The Sitchu Edit: Sydney's Hottest Restaurants Openings of 2018
Bopp & Tone
El Camino Cantina Manly
Sydney is a city that knows how to eat. New restaurants fling open their doors almost every day of the week, but with so many to choose from, which ones are the best to book? So to help whittle down your list, we’ve taste-tested our way around town to reveal the best new restaurants on the Sydney dining scene. Don't worry, there are plenty more to come, but for now, these are the ones that made me the cut in 2018. Believe us, these restaurants are so worth clearing a space in your diary for.
Having opened their doors in December, new Sydney restaurant Tayim combines modern and traditional Middle Eastern cuisine. Located within the historic Rocks area of the Sydney CBD- within the boutique Harbour Rocks Hotel- Tayim’s stunning sandstone interiors blend the rich cultures of the Middle East and the heritage features of the building to create a unique dining experience. The Middle-Eastern inspired menu, designed by Israeli-born Head Chef Ran Kimelfeld (ex-Nour), showcases the region’s most flavoursome dishes; focusing on bold, exotic share plates cooked using traditional methods on the open grill.
No. 34 Nurses Walk, The Rocks
Set to make its mark on the Hills District, The Vicar has opened the doors to the ultimate dining destination in Dural. With local Australian suppliers and produce, The Vicar offer locals and Sydney siders a fresh, warm and vibrant destination to socialise, dine, drink and unwind. Segmenting the venue into two distinct halves, a relaxed North Side and more refined South Side, specialised menus have been devised for each area to cater for all occasions and tastes.
271 New Line Rd, Dural
One of Sydney’s best waterfront dining venues, Flying Fish will relocate to The Star this month, set to open on the 12th. Its relocation from Jones Bay Wharf to The Star will see Flying Fish’s successful formula reimagined to bring an innovative new signature dining experience. Boasting new and unique décor and an impeccable seasonal seafood offering, Flying Fish at The Star will continue to deliver an award-winning culinary experience for Sydneysiders and visitors.
80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont
Highly regarded international Chef and Director of JRM Hospitality, James Metcalfe has opened the doors of Saint George, an exciting new wine bar and eatery in Sydney’s CBD. Located in the heart of Broadway, the bar and eatery is a relaxed hangout by day and a sophisticated wine bar by night. The menu reflects contemporary flavours with local, seasonal influence, where quality meets light-heartedness. And the drinks menu boasts a hand-crafted cocktail menu and a comprehensive wine list of over 70 different drops.
822 George Street, Chippendale
Sydney has a new harbourside dining venue in Altum opening at Milsons Point, alongside iconic Luna Park. Altum, meaning tide in Latin, boasts spectacular views over Sydney Harbour to the Opera House and debuts with a summer menu that draws on the flavours of the Mediterranean coastline. All served in a smart casual dining room just metres from the shore, Altum is the perfect setting for your next group dining experience.
1 Olympic Dr, Milsons Point
Opening mid-November, Bopp & Tone is a tribute to the Applejack founders’ grandfathers, Keith ‘Bopp’ Evans and Anthony ‘Tone’ Adams. Designed by Luchetti Krelle to embody lived-in luxury, Bopp & Tone's heavy marbles and dark and moody timber furnishings, along with alfresco dining terrace and private dining room, provide an opulent yet welcoming space. The Australian menu centres around honest and generous share food with Mediterranean influences, using an in-house wood grill and charcoal oven.
60 Carrington Street, Sydney
Wildly popular Shuk Bondi is set to open an outpost in Elizabeth Bay next month alongside Botanica Vaucluse in the Trebartha Apartment retirement complex. Serving up Israeli-Mediterranean dishes and fresh bread all day, Shuk is famous for shakshuka and hummus – believe us when we say you have to try both. If the queues at Bondi during weekend brunch are any indication of their new location's popularity, make sure you get in early to snag a seat.
69 Roslyn Gardens, Elizabeth Bay
With the closure of Kensington Street Social last week, Barzaari's new Chippendale outpost is set to take its place. Bringing their signature Eastern Mediterranean cuisine to Kensington Street, their inventive menu is all about embracing different cultures and a shared dining experience. If their Marrickville locale is anything to go by, you won't be disappointed.
3 Kensington Street, Chippendale
Everybody's favourite Tex Mex hangout, El Camino Cantina is heading north to Manly Wharf. Expect the same vibrant atmosphere, rock’n’roll tunes and margaritas the size of your head. Opening on November 9th, just in time for summer, we can already see ourselves sitting on the outdoor terrace overlooking the harbour, munching on tortilla chips, and ordering another frozen margarita.
Manly Wharf, Belgrave Street and W Esplanade, Manly
Opening their third Sydney venue on November 9th, Rockpool Group's Sake will sit alongside El Camino at Manly Wharf. When it comes to Japanese fine dining, Sake attracts foodies from all over thanks to its washoku (traditional Japanese cuisine) and mind-blowingly long sake list. It knows its clientele well, and the Northern Beaches locals will be queuing up to get a taste.
Manly Wharf, Belgrave Street and W Esplanade, Manly
After the smash success of the Double Bay location, Matteo has opened up shop in the CBD. Inspired by the lively, all-day dining haunts of Milan and Rome, the restaurant is dishing up pasticcini (pastries) and panini in the morning, an express lunch for busy bees, before seguing into aperitivo hour, dinner and drinks. Chef D’Elia was brought up in Southern Italy but honed his cooking skills in the north, so expect a mouthwatering mix of favourites.
20 Bond Street, Sydney
Meat-lovers, meet your new go-to. At this theatrical restaurant, steak is the star, and we mean that literally: it’s the only main on the menu. When the owners went to Tuscany to scope out the dining scene, they couldn’t get enough bistecca alla fiorentina, a T-bone cooked over coals and served rare. So they brought the style to Sydney. Steak aside, you can order a bunch of sides, like ricotta dumplings and crunchy potatoes. PS. The team asks you to ditch your phones at the door, and it’s so refreshing!
3 Dalley Street, Sydney
For the past few years, Chef O Tama Carey has been popping up all over Sydney to serve up her signature Sri Lankan delights. Now, she’s found a permanent home on Riley Street in Darlinghurst. The menu is bursting with flavoursome favourites like sambal (dips) and spicy curries, plus the show-stopping hoppers: soft, bowl-shaped crepes with crispy edges. Just be sure to go early to grab a seat – this place fills up fast!
Ground Floor, 58 Riley Street, East Sydney
We barely had a chance to miss Papi Chulo, because Queen Chow moved into its breezy beachfront spot. Like the Enmore venue, it serves up finger-licking Cantonese classics (order the crispy roast duck and Mongolian lamb san choy bow), and dumplings by the dim sum master, Eric Koh. As you watch the boats bobbing in the harbour, peek at the seafood tanks and oyster bar, and then sink your teeth into the signature dessert: The Queen’s salted caramel tart.
Manly Wharf, 22-23 Esplanade
Sitting on the old Shore Club site, this sprawling 400-seat venue just opened, and it’s already being billed as the Northern Beaches’ answer to Coogee Pavilion. On the shores of Manly Beach, it has three distinct levels: all-day dining at the Greenhouse, elevated eats at the Grill, and a bar on the Rooftop. The Grill is due to open in December, but for now, we’re noshing on woodfired pizzas, squid ink spaghetti and Italian-inspired desserts on the ground floor.
36-38 South Steyne, Manly
While his Wahroonga restaurant was busy crushing it, Daniel Rudolph (ex-Quay) crossed the bridge to open his second venue at Barangaroo. The Butcher’s Block is right at home in Sydney’s harbourfront playground, with an all-day menu, creative cocktails and curated wine lists. Rudolph has switched up his recipes, and we’re loving the sashimi kingfish and the slow-cooked beef ribs with a sweet-meets-sour honey and BBQ glaze.
Shop 2, 100 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo
Sydneysiders are partial to a pop-up, and Ételek has floated into Potts Point for three months. Helmed by Adam Wolfers (ex-Yellow, Bentley and Monopole) and Marc Demspey (ex-121BC and Cornersmith), the menu is an eclectic celebration of Eastern European, Middle Eastern and North African cuisine. And it’s downright delicious. Whatever you do, try nokedli (Hungarian dumplings) and the everything bagel, and finish with the tangelo poppyseed cake.
5-9 Roslyn Street, Potts Point
Peter Gilmore sure knows how to keep foodies in suspense. The celebrity-chef closed his restaurant for renovations earlier this year, and now it’s back and even better. This is Quay 2.0, and it has the same stunning Opera House views, but its refreshed look and menu hints at the future of fine dining. Among the many changes, the Snow Egg is gone; in its place, we have the White Coral. Made of white chocolate ganache, coconut cream and feijoa ice-cream, it’s a textural treat.
Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks
Can you handle the heat? The chef behind Babu Ji in Melbourne and New York, Jessi Singh, is bringing his brand of ‘unauthentic Indian fare’ to Sydney. Like the other venues, Due to open in early October, Don’t Tell Aunty will twist tradition by using ingredients that aren’t typically found in Indian cooking. The result? Naan pizza, sea urchin biryani and mango oysters.
414 Bourke Street, Surry Hills
Mark your calendars: indigenous chef Zach Green will be cooking up a storm by the seaside from October 26 to mid-December. His Darwin restaurant is all about celebrating Aboriginal culture through food, and for the past few months, he’s been serving up authentic eats in capital cities across the country. The menu will change weekly, but will always feature fresh, local produce. Think honey mustard emu sticks, kangaroo fillets and green ant cheesecake. Don’t knock it till you try it!
Bondi Pavilion, Bondi Beach
Situated within Ovolo Woolloomooloo, Alibi is far from your stock standard hotel restaurant, we’re talking an entirely plant-based food and cocktail menu. The creativity and scope of the menu is broad with dishes like heirloom tomato and zucchini lasagne, and kimchi dumplings. Our advice? Try the spiced rum, Blazin the Chester cocktail. It comes in an old fashioned, glass smoking pipe.
6 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo
Castlecrag has revitalised its Quadrangle Shopping Village and apera has joined in the party. The shared dining menu features a selection of delectable small plates, alongside hearty rotisserie and wood-fired mains. From the food to the drinks, their love for Australian producers is highlighted in their strong menu of local spirits, sodas and liqueurs.
23-26/100 Edinburg Road, Castlecrag
Set within Merivale’s The Newport, Bert’s is an elegant yet relaxed brasserie and bar boasting beautiful views across Pittwater. An ode to grand hotel dining of the 1930’s, the pink and jade hued restaurant serves up classic dishes from the raw bar, grill and charcoal oven. The premium wine list and definitive cocktail menu are well suited to the European- inspired menu.
2 Kalinya Street, Newport
Bondi’s latest restaurant, Carbón Mexican, is all about charcoal textures. This family-run eatery draws inspiration from their Tulum roots and serves up their cuisine direct from the woodfire oven. Leaving the creativity to the diners, the make your own tacos are popular with succulent fillings like Hampshire suckling pig, roast lamb shoulder and octopus to choose from. As far as drinks, margaritas reign supreme.
288 Bondi Road, Bondi
A lush oasis, The Botanica Vaucluse gives us serious interiors envy; from the pink velvet seats, crisp white tables, scattered greenery and luxe wallpaper. The botanical aesthetic translates across to their paddock-to-plate menu that features produce from their Jamberoo Valley farm and local suppliers. Their cocktail menu pairs well with a strong focus on their house-made gin.
2 Laguna Street, Vaucluse
Feeling right at home in Paddington, The Stables Restaurant and Bar evokes the vibe of its surroundings through its chic marble, polished concrete and brass interiors. The modern Australian menu is perfect for sharing, featuring a variety of free-range meat and specialty seafood, alongside moreish sides. For wine lovers, the menu boasts some of Australia’s finest drops.
1 Victoria Street, Paddington
Popular with the 9 to 5 set, Bellucci Cucina is the latest contemporary Italian eatery to set up shop in the CBD. This vibrant restaurant offers authentic, full-bodied Italian cuisine from breakfast to dinner time, with the venue really coming alive around aperitivo hour. Just like in Italy, diners are invited to sip on spritzers while enjoying classics like caprese salad and marinated olives.
Australia Square- Podium 1, Upper Plaza, Level 5, 264- 278 George Street, Sydney
Serving modern Turkish cuisine, Turka is the newest café, meze and bar to enter the Crows Nest foodie scene. From breakfast to dinner the dishes are deeply rooted in traditional flavours and are tapas style, so be sure to go hungry. The classic dips, rolls and wraps are delicious and if you can’t make up your mind, you won’t be disappointed with the chef’s selection tasting menu.
4/6 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest
Mark + Vinny’s is an inventive Italian spaghetti and spritz bar serving up traditional favourites and innovative creations. This is seen throughout their food menu where old-school classics like cacio e pepe spaghetti with pecorino, sit alongside vegan carbonara. Boasting an enormous spritz menu with over 50 variations, you will have a challenging time picking only a few to sample.
G08, 38-52 Waterloo Street, Surry Hills
Set in a tropical oasis within Sydney’s concrete jungle, Bar Patron is a collaboration between festive tequila brand Patron and Rockpool Dining Group. It’s all about quintessential Mexican flavours with an innovative flair. Of course, tequila plays a starring role, with a core range of cocktails derived from the Patron range…a perfect accompaniment to any taco, empanada and quesadilla.
2 Phillip Street, Sydney