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Sydney Restaurant Recommendations


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We went to Claudes last year; the food is fantastic and very original. He buys practically the entire Tasmanian crop of truffles each year and does a special menu to accompany them. It is also BYO. We will be back in Sydney this October and have a booking at Claudes; unless the reviews between now and then are very negative we will give it a go. Chui Lee Luk will be the fourth owner of Claudes; so hopefully she will keep up the traditions of the place. It has three hats from the SMH, which is a good recommendation

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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Again in no particular order.

Aria - Great food, service and views

Tetsuyas - The master

Billy Kwong - Great modern chinese

Anhs in Bankstown - Best Pho in Sydney

2060 - Was our local place in Waverton when we were there; great food, great people

Claudes - Fantastic food. best 'french' food in sydney

Yoshii - Best Japanese - great sake tasting to go with the food

Sushi Counter in Crows Nest - Great Omakase - great prices

East Ocean - Great tradional chinese, great seafood, good yum cha

Milsons - Great food, BYO at good prices with great service.

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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  • 3 weeks later...

The SMH's Good Food Guide 2005 has kept the same 5, 3 hat restaurants, namely:

Est

Marque

Quay

Rockpool

Tetsuya's

Claude's which is/was a 3 hat was not ranked due to a change in owner and head chef.

Only one moving up from 1 hat to 2 hats - Aria

Lots of new hatted entries.

Restaurant of the Year Quay

Chef of the Year Brent Savage, Moog Wine + Food

Best New restaurant Omega

Cheers

Paul

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Lots of demotions though; 41, Cottage point inn, Prime, Salt, Sailors Thai.... and plenty more..

But it is good to see Matt Moran get back up there.. 3 hats next year anyone?

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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V and I flew into Sydney Monday afternoon, for an appointment at the US Consulate for my US greencard (My wife's a US citizen so she didn't have to apply), and a couple of days of sight seeing and general fun. WOW what a change in temperature upon arrival - 8C in Adelaide to 20C in Sydney, it was nice to be semi warm again. We stayed at the York Aprtment Hotel which in our mind was a good choice seeing that it's fairly central to the CBD, The Rocks, Darling Harbor, and Circular Quay.

Monday night we met up with a friend and decided to have a a nice quiet meal so we could just talk. We ended up at the Forbes Hotel (read pub :biggrin: ). We started with bruschetta which was nice and fresh. The tomato was still crisp and the bread it was served on still had the right amount of crunch and wasn't soggy at all. I finally decided to have the New York cut sirloin (rare of course), V had the fish and chips and our friend had the grilled salmon. My steak was cooked to perfection and came with scalloped potatoes and a huge bowl of vegetables. V enjoyed her fish and chips so much I couldn't even get the smallest taste. Friend raved about his salmon and again I had no hope of getting to taste any of it - the gall of some people :biggrin:. Unfortunately I have no idea what the meal cost as our friend picked up the check. After dinner we headed downstairs to the bar and had a couple of quiet drinks and continued our converation.

Tuesday was the day of the interview so we basically ran out of our hotel and headed to the consulate, grabbing a Starbucks each on the way. After the consulate appointment we headed down to Circular Quay, grabbing a couple of Krispy Kreme donuts for lunch, so we could get the ferry across to the zoo. After walking ourselves to death at the zoo we decided to have dinner at Doyle's at the Rocks (heading to Watson's Bay was to much of a headfuck for me after such a busy day). All in all I'd rate the meal at Doyle's about an 8. The view from the restaurant was absolutely superb with our table overlooking the Quay and the beautifully lit Opera House. I started with a tequila Bloody Mary and V had a glass of chardonnay (sorry I can't remember the name). For entrees, I thoroughly enjoyed the dozen oyster kilpatrick that I had. V decided to try the fish and blue swimmer crab soup. While V enjoyed it her opinion was that it was a little bland and didn't have the right amount of crab in it to balance the fish. For mains V decided to have the BBQ tuna steak, which she described as superb. It had just the right amount of char to it while still being rare - I really have to teach her to share as yet again I had no hope of even getting a taste. I decided to splurge and settled on the whole lobster mornay, as far as I'm concerned this was great. The sauce had just enough cheese but not too much as to overpower the taste of the lobster. We decided to skip dessert seeing that we wanted to get our fill of Krispy Kremes while we were in Sydney :biggrin: With drinks the total bill was $200.

Because we were doing the tourist thing, Wednesday morning we headed down to Darling Harbor and visited the aquarium, the just walked around Harborside before deciding on where to have lunch. Finally we decided that seeing we were in Sydney we'd do the seafood again and grabbed a table at Jordans. Because the weather was great we decided to sit outside and enjoy the sun and the seabreeze. V started with a glass of the 2003 Petaluma riesling while I had a tequila Bloody Mary (can ya see a pattern here? :biggrin: ). We decided to skip entrees and go the whole hog, finally deciding on the Jordans deluxe seafood platter for two. As far as I'm concerned this was a great choice and we thoroughly enjoyed every single bite. The platter was made up of a whole lobster, 2 blue crabs, 2 bugs, a dozen oysters, half a dozen prawns, a bowl of spiced prawns, a bowl of BBQ baby octopus, some deep fried calamari strips, 4 fried fish fillets, a large bowl of mussels in a light tomato sauce and of course the mandatory chips :rolleyes: Man did we make pigs of ourselves, the only thing left on the platter were some of the fries. The total bill for all of this including drinks (1 BM and 4 glasses of wine between us) was $174.

All in all a great time was had by us in Sydney and we look forward to returning again.

Cheers

Tom

PS For those that want to know --- I'm now a US resident :biggrin::biggrin:

I want food and I want it now

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  • 3 weeks later...

as i worked as a chef in sydney i tried becasse once because i was told that the kitchen starts working at 7 a.m. in the morning and it supposed to be very good food. to be honest i was quiet dissapointed. though we didnt chose the most expensive wine we were looked at like we were backpackers in the wrong etablisement. we chose the degustation menu which took to long between the courses. it would be o.k if the restaurant would be packed but it was half seated. we were sitting near the half open kitchen and as a chef i heard about 50 times in the evening <hurry up, hurry up!>. poor chefs. at the end it was like 100 $ for each person and for myself it wasnt worth it. but maybe i should have give it a second try. an expensive try.

i can highly recommend the <four in hand> bistro. there i know the headchef. who is a gordon ramsey trained chef with passion and knowledge about good food. tony gibson is the name for the future in sydney, that is for sure.

p.s. i worked at <marque> restaurant which for myself is one of the top3 restaurants in sydney, easily! there is just tetsuya and maybe est. which compare to marque. i also tried quay and it was very good even i think that i paid 1 $ per minute for the view on my bill.

as a german i can truly say that sydney is a beautiful city where food is an important topic and a well saved part of the daily culture. respect!

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  • 2 weeks later...

He sold it so that he could concentrate on his other restaunt; The Wharf. It is a much bigger place in the Rocks, although a bit more down market.

I'm just back from Sydney and ate at Claudes for dinner and the wharf for lunch.

Claudes was fantastic; I would say the experience was at a similar level to the last time I wsas there. The service was fantastic from the start; we brought a bottle of 1975 Bollinger RD BYO. I gave it into the restaurant 45 minutes before we were due to eat there and it was chilled well and served with the care it deserved. The food was fantastic.

The wharf was a bit disappointing; we had the 'lets do lunch' option which was Wagyu Beef with Rice noodles and a Coriander pesto; it was a bit uninspriing; and the beef was overcooked; it was served medium.

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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  • 2 weeks later...

I visited XO last week. I don't think the interior is quite a sleek as before as they are trying to achieve that 'modern asian' look which can be a difficult balancing act. I am also not really sure that the white table cloths sit well with the modern asian look.

I really enjoyed the food. Most of the dishes contain quite a few flavours but they have been artfully blended so that the dishes actually work. I think it is a good place to go with a group of people so that you can sample as many dishes as possible. One dish I particularly enjoyed was the Crispy Fried Ocean Perch with Chilli Paste.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Eat City

By the guys from www.eatagencies.com

upmarket casual and nice brasserie style

softly opened yesterday food is amazing

still sorting the menu out but in this first week or so it is a nice time to walk right up to the (open) kitchen and talk to the chef about where he wants to take the place and the food. By him a drink, see where that gets you!

upstairs at the city hotel, cnr king and kent in the city (I think it was the old pizza mario premises)

Chef and owner is Jeff Schroeter.

CHEF JOBS UPDATE - September 07 !!

Latest global Chef jobs listing and news now available!

Take a look online here:

http://www.hostec.com.au/newsletters/chef/sep07/

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  • 1 month later...

I would like to organize a special lunch in Sydney in January. I'm flying up a special friend for the day for her 40th birthday. Combination of special birthday, good food and wine with spectacular location is what i am visualizing.

I guess my short list is including

Icebergs

Bather's Pavillion

Aria

The order is probably my percieved order of choice. I dont necessairly want it to be that formal. Is aria not the most formal of the 3?

Any others to consider for water side dining?

Maybe something as relaxed as rent a boat and have prawn and champagne on garden island??

I guess i would love to go to Tetsusya's as well. but you will have to convince me to give up the daytime view as well.

Anything thoughts folks?

cheers

ozmouse

melbourne

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I don't think you can go past Iceberg in Sydney in January. Lovely warm days with a nice north-easterly to stop you being frazzled.

You can possibly park down the coast a bit before say a lunch time booking and wander along the superb coastal walk to the restaurant.

Aria is a bit too formal for summer and Bathers Pavillon is ok but a bit of a drive.

Enjoy and tell us how it goes.

Cheers

Paul

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bistro Lulu and Becasse were the two best meals we had on our last trip to Sydney (six months ago). No trip to Sydney would be complete without a meat pie, Hannah's Hot Pies is where we got most of ours (they are owned by the same people as Harry's Cafe de Wheels)

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Agree wholeheartedly with Melkor regarding Becasse. Justin North is a brilliant chef and it fully deserves its 2 hats - it's a must go. Forget about Wolfies - I think your concierge must get a huge commission - couldn't think of a more touristy ripp-off joint in the Rocks.

Go to Cafe Sydney - lovely view over circular quay to the sydney Opera House and the Bridge.

Rockpool has improved out of sight and is now once again a sydney icon. if you like super fresh seafood can't beat Greg Doyle's cooking at The Pier at Rose Bay.

I also like Peter Doyle's (no relation) Est which is in the city and although often rated as one of the top 3 restaurants in sydney it is particularly good value for money.

Cheers

Paul

Edited by episyd (log)
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I've always found wolfies and Cafe Sydney disappointing; Aria is one of my favourite places with a view, and Bistro Lulu and becasse are very good. I have still yet to make it to rockpool, but everyone I know who has eaten there loves it.

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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my choice would be definitey:

marque restaurant - surry hills

four in hand bistro- paddington

moog food+wine - surry hills

all are led by mark best the absolute rising chef in sydney. the headchef in the four in hand is a friend of mine, a gordon ramsey sous chef and besides that just a great chef.

give it a try!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for asking Paul! :biggrin:

Yes we did Icebergs. But only got to the bar for cocktails and nibbles.

It was a special surprise day for Tania's 40th birthday, so we flew up to syndey for the day. My orignal plans went skew if, when other friends cancelled.

But the day we were there it was 35 degrees, so for a spontaneous/crazy moment, the aging surfer chick and dude, went and bought board shorts at the trendy surf shops of bondi and we went surfing for a couple hours!

Tania had her hair washed and blow waved, leaving a couple hours to enjoy the 'cool' (as in trendy) Icebergs bar! Cocktails were very exotic and food very good. (Albeit pic of food - 2 drinks and 2 plates of nibbles - was $60. But look at that view!)

Before being whisked back to melbourne to the grand evening meal, which was supposed to be the highlight of the day. (other donovans's post below covers details)

Don't know which was better really. The fun & spontenaity of the avo or the indulgence of the dinner! It was the best sydney and melbourne could offer - both in one day!

A great day had by all!!! :biggrin:

some pics in album. apologies but i did not get any pics of food at night. things just got a bit carried away by that stage.....

Iceberg's Bar - Bondi Beach & Donovans restaurant St Kilda

cheers

ozmouse

melbourne

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Thanks for sharing ozmouse. Sounds like an absolutely wonderful day-- and the salumi platter and view from Iceberg look very nice.

Question for people in the know; is

The Boathouse at Blackwattle Bay a worthy destination for waterfront dining when in Sydney?

I read a write up on it a year or so ago in Saveur and it sounded very good. From the article above it sounds like they have a new chef.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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  • 1 month later...

Breakfast at Bills2

We went there twice over the weekend, both times for breakfast. On Saturday, much to my surprise, we got straight in, whilst on Sunday, we had to wait for half an hour. I'm a fan of Bill Granger's cookbooks, and I'm very happy to say that his breakfast food matches up to those glossy pictures in his books.

On Saturday, I had the ricotta hotcakes with bananas and honeycomb butter. It also came with maple syrup. Normally I'm not a fan of sweet breakfasts because of that metallic taste that can set in your mouth for half the day when they use too much sugar, but in this case, it wasn't a problem. The hotcakes were soft and creamy, and the fruit and butter made great companions. The food wasn't overly sweet, and the serving ensured that we didn't have to eat again until dinner. My fiancee had the corn cakes, which were one of her favourite breakfast foods when she lived in the United States. I had a taste and they were great, with the corn kernals being nice, plump, and sweet. It came with a serve of bacon, and something else that has skipped my mind right now. The orange juice was excellent, but the coffee (Grinders) was good without being great.

Onto Sunday and we both went for the scrambled eggs on toast with sides of bacon and spinach. I know that Bills is famous for their scrambled eggs, and they didn't disappoint. They were nice and fluffy, melt in your mouth kind of stuff. The bacon was good, it had a nice layer of fat, a little crispy around the edges, but the bacon flavour wasn't as strong as I prefer. The bread was very good, two thick slices on the plate. And the spinach was excellent. They were wilted in a little bit of olive oil and sprinked with some sea salt. Add a drop of two of lemon, and it was the best breakfast spinach that I've ever eaten. The coffee was much better this time around, so much so that I had two cups.

Both times, breakfast cost just under $50 for two. The service was efficient and very friendly.

We did take a wander around the area. Billy Kwong's is just a few doors away from Bills2. The place is tiny. I thought it would be small, but not as small as it was. I checked out the menu, and it looked a little bit pricey to me. Entrees were pushing $20, mains were over $30, the specials were within touching distance of $40. Of course, if we ate the food, we might think differently. There was another restaurant a few blocks away (I can't remember the name) that has taken its cue from BKs in its design and feel. We also found XO, and a glance at that menu had me disappointed that we didn't have an extra night or two in Sydney. The prices were more than reasonable with most entrees around $15 and plenty of mains in the $20 to $28 range. I did see one dish that I had at Rockpool, slightly modified, and on offer for $34.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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I forgot to add that I also checked out the lunch and dinner menu prices at Bills2. They were very reasonable with plenty of dinner mains in the low to mid $20 range. I even saw a Wagyu beef burger at $18, although that makes me wonder just how thin the meat part of the burger might be.

Speaking of Wagyu, one of the Billy Kwong specials was a braised Wagyu beef brisket at (iirc) $39.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
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  • 3 months later...
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