Banquet Dining: 12 of Sydney’s Finest
Olio Kensington Street, Chippendale
Salt Meats Cheese, Sydney
China Diner, Double Bay
Apollo, Potts Point
Two things make a good group dinner; the company and the venue. Luckily for Sydneysiders the venues catering to groups are in abundance, with specialised menus and communal dishes aplenty. Whether you seek indulgence in modern Asian or a big Greek feast, there’s a venue to fulfil your wishes. So here are the best one’s in town, we’ll leave the company in your capable hands.
Salt Meats Cheese just opened in Circular Quay, and it is everything that you would imagine, and then some. The interiors are gorgeous and the food is delicious. Indecisive eaters in the group? Not a problem. At $65 per person, the Chefs Selection of dishes covers everything; fresh, creamy burrata to fried pizza with dip, ragu of wagyu beef, pork cheeks and tiramisu. Come summer you will be having your aperol alfresco style with the opening of their rooftop in December.
Gateway Sydney, L201 Alfred St, Sydney
A new addition to the foodie scene, Anason has well and truly made its mark in Barangaroo and beyond. Bringing a little bit of Istanbul to the new harbour suburb, the Turkish eatery boasts indoor and open-air dining as well as colourful mezze plates designed to share. In fact, every dish on the menu is designed for more than one, making it the ultimate group dining venue. Indulge in the Bosphorus feast for just $78 per person.
5/23 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo
Stanley Wong is at it again in his New York/Japanese fusion restaurant. Eastside Kitchen in Chippendale’s foodie strip, Kensington Street offer a five-course tasting menu that is ideal for sharing. For $58 per person, you have the choice of shaved line-caught yellow fin tuna, angus beef tartare, angus hanger steak and their signature dessert plate. Add matching wines for an additional $35 per person, and you’re set.
2-10 Kensington Street, Chippendale
Another Kensington Street local, Olio is all about authentic Sicilian cuisine, think Broccolio e Burrato, Pesce del Girono Fish and Cannolo Siciliano for dessert. This one is for a nice leisurely lunch, where you can choose from a 2 course ($25 per person) or 3 course ($35 per person) set menu. And when award winning chef Lino Sauro is heading things up in the kitchen, you know the food is going to be every little bit delicious.
2-10 Kensington St, Chippendale
With a nod to its name, East London is a restaurant with spice. Sitting atop The London pub in Paddington, East London brings Chinese comfort food to the effortlessly classy suburb. The restaurant provides an equally cosy space filled with booths and a minimal aesthetic and the menu is perfect for big groups with dishes designed to share. Inspired by Shanghai and Szechuan cuisine, don’t miss the Bang Bang Chicken, duck pancakes and Kung Pao brussel sprouts.
85 Underwood Street, Paddington
Bringing Eastern Mediterranean to Marrickville, Barzaari’s menu is designed to share and a foodie haven for big groups. Dishes come as bites (think labne with nigella bread and pomegranate), small plates (haloumi with dill and chardonnay) and big plates (sticky pork jowl with smoked eggplant and BBQ cos). And if you’re not already won over, their dessert of baklava walnut ice cream will just about do the trick.
65 Addison Road, Marrickville
Equal parts cocktail bar and Asian eatery, China Diner is a sought-after weekend destination for Bondi locals and foodies a far. So much so, another restaurant has been built in Double Bay, but on Bondi’s pumping Hall Street lies the original restaurant where groups consistently flock to. With banquets of $55 and $65 per person, groups of two and beyond can enjoy nine or eleven dishes. Steamed scallops, pork san choi bao and crispy twice cooked chicken await.
75-79 Hall Street, Bondi
A farm-to-table menu for the masses is found at Camperdown’s old bowling club. Home-grown vegetables line the old bowling ground with 20 percent of the menu grown on premises. With seasonal dishes at its heart, Acre delivers wholesome creations ideal for sharing with the outside deck providing a space for big groups. The huge lawn decorated with rugs and umbrellas provides the perfect post-lunch pitstop.
31 Mallett Street, Camperdown
A Potts Point institution, this Greek eatery has firmly established itself on the foodie scene for its Saganaki cheese alone. Set within a brutalist fit out, fine dining is designed to share here and the atmosphere is proof. Order The Full Greek, starting at $60 per person and enjoy lamb shoulder, roast chat potatoes, village salad and of course that saganaki cheese drizzled in honey and oregano, served in a fry pan and all.
44 Macleay Street, Potts Point
A newbie on Bondi’s Hall Street but a restaurant quickly gaining ground, Blanca serves up a modern take on Japanese cuisine. Whether it’s five, seven, eight or ten people coming together to dine, Blanca has a tasting menu specially designed for you. Ranging from $55 to $85 per person with five to ten dishes, enjoy delicacies like miso mahi mahi, raw beef and sesame leaf and the Blanca black bun (for the love of soft shell crab, do not miss this).
4/75-79 Hall Street, Bondi
If anyone understands group dining, it’s the Greeks. And if any restaurant understands authentic Greek dining, it’s 1821. The award-winning restaurant is nestled on Pitt Street but was originally built in Greece and shipped to Australia. Groups can find respite in their Trapezi menu which starts at $55 per person and finishes at $110 for those super indulgent diners. Plates of lobster pasta, BBQ lamb shoulder and caramel baklava ice cream await.
122 Pitt Street, Sydney
The foodie gem of Chippendale, Ester is both an intimate and indulgent dining choice for big groups and one worth the trek for those outside the Inner West. With eclectic modern dishes heavy in the meat and seafood department, all plates are designed to share. Pick the king prawns with fermented shrimp butter and capers or the roast duck with burnt honey and broad bean leaves. Regardless, every creation comes down to details here.
46/52 Meagher Street, Chippendale