With COVID-19 turning our 2020 dining plans upside down, we are keen to discover all the best new restaurants in Sydney that will open their doors in 2021.
So, to whittle down your foodie hit list, we are taste-testing our way around town to reveal the hottest new restaurants on the Sydney dining scene. These are the best new restaurants in Sydney that are so worth clearing a space in your diary for.
Beloved Bondi spot, Cubby’s Kitchen, co-owned by Toko Group’s Matt Yazbek and former NRL Player, Anthony Watmough, is the perfect new Lebanese spot. Family-friendly and low-fuss this Lebanese local is known for their rich flavours, generous servings and their lively atmosphere. Think baba gannoush with eggplant chunks, sweet miso and burnt seasame, smoked labne with pistachio crumbs and pomegranate oil, their CFC – Cubby’s fried chicken – served with zaatar and aioli and the traditional and tasty lamb kafta. What makes this Middle Eastern food unique is the fusion of Japanese flavours which takes cues from the dishes at Toko. Their dishes are made for sharing but, they’re so good you might want to keep it all to yourself. Better yet? It’s BYO. What are you waiting for?
Shop 4, 75-79 Hall Street, Bondi Beach
Bondi’s newest contemporary Asian cocktail bar-food venue has just opened its doors at the Pacific Development on Campbell Parade on Bondi Beach. Madam Chu’s are offering delicious handmade dim sums and dumplings by an ex Mr Wong Dumpling chef on top of sashimi platters, prawn wontons, bao, roast duck and pancake platters, slow-cooked beef rendang and chocolate spring rolls. Better still, Madam Chu’s will also be offering a Yum Cha service Thursday to Sunday with trolleys full of delicacies like shrimp rice rolls and Buddha dumplings.
Level 1 Shop 103, 180-186 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach
The Art Gallery of New South Wales is opening an exciting new restaurant concept, Art Gallery Restaurant Crafted by Matt Moran. Taking advantage of the impressive location, Crafted by Matt Moran, in the former Chiswick at the Gallery site, provides a unique all-day dining experience for Art Gallery of NSW guests and those simply looking to brunch or lunch in one of Sydney’s most stunning dining rooms. Reflecting Moran’s signature style, Crafted by Matt Moran showcases locally sourced produce and premium Australian meat and seafood through a light, Mediterranean-inspired menu guided by the seasons.
The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery Road, Sydney
The restaurant occupying the newly refurbished Harbord Hotel is an essential dining destination for Northern Beaches' locals and weekenders alike. The unique cuisine at Balsa is centered around the open fire, with "salt, wood, and smoke" lovingly infused in every dish. Expect an elevated pub-dining experience, accompanied by beautiful surrounds and friendly service. For us, we can't go past the chargrilled calamari, rib eye on the bone and the truly decadent mango tiramisu.
29 Moore Road, Freshwater
Bringing soul to Sydney’s Korean food scene, Daero Lee and Illa Kim have brought a unique take to Korean food. With a menu they call contemporary Korean their first restaurant SOUL Dining, launched in December 2018, combines ingredients and cooking styles from Korea, Germany, Italy, France, Japan and Australia. They were inspired to create a menu that showcased food from their memories. Having made a name for themselves they have recently opened SOUL Deli, Sydney’s first Korean brunch café and deli. SOUL Deli combines a deli and a café offering sit-down and takeaway dining. Offering uniquely Korean dishes like KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) and smashed avo with white kimchi. The venture was inspired by a COVID innovation, the SOUL Dining team started selling takeaway rice and galbi bowls. If you want to take the magic of SOUL Deli home with you, you can check out a range artisan and ethically-sourced Korean products.
Best New Restaurants in Sydney: March
It's Korean food, but not as you know it (and there is no BBQ in sight). Located on the third level of the Old Rum Store on Chippendale’s Kensington Street, Jung Sung celebrates traditional Korean cuisine in a whimsical, modern and sophisticated way.
The food philosophy is ambitious: to marry authentic Korean cooking techniques with modern methods using local Australian produce. The space that houses Jung Sung is an architect's dream and is its own reason to visit. It feels like a glass box planted on top of a building, and it has a wrap-around balcony with tables that allow you to dine under the stars.
A6/2-10 Kensington Street, Chippendale
Popular Sydney CBD Middle Eastern eatery Above Par has undergone a complete refresh for 2021, with upgraded interiors, DJ nights and new menus. As restrictions continue to ease and the resurgence of the CBD begins, Above Par is looking to the future with several exciting changes and new offerings, including a new entryway via The Garden, a lush leafy oasis in the middle of the CBD streetscape, featuring a show-stopping Cherry Blossom Tree and neon pink Above Par signage; upgraded interiors; DJ nights every Thursday, Friday & Saturday night; and new food and beverage menus.
215 Clarence Street, Sydney New South Wales
Best New Restaurants in Sydney: February
Having been left vacant for quite some time, the space that housed Dee Why's top bar/restaurant has been revitalised and Deck 23 has relaunched with a new team, new look and new menu.
Upon arrival, it is hard to miss the epic surf mural on the ground floor created by illustrator and artist Kentaro Yoshida. And tieing in with the beach vibes are the panoramic ocean views and delicious seafood dishes. From Head Chef and Owner Jiro Numata you can expect flavoursome and authentic Japanese cuisine like yu rin chi chicken, sushi and nigiri, and they pair perfectly with Deck's signature cocktails.
Looking for an excuse to visit? You can book in Deck 23's Valentine's Day six-course feast, with a glass of bubbles on arrival for Sunday 14th February. You and your love can dine on delicacies like Pacific oysters, MB7+ Wagyu beef rib eye, and matcha brulee, with the ocean as your backdrop.
23 The Strand, Dee Why
Pyrmont fave Bistro Clementine has relaunched with a fresh menu direction courtesy of new Head Chef Bilent Peel (Café Paci, Sixpenny and Rockpool), and a revised vision from owner Eric Morris. You can still expect to savour the inventive Euro-fare that this neighbourhood gem is well-known for, packaged up into an elevated yet affordable dining experience. Focussed on delivering their new weekday breakfast and lunch offering in their stylish venue, their new evening and weekend service will kick off soon. Watch this space for more deliciousness!
52 Harris Street, Pyrmont
At Crown Towers Sydney's a'Mare they serve classical Italian cuisine that will set your foodie heart aflutter. This is the latest venture of acclaimed Chef and Restaurateur Alessandro Pavoni, and you can see his mastery woven throughout the menu. We recommend booking in for lunch and while the day away over a bottle of vino.
1 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo
The team behind FISHBOWL have opened Bondi's newest seafood mecca, FISH SHOP. The dine-in and takeaway venue will be their take on a modern fish shop, a counter-service restaurant focusing on sustainably sourced seafood paired with vibrant salads and contemporary vegetable dishes. The perfect post-swim lunch spot, they even offer picnic blankets so you can take your meal across the road to the park.
87 Glenayr Avenue, Bondi Beach
Crown Towers Sydney has set Sydney's culinary scene alight with a slew of new dining destinations. One of the most anticipated restaurant openings of 2021, Nobu is fast-becoming Sydney's favourite new restaurant. Showcasing the signature contemporary Japanese fusion cuisine of internationally celebrated Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s, this is a reservation you'll want to make ASAP!
1 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo
The owners of the beloved Frenchy's Café Mosman, have just launched a new restaurant on the water at Chowder Bay. Celebrating the traditional style of French food, L'Heritage serves up everything from Canard a L'Orange and Entrecôte Frites, to Escargot and signature Bouillabaisse. We think that L'Heritage will fast become your new favourite restaurant.
7b Chowderbay Road, Mosman
Best New Restaurants in Sydney: January
Avalon's millennial pink dream Sunset Diner has opened its latest outpost in Lane Cove. The perfect lunchtime hangout, this beautifully-styled oasis brings the Miami vibe to the Lower North Shore. From juicy burgers and griddle dogs, to epic shakes and decadent sundaes, you'll find it hard to decide on what to eat.
The Canopy, 2 Rosenthal Avenue, Lane Cove
Joining the ranks of Potts Point’s flourishing dining scene, SUNDAY is a sophisticated-yet-friendly neighbourhood restaurant and bar showcasing hearty plates with a playful take on traditional cuisine. The rotisserie is at the heart of the restaurant and the free-range, chemical and hormone-free Bannockburn Chicken is the star of the show. Pair their humble cuisine with a bespoke pre-batched cocktail, and you can expect to take your quiet little dinner to the next level!
95 Macleay Street, Potts Point
Set to open their third outpost on Friday 15th January, China Diner is moving into Rozelle's Tramsheds. You can expect all the things you have come to love China Diner for — from their delicious menu to their signature cocktail offering. In this 150-seat venue they have a cool outdoor space that will provide the perfect spot for your summer Sunday session.
Tramsheds, Shop 8A/1 Dalgal Way, Forest Lodge
The Bentley Group's new dining destination in the heart of Potts Point is serving up sumptuous slices and soul-warming drops. Ria Pizza + Wine takes everyone's favourites and gives them a refresh. From saltbush and red elk, to WA octopus and Northern QLD prawns, expect beautiful, local produce to hero each dish. And yes, you will most definitely order a second burrata...it goes without saying.
71A Macleay Street, Potts Point
Opening late last year amidst the COVID-19 restrictions, the Bodega Team's newest opening packs a flavour-infused punch. For a hearty feast, may we suggest ordering the bullhorn pepper stuffed with anchovy and salsa verde, the corn agnolotti with brown butter, capers and sage, and the stracciatella, paired with an Italian vino. Absolutely delicious!
50 Holt Street, Surry Hills