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.
From fancy degustations to take-home hampers, champagne, ample French and Italian words, ocean views, and, of course, plenty of oysters—Sydney has got you covered if you’re in need of a lil’ culinary charm come February 14.
Here are all the best places in Sydney to have a meal this Valentine’s Day.
If you're really looking to wow your loved one—Metisse would be our top pick. This French-inspired fine diner was founded and opened pre-pandemic by awarding-winning chef Opel Khan in 2019. Alongside his daughter and head chef Lucinda, Khan has been quietly wowing Sydney with his stunning zero-waste tasting menu ever since.
For Valentine's Day, the Khan's have created a one-off menu, complete with a shower of red rose petals on arrival (not kidding). Prepare for an unforgettable culinary journey beginning with an oyster dish simply named "aphrodisiac", followed by dishes like king prawn with octopus jambon and lobster veloute, duck à l’orange with confit leg mille-feuille, and wagyu with confit heirloom vegetables. The eight-course degustation costs $175pp, which you can pair with French wines for an extra $125pp. When you’ve eaten your last petit fours, and you’re as satisfied as any human could be, don’t forget to say merci mon amour. Book a table right here.
An actual trip to Paris might not be on the cards for a little while, but a night at Felix will be just as good. This French bistro-inspired diner comes with buckets of Parisian charm and ambience, making it a pretty perfect spot to celebrate romance. For Valentine's Day, head chef Mike Flood will be sending out French icons: foie gras terrine made with pork and pistachio, confit duck leg with pomme sarladaise, and a grass-fed fillet mignon with confit field mushroom and truffle butter. For dessert, it's profiteroles with hot chocolate sauce or a perfect vanilla creme brulee. Book here.
Sydney’s West and its buzzing food scene are making some serious noise right now. From the team that gave Sydney Nour, Henrietta, and Cuckoo Callay, Lilymu is leading the movement at Parramatta’s shiny new dining precinct. If you’re a traditionalist, don’t be afraid of the “modern Asian” tag, because this Chinese-focussed, South-Asian-influenced menu will please the full spectrum of diners from devotees to newcomers.
For a special Valentine’s Day treat, Lilymu is putting on a set menu ($88pp) which includes dishes like snapper and coconut ceviche with white sweet potato and sea grapes, a scampi tail red curry with kaffir lime and betel leaves, and charcoal wagyu beef skewers with tamarind and herbs. The menu is designed to be paired with a champagne bottle or some of the restaurant’s specialty cocktails. Make sure you book yourself in here.
The Dolphin Hotel
Sometimes, it’s better to keep it simple (and delicious). That’s why The Dolphin Hotel head chef Josh Carrick, is offering one food special this Valentine’s Day. Alongside the dining room’s usually delectable menu, Carrick will feature one of his all-time favourite dishes, spaghetti vongole and bottarga, for just $24. And because no Valentine’s Day is complete without nature’s famed aphrodisiac, you can order up a half or full dozen freshly shucked Pacific oysters with lemon or red wine and black pepper vinaigrette. In case you missed it, the City of Sydney recently extended The Dolphin’s trade out license, so the Crown Street pub now has extra outdoor seating. After a romantic meal, we recommend heading outside for an alfresco cocktail to top it all off. You can make a lunch or dinner booking right here.
If you’ve visited Yulli’s, Crown Street’s vegetarian-haven restaurant, or its epic sister brewery in Alexandria (also with an all-vego menu), you’ll understand our excitement for this special Valentine's Day degustation offer. To help celebrate the annual day of love, Yulli’s is going deep into the Italian roots of amore and putting on a six-course Italian degustation. To transport you to the southern European countryside, the experience will also include paired wines for each course and a guided wine tasting curated by Sydney wine legend, award-winning somm, and former owner of 121 BC, Giorgio De Maria. You can even expect a live opera performance throughout the evening playing in and around the brewery’s beer tanks. This unique experience costs $110pp—you can make a booking here.
Bellevue Cottage By Antoine
Classic French cuisine, a semi-hidden harbourside location, and celebrating love—Bellevue Cottage by Antoine is ticking all the right boxes. Located on the water’s edge of Glebe’s Black Wattle Bay, this off-the-beaten-path French restaurant is offering not one, but three different Valentine’s Day weekend options. You can book lunch or dinner for a four-course sharing menu on Valentine’s Day, a seven-course degustation on Valentine’s Day eve (better known as Galentine’s Day, thanks to Leslie Knope), or bring the pleasures home to you with a hamper for two option available for pickup or delivery. Whatever you prefer, you’ll be treated to dishes like drunken liver parfait with spicy cherries and pickled fennel, seven hours confit summer lamb, and braised suckling pig. Choose what suits you best and make a booking here.
If there’s one thing we can always count on from Long Chim, it’s celebrating in (spicy) style. Not only is the Thai street food standout putting on a can’t-be-missed Valentine’s Day banquet, but they’re running it across the entire weekend. You can book yourself in for Long Chim’s “From Bangkok with Love” from Friday 12 February to Monday 15 February. As we’ve come to expect from one of Sydney’s best Thai eateries, the tasting menu is as long as it is mouth-watering. Book in for dishes like beef brisket green curry, chilli jam stir-fried SA pipi clams, red snapper fish cake, and chicken satay with jackfruit seed satay sauce—to name just a few. The degustation costs $119pp and includes a glass of bubbles on arrival. You can jump online and make a booking here.
You know we have to deliver a couple of splurge options in case you feel like really treating yourself and your significant other. In our opinion, there’s no better place to do that than overlooking our world-famous Sydney Harbour at Aria. This Sydney institution has proven itself worthy enough to have any menu it curates be trusted entirely and without question—but we’ll give you the delicious details anyway.
Aria is offering both a four-course tasting menu ($225pp) available for lunch and dinner, and a six-course tasting menu ($275pp) only available for dinner. The specially chosen menus will include coral trout crudo, radish, apple, desert lime, and verjuice, glazed Maremma duck, beetroot, black fig, and banyuls, and milk-fed veal, cauliflower, pine nuts, and salted grapes. If, like us, you trust Aria’s expert sommeliers like your own grandmother, you can put your meal’s beverage pairing in their hands with your choice of drinks package starting from $70 all the way up to prestige pairing at $375. Don’t miss out and book a prime table here.
Parramatta and Bondi
If you’re in Sydney’s west or out in the east, Cicciabella has your Valentine’s Day plans sorted with a little modern Italian romance. The Italian food maestros are offering three different set menus curated by head of culinary, Nic Wong. Make a reservation at either Parramatta or Bondi locations and choose between a four-course menu ($65pp), four-course seafood menu ($95pp), or a four-course vegetarian menu ($65pp). Whether you prefer your romantic Italian feast by the sea breeze or in the dining hub of Parramatta Square, February 14 is sorted. Make sure you book yourself a table here so you don’t miss out.
If you’re spoiling someone, you might as well do it with the pristine (and kind of unfair to the rest of Sydney) Manly oceanside views. Wanting a good glass of wine, an affordable but top-notch menu offering, and the endless beauty that is the sea? Then book your Valentine’s Day dinner at Manly Wine. After a glass of Chandon on arrival, the menu includes entrees like Sydney rock oysters and seared scallops to share, the choice of mains between dishes like flank steak with broccolini chimichurri and red wine jus, and four cheese ravioli served with zucchini flowers and pesto. Finally, a classic pavlova to top it all off. Be quick and snap up that ocean view spot before someone else does—book here.
Salt Meats Cheese
Sydney-wide purveyor of all things Italian food and drink, Salt Meats Cheese, is giving you and your partner the chance to celebrate this February 14 in flavoursome style. No one does the simplicity of Italian cuisine like the Australian restaurant chain, and this Valentine’s Day offering is no different. Head to one of the participating eateries—for $49pp, be treated to a glass of wine on arrival, antipasto cheeses, meats and condiments to share, a choice of main, and a semifreddo dessert as the cherry on top. But wait, there’s more! If you’d like a more hands-on sort of date experience, try the pasta lovers cooking class (available at Circular Quay) for you and a loved one, or, for a more outdoorsy date, order a mixed grazing platter to fancy up your romantic picnic adventure. Bookings are available here.
No matter which day of the year it is, dining at Chiswick is always a treat. However, it’ll be an even greater pleasure for you and your partner in crime this Valentine’s day thanks to a specially designed lunch or dinner menu. Head chef Francois Poulard’s four-course share style menu lets you select between a slate of irresistible dishes like whole John dory served with capers, lemon, and shishito peppers, house-cured hiramasa kingfish, steak tartare served with radish, watercress, and Sebago crisps, or prawn toast with chilli and coriander. With a glass of sparkling on arrival, your divine meal in the beautiful Chiswick garden surroundings will cost $110. Make sure you book a table right here.
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Image credit: Metisse, Metisse, Merivale, Lilymu, The Dolphin Hotel, Bellevue Cottage, Long Chim, Aria, Cicciabella, Chiswick