

With its breathtaking Circular Quay location and award-winning menu, Matt Moran's Aria still sets a high standard for Sydney fine dining. And what better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than in view of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Aria is back with another killer one-off menu ($299pp), with six courses that include WA black marron with sea urchin, nasturtium and radish, glazed Maremma duck with fig, witlof and pomegranate, and Westholme wagyu fillet with sunchokes, mustard and brassicas. Book here.

Holy Duck!

Chippendale

If you're not familiar with this vibing Kensington Street spot, Holy Duck! serves traditional Chinese flavours with modern vibes, a nod to classic street food, and plenty of Chinese BBQ. This Valentine's Day, the eatery is also offering a six-course degustation ($49pp) with entrees like steamed duck and prawn dumplings, and roast duck and vegetable spring rolls. As well as mains like the signature crispy duck half with pancakes and stir-fried Mongolian beef. Book here.

Dead Ringer

Surry Hills

From the team behind award-winning bar Bulletin Place, Bourke Street's Dead Ringer is a local neighbourhood bar slinging serious cocktails and delicious share plates. If you're looking for good vibes on your February 14 celebrations, book in for the Surry Hills restaurant and its sharing menu ($75pp). You're in for dishes like half shell scallops served with confit garlic and saffron butter, and wagyu bresaola with Manchego and shaved fennel. With mains like cape grim sirloin steak with Paris mash and chimichurri or chermoula roasted eggplant with Puy lentils and cherry tomato. Book here.

Long Chim

CBD

You can always expect two things at Long Chim: a raucous good time and outstanding street-style Thai food. We expect more of the same this Valentine's Day at the CBD eatery, with a Valentine's Day banquet ($99pp) running Saturday 12 and Monday 14 February. Things will be a little spicy with a nine-course tasting menu that includes miang kham (betel leaf filled with dried prawn, coconut, peanut and lime), mash prawn yellow curry, spicy green papaya salad and deep-fried pink ling fish. Book here.

Chiswick

Woollahra

Another outstanding restaurant from chef Matt Moran, Chiswick provides a rare city escape so close to the CBD, boasting some of the lushest outdoor dining amongst the picturesque Chiswick Gardens. Other than looking good, you'll spot plenty of growing garden produce that will end up on your plate. This Valentine's Day, the special shared menu ($150pp) will feature entrees like tuna carpaccio with tomato sofrito sage, a half lamb shoulder with herbed potato and red oak lettuce for mains and desserts like a smoked coconut sorbet with nasturtium. There's also the option to make the menu completely vegan. Book here.

The Rook

CBD

Burgers, subs, fancy cocktails, hidden rooftop bar—The Rook sells itself. The tucked-away cocktail bar with city views is already the ultimate date spot. But even more so this Valentine's Day with a special 14 February lunch/dinner ($139pp) on offer. You'll be greeted by a cocktail on arrival before a seafood feast featuring dishes like Sydney rock oysters served with a pomegranate and cucumber granita, grilled Yamba prawns and a WA lobster and salted egg capellini pasta. Book here.

Woodcut

Barangaroo

If there's one set of hands we feel safe in for a romantic evening, it's those of Sydney culinary power couple Ross and Sunny Lusted. Formerly of The Bridge Room, the husband-and-wife duo now operate Barangaroo's Woodcut, championing Australian produce through unique cooking techniques like steam, wood and charcoal. Book in for a special Valentine's Day a la carte menu that features a dedicated caviar section and dishes showcasing WA marron, southern rock lobster and Berkshire pork. Just leave room for desserts like chocolate skillet cake with burnt bread ice cream and hot chocolate. Book here.

The Winery

Surry Hills

Tucked away on Crown Street, The Winery offers an impressive amount of outdoor and indoor seating, with enough vino options to justify its name and a few delicious cocktails to match. Spanning Sunday and Monday this Valentine's Day, the Surry Hills venue is putting on a four-course tasting menu ($99pp) with a glass of champagne on arrival. Sit down for dishes like chargrilled king prawns with kombu butter and black garlic, spanner crab and calamari orecchiette pasta and a strawberry and white chocolate trifle. Book here.

For more ideas, check out our hitlist of the best restaurants in Sydney right now

Image credit: Steven Woodburn, Maclay Heriot, Steven Woodburn, Nour, IL PONTILE, The Butler, Pumphouse, Steven Woodburn, Holy Duck!, Long Chim, Steven Woodburn, Crown Sydney 

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