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Great Sydney dining experiences

Firedoor, SydneyCREDIT: Nikki To

Diners enjoy a meal at Surry Hill's Firedoor restaurant.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Great Sydney
dining experiences

Firedoor, Sydney CREDIT: Nikki To

Diners enjoy a meal at Surry Hill's Firedoor restaurant.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #lovensw #newsouthwales

Sydney’s top chefs are doing inventive things with bread, fin-to-tail cooking, Caribbean cuisine and fire. Score a table at their restaurants to discover why they’re winning awards and international acclaim. 

Ester 

At Ester in Chippendale, on the fringe of the city centre, chef Mat Lindsay not only produces remarkable sourdough, he turns it into striking ice-cream as well. His fermented potato bread with kefir cream is also a menu standout. His magic with all ingredients — not just bread — is why he was named Gourmet Traveller’s 2018 Chef of the Year. Whole-roasted cauliflower and burnt pavlova are other great examples of his wood-fired wizardry. 

Automata 

At Automata, in the Old Clare Hotel in Chippendale, Clayton Wells’s forward-thinking and pared-back approach to dishes is reflected by the restaurant’s minimalist and futuristic design. His tasting menu has featured angasi oyster emulsion, white asparagus and caviar, artfully plated on a shell. Sun’s out? Outdoor bar diners can enjoy prawn sandwiches with jalapeño sauce.  

Momofuku Seiōbo 

Momofuku Seiōbo, the first restaurant superstar chef David Chang launched outside America, opened in inner-city Pyrmont in 2011. After joining the team in 2015, chef Paul Carmichael has earned rave reviews for his inventive Caribbean cuisine. Travel + Leisure listed Momofuku Seiōbo as one of the “world’s best restaurants” in 2020, and Carmichael was recently named Chef of the Year by Gourmet Traveller. Inside his sleek kitchen at The Star casino complex, Carmichael has reimagined cou cou (from his Barbados homeland) and other Caribbean staples.

Quay 

Quay in The Rocks would be worth the trip for its harbour views alone, but chef Peter Gilmore has made it a destination in its own right. Quay has been awarded three hats in the Good Food Guide a stunning 18 times and featured on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. In 2018, Gilmore replaced Quay classics (the Snow Egg) with new tasting menu favourites, such as a reinvented oyster in a custom-made shell and the snap-frozen White Coral dessert, to match the just-renovated space.

Saint Peter  

Nigella Lawson has called Josh Niland a genius. Jamie Oliver and René Redzepi have praised him, too. Celebrity chefs aren’t his only fans; his Saint Peter restaurant in Paddington has been embraced by Sydney for its sustainable approach to seafood. No fin or scale is wasted: fish eyeballs become crackers and fish fat is turned into a butter-like substitute for the chocolate slice. For more casual fare, try fish and chips from Niland’s neighbouring Fish Butchery shop.  

Automata, Chippendale CREDIT: Destination NSW

Friends dining at Automata restaurant, Chippendale.

#ilovesydney

Automata, Chippendale CREDIT: Destination NSW

Friends dining at Automata restaurant, Chippendale.

#ilovesydney

The Star, Pyrmont CREDIT: Destination NSW

Exterior view of The Star, Pyrmont, home to premier entertainment, award-winning restaurants and a retail collection of luxury brands.

#ilovesydney

The Star, Pyrmont CREDIT: Destination NSW

Exterior view of The Star, Pyrmont, home to premier entertainment, award-winning restaurants and a retail collection of luxury brands.

#ilovesydney

Lankan Filling Station 

In 2014, O Tama Carey won Time Out’s Chef of the Year award for her Italian cooking at Berta. Then she connected with her Sri Lankan roots and opened her Lankan Filling Station restaurant in East Sydney in 2018. Her brilliant curries, hoppers and sambols quickly gained her crowds and more acclaim: Time Out handed Lankan Filling Station its Restaurant of the Year and Best Casual Restaurant awards in 2019. 

Fred’s 

At Fred’s in the inner-east suburb of Paddington, chef Danielle Alvarez highlights the artisanal growers behind her restaurant’s ingredients. Her farm-to-table approach is inspired by Chez Panisse, the Californian institution that pioneered this culinary style in 1971. Alvarez spent four years there, and has beautifully translated this knowledge in Fred’s kitchen: a leg of lamb might cook over the fireplace and Rosa Bianca eggplant is served with Willowbrae goat’s cheese from Hawkesbury Valley. The restaurant is truly Alvarez’s vision: the farmhouse layout resembles a sketch the chef originally drew. Charlie Parker’s, the downstairs bar, offers casual snacks and stylish cocktails.  

Porteño 

Comedian Tim Ross is a high-profile fan of Porteño in Surry Hills. Not only does he appreciate this beloved institution, but he recognises that its owners — Elvis Abrahanowicz, Ben Milgate and Joseph Valore — changed the city for the better with their first restaurant, Bodega. A decade on, the award-winning chefs Abrahanowicz and Milgate still offer their take on Argentinean barbecue at Porteño, just in a different stretch of Surry Hills. It’s territory the team is making its own: Porteño’s team also runs the neighbouring Humble Bakery, Bastardo restaurant and reimagined Bodega X Wyno bar and bottle shop in the alley behind.

Firedoor 

Lennox Hastie learnt how to cook with fire at the much-acclaimed Asador Etxebarri in Spain. At Firedoor in Surry Hills, he’s created his own style of transforming ingredients with smoke and coals: an approach that’s made him the local star of the Netflix show Chef’s Table BBQ and showcased his ability to elegant grill anything — even lettuce. When the chef lights up with apple wood, hay and even wine barrels, it’s fuel for his well-sourced meat, seafood and vegetables sourced from local growers.  

Sixpenny 

Sixpenny sits on a quiet corner of the Inner West suburb of Stanmore, neighbouring Newtown, but Daniel Puskas’s talent speaks volumes. The award-winning chef has the maximum three hats in the authoritative Good Food Guide, and his tasting menu begins with superior snacks (hemp seed tarts with pear), advances into more substantial territory (sugar loaf cabbage with abalone and clams) and ends on striking desserts (walnut ice-cream with caramelised banana).  

Quay Restaurant, The Rocks CREDIT: Destination NSW

Enjoy food and drink at Quay Restaurant, The Rocks.

#ilovesydney

Quay Restaurant, The Rocks CREDIT: Destination NSW

Enjoy food and drink at Quay Restaurant, The Rocks.

#ilovesydney

Saint Peter, Sydney CREDIT: Josh Niland

Chef Josh Niland's Newcastle Bugs and Carolina Reaper Thousand Island Dressing at Saint Peter in Sydney's Paddington.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Saint Peter, Sydney CREDIT: Josh Niland

Chef Josh Niland's Newcastle Bugs and Carolina Reaper Thousand Island Dressing at Saint Peter in Sydney's Paddington.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

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