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Barangaroo nightlife with Matt Moran

Matt Moran Credit: Streets of Barangaroo

Matt Moran

#feelnewsydney

Barangaroo nightlife with Matt Moran

Matt Moran Credit: Streets of Barangaroo

Matt Moran

#feelnewsydney

Hashtags #feelnewsydney

A legend of the Sydney restaurant scene, Matt Moran is a renowned chef, TV personality and cookbook author. He’s also the restaurateur behind Aria, one of Australia’s finest dining experiences, as well as venues as diverse as the stylish bistro Chiswick in upscale Woollahra, city steakhouse Chophouse and beachfront North Bondi Fish. He recently launched a Japanese-style restaurant and vinyl bar, Rekodo, which sits between his House and Smoke bars at the three-level Barangaroo House in the harbourside Barangaroo precinct. Here Matt shares his tips for an unforgettable night out in this dining and bar-hopping hub on the fringe of the city centre.

Kick off the night with a house call

Matt’s Barangaroo House may not be the tallest building in the Barangaroo dining precinct, but it’s one of the most visually striking. The three-level structure resembles three giant bowls stacked on top of each other, with a different venue on each level. “Barangaroo House is a real mix,” says Matt. “You’ve got sit-down cocktails at Smoke [on the rooftop]. It’s not a bar where everybody is pushing in [to get served]: you can sit down and relax and have a quality cocktail, and obviously you have that view up there which is fantastic. “Then Rekodo is predominately about the food, but at the same time you have music and you’ve got a bar there too. It’s a fun venue — it’s a bit loud for some people, but the younger generation love it. And on the ground floor you have House Bar — that’s your pub.”

Rekodo, which is modelled on Japanese bars where patrons gather to listen to long-playing records, has replaced Matt’s fine-dining Bea restaurant on the second level of Barangaroo House. “It’s a much more fun venue now, which is what we wanted.”

Explore the waterfront precinct

The Barangaroo strip stretches from Barangaroo Reserve, a headland that’s culturally significant for Sydney’s Traditional Owners, past the landmark Crown Towers Sydney to a long line of restaurants and bars facing a row of wharves servicing city passenger ferries and party cruise boats. There’s also a vibrant dance club scene, with venues such as Bungalow 8 and Cargo Bar pumping until the early hours of the morning.

“It’s definitely a late-night precinct,” says Matt, “with the casino there and so many restaurants. When you’ve got a hub of that many restaurants and having DJs and music, it creates that late-night vibe which is fantastic. There’s something for everyone, with so many casual places. There are also some quality restaurants in Barangaroo, and I’d say Cirrus is probably the best. [Cirrus co-creator and chef] Brent Savage is a great cook and he produces very good seafood-orientated food there. I’ll often eat down there – it’s great.”

Smoke, Barangaroo Credit: Destination NSW

Patrons enjoying evening drinks at Smoke bar, Barangaroo House.

#feelnewsydney #ilovesydney

Smoke, Barangaroo Credit: Destination NSW

Patrons enjoying evening drinks at Smoke bar, Barangaroo House.

#feelnewsydney #ilovesydney

Rekodo Restaurant and Vinyl Bar - Barangaroo House Credit: Steven Woodburn

Menu items at Rekodo Restaurant and Vinyl Bar - Barangaroo House

#feelnewsydney

Rekodo Restaurant and Vinyl Bar - Barangaroo House Credit: Steven Woodburn

Menu items at Rekodo Restaurant and Vinyl Bar - Barangaroo House

#feelnewsydney

Level up your night out at Crown Tower

Cirrus looks out to the water and Goat Island and across an open plaza to Crown Sydney, which is Matt’s pick for a place to stay in Barangaroo. “Crown Towers Sydney looks pretty good – I think it’s one of Sydney’s best hotels. It’s a great location and there’s no question I’d direct as many people there as possible.”

He’s also a fan of some of the fine-dining options at Crown Sydney, including Ross and Sunny Lusted’s Woodcut, a restaurant using an ash grill and a wood-burning oven to create flavour-packed meat, fish and vegetarian dishes. “Ross is one of Sydney’s great chefs. I’ve had a couple of phenomenal meals there — anything from the wood-fired oven is always amazing. “And then you’ve got the refined Oncore by Clare Smyth. Clare is renowned for being one of the best chefs in the world — it’s some of the best food you’ll eat anywhere in Australia. It’s fine dining at its best.” Some of Matt’s staff also rave about Alessandro Pavoni’s Italian restaurant a’Mare at Crown Sydney. “Those guys are great operators – if I’ve ever had an Italian waiter work for me over the past 15 years, they’re all working there now!”

Make some Vivid memories

Barangaroo lights up in May and June each year as part of the Vivid Sydney creative festival, drawing crowds to the light installations around the dining strip as well as Wulugul Walk, a foreshore pedestrian and cycling path connecting Barangaroo with the Walsh Bay arts precinct and Circular Quay. “Vivid is one of those great activations of the past 20 years,” says Matt. “It generates so many people out late at night — I think it’s great. “And the walk there is amazing, just following the coastline all the way around to Circular Quay. Barangaroo is not just a precinct for food and drinking: it’s also a precinct to go and sit by the water, it’s absolutely beautiful, and those walks are classic.” Matt’s also a fan of The Cutaway, a cavernous cultural event space underneath Barangaroo Reserve. “I’ve done a couple of events there and it’s got a great feel to it. The way they’ve structured it is fantastic.”

Vivid Sydney 2022 Credit: Destination NSW

Views of the Vivid Sydney 2022 event captured from a suite in Crown Sydney, Barangaroo.

#feelnewsydney #vividsydney

Vivid Sydney 2022 Credit: Destination NSW

Views of the Vivid Sydney 2022 event captured from a suite in Crown Sydney, Barangaroo.

#feelnewsydney #vividsydney

Vivid Sydney 2022 Credit: Destination NSW

Views of Harbour Lights installations over Sydney Harbour during Vivid Sydney 2022, as seen from the Sebel Quay West Suites Sydney.

#feelnewsydney #vividsydney #ilovesydney

Vivid Sydney 2022 Credit: Destination NSW

Views of Harbour Lights installations over Sydney Harbour during Vivid Sydney 2022, as seen from the Sebel Quay West Suites Sydney.

#feelnewsydney #vividsydney #ilovesydney

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