One of Sydney's most popular and exclusive restaurants Tetsuya's is the jewel in Sydney's culinary crown. Blending traditionally Japanese flavours with French cooking techniques, Tetsuya's offers a truly unique and exquisite dining experience. You can expect dishes such as roasted ocean trout with salt and seaweed crust and Chilled Pea Soup with Bitter Chocolate Sorbet. The cuisine is designed by one of Australia's best known chefs Tetsuya Wakuda, and you can expect to dine alongside the rich and beautiful in this upscale, exclusive Sydney restaurant. Tetsuya's main culinary focus is that of the ten-course degustation meal which can last up to three hours and cost upwards of $210. The restaurant is split into three main areas, a traditional Japanese garden, dining room and a bar to knock back a few sakes.
Local Expert tip: Bookings are essential. Weeknights can have a wait list of up to three months, and weekends can be upwards of six months.
You should quickly feel like a dignitary the moment you step foot in the Rockpool, and rightly so, the Rockpool gathers some of Sydney's best chefs to treat you to some of Australias best produce. Whether its the ultra chic interior, thick white table clothes, carpeted walkway or the constant glancing around to try and spot a visiting celebrity, Rockpool will leave you with an experience to remember. Despite being treated like royalty, the food should be what you really walk away remembering. Celebrated chefs, Neil Perry and Phil Wood will tantilise your taste buds with the Chinese roast pigeon, fresh oysters, and almost every variation on fine meats.
Local Expert tip: Keep an eye out for frequenting celebrities and Sydney dignitaries.
Nestled in funky Surry Hills lies Mohr Fish, an simple and unassuming seafood bar. With as little as four tables inside and stainless steel bench-top is a local favourite when it comes to fresh and well prepared seafood. Lunch times can become a little busy but the wait is worth it. If you are after takeaway or are hoping to bag a table, locals usually wait in the nearby pub until the food is ready. Unlike most restaurants, Mohr Fish's menu changes daily depending on what is fresh, available or popular for the season, adding a sense of personality to the restaurant. Dishes are often simple and well prepared, nothing to fancy for the seafood enthusiasts. Dishes often include steamed mussels, prawn and fish dumplings. and of course the local favourite beer-battered flathead and chips.
Local Expert tip: Try and make it in just before the lunch time rush.
Located above the Icebergs swimming pool on Bondi Beach, this bar and restaurant offers untarnished views of Sydney's most famous beach. This is the place to come in Sydney if you want to gawp at outrageously beautiful models on the arms of their toy boys. The menu is Mediterranean, and the views are spectacular, with the restaurant housed in a building that looks out over Bondi Beach and across the Pacific Ocean. Come and enjoy the view over Sydney's most iconic beach and learn a little history of the Bondi Icebergs while your at it. Although slightly on the expensive side, the expertly made Mediterranean dishes coupled with the gorgeous ocean setting make this a worthwhile visit. If you are after fish and chips rather than hand-dived oysters, the Icebergs Bistro located in the same building offers equally good views at much more affordable prices.
Local Expert tip: Take a dip in the famous Bondi Icebergs ocean swimming pool and have a chat with the locals about it's significance to the community.
Stainless steel metal lights and benches, minimal decor and a meaty menu each reflect the vibe and history of this old butcher shop. It becomes very apparent that you are dining in an old butcher shop through the hearty and meaty meals on offer. The Style is modern English/French offering hearty chunks of meat dishes such as lamb shanks and steaks with wonderfully prepared vegetables and delectable sauces. The restaurant is run by husband and wife team of Jane and Jeremy Strode, formerly of the much acclaimed MG Garage. They aim to prepare uncomplicated, well prepared dishes for a delicious and comfortable dining experience. And make sure not to miss out on their homemade pastries and dessert menu, perfect food for the soul.
Local Expert tip: If you want to brush up on your cooking skills, pastry skills or wine matching skills Bistrode offers a range of classes on Sunday mornings.
Sydney can often be flooded with Italian restaurants, each attempting to create the authentic Italian experience yet not always making a strong name for themselves, thankfully Otto may surprise you. Delight in their delectable Modern Italian cuisine, with its unbeatable food and beautiful wood finishes, as well as it's untarnished views of the water and the Botanical gardens, Otto has been pulling in its share of A-listers for some years now, without ever making you feel unwelcome. Otto offers a superb dining experience perfect for all despite it's steep but fair price tag. Remember to try some delicious dishes such as the strozzapreti, taleggio, cauliflower panna cotta and quail saltimbocca salad. Top-quality modern Italian dishes coupled with the comfortable chic wooden interior really set this Italian experience apart from the rest.
Local Expert tip: Try the delicious Cauliflower Panna Cotta
It does not get much sleeker, chicer, nor more expensive than this dining haven. The customers are as sophisticated as the décor, which is as superb as the wine list and menu. Located at the overseas passenger terminal you can not get much closer to the harbour and Opera House. Quay places a great deal of attention to art and detail, flowers appear in salads and you will kill for the eight textures chocolate cake.The menu consists of French favourites such as quail breasts and seared yellowfin for dinner, and souffles and apple tart for dessert. So if you are feeling like a night of cool and class then you can't go wrong with one of the city's most awarded restaurants.
Local Expert tip: Save room for dessert and don't miss the Eight Textures Chocolate Cake.
With Beer, Tacos, and DJs, El Loco at the Excelsior Hotel brings a little slice of Mexico to Sydney. Building a strong local following in funky Surry Hills, El Loco can get a little busy and the food can get very messy. The decor is tacky but vibrant, milk crates as stools and posters covering the walls but the food is served quickly and is great to share with friends. With $5 tacos, margaritas, and Mexican beers, it would be difficult not to enjoy a night out at El Loco. Cheap messy food has never been so good, get ready to get your spice on at El Loco.
Local Expert tip: Try the daunting Excelsior Hotdog if you are feeling game.
If you are looking for a chilled out seafood fish restaurant, perfect for the casual drop in or takeaway then Fishface is the place to be. Fishface is not your average fish 'n' chips shop; tall tables and high chairs and expertly prepared takes on classic dishes are just some of the things that make it different. The crowd of mostly locals, packs the place out every night, so you might have to wait at the nearby pub until a table comes up. Fishface has a cool and funky vibe matched with delicious and fresh seafood. If you are looking to escape the overly priced and pretentious nearby restaurants, pop into Fishface for an enjoyable and delicious time.
Local Expert tip: Lines can be long for a table so grab a beer in the nearby pub.
Kitchen by Mike finds itself nestled in with design warehouse Koskela. After entering through a discreet side door you will find yourself standing in a giant warehouse with one side dedicated to furniture, and the other buzzing with the sounds and aromas of a busy cafe. Kitchen by Mike operates differently to most restaurants, lunchtimes will have you lining up canteen style and pointing at all the delicious, fresh options while the chef serves them onto a plate for you. Communal seating, the smell of fresh breads and coffee and the hand crafted wooden furniture all housed in a large warehouse create a interesting and unique expirience unlike any other in Sydney.
Local Expert tip: Treat yourself to some homemade cakes and coffee.