The Sydney Hot List: Dining
Sydney offers one of the most exciting, globally inspired culinary scenes in the world, where many of the city's best restaurants offer spectacular waterfront views and a cutting-edge cool cosmopolitan vibe. We reveal the hottest things happening on Sydney’s dining scene right now:
1. Global Radar: Marque & Quay Having been voted as the World’s 27th Best Restaurant in 2010, chef Peter Gilmore's Quay restaurant is a fine dining experience worth waiting for. With highly creative, refined yet explosive modern Australian flavours and breathtaking views overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bride and the Sydney Opera House, its easy to see why this restaurant has received so many accolades. Peter Gilmore is a chef obsessed with sourcing the absolute freshest premium ingredients to inspire his menu, where he has even gone so far as to set up his own farm to grow seasonal ingredients to his exacting specifications. Chef Mark Best’s outstanding Marque restaurant is another Australian rising international star, having just been awarded the highly coveted SMH Good Food Guide’s 2011 Best Restaurant of the Year award. Marque was also highlighted as a restaurant with outstanding potential at the 2010 World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards earlier this year as the winner of the Breakthrough Award. Marque restaurant offers one of Australia’s most thoughtful, intelligent and exquisitely presented menus of modern Australian flavours with a French touch. Click here for our video interview with chef Mark Best to find out more about his restaurant, Marque, along with his favourite places to eat in Sydney.
2. It’s All About Grilled Meats: Porteno & Boca From the humble Aussie BBQ to glamourous, award-winning steakhouses like chef Neil Perry’s dazzling Rockpool Bar & Grill, Sydney-siders have an ongoing love affair with perfectly grilled meat. Sydney’s latest obsession is Latin American-inspired wood-fired grill restaurants, where the highly anticipated opening of Porteno last month by the tattoo-wearing, rock star look-a-like chefs behind Sydney’s wildly popular Bodega restaurant is promising to be one of the hottest restaurant openings of the year. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to an authentic asado in Buenos Aires, where the team have painstakingly imported original Argentinian fixtures and fittings (including 100 year original tiles and a state-of-the-art parillada and asado grill system) to complete the experience. Expect intensely flavoured, hearty portioned tapas-style plates of meats such as sucking roasted pig and morcilla blood sausage. Another notable new opening in a similar vein is Argentine-born chef Marcelo Berezowski’s new Boca, which boasts one of the most impressive specially commissioned parilla charcoal grills we’ve seen this side of Argentina.
3. North Shore Revolution: Manly Pavilion & Neutral Bay Bar and Dining Following the success of their first venture, Glebe Point Diner, in Sydney’s bohemian inner west, the team have just opened a second venture, Neutral Bay Bar & Dining, which has given the north shore's food scene a much needed breath of fresh air. With a quintessentially Glebe Point Diner influence of wholesome and rustic Modern Australian cuisine with Mediterranean influences, this cosy neighbourhood restaurant offers a menu of heart-warming flavours such perfectly roasted Pure Suffolk lamb rump with white bean puree and kale, a crack service team and a noteworthy wine list thrown into the mix. Another truly special north shore dining experience is chef Jonathan Barthelmess’ new upscale Manly Pavilion, with a sparkling location on Manly Wharf overlooking Sydney Harbour. Inspired by the glamour of Italy's Amalfi Coast, Manly Pavilion offers an exquisite menu of Italian flavours, where the chef’s specialty is a light, skillful touch in the preparation of seafood. Be warned, however, that such indulgent dining comes with an associated indulgent price tag.
4. The Best of the Inner West: Bloodwood While Sydney’s bohemian inner west district of Newtown boasts a wealth of cool cafes, funky specialist coffee shops and trendy local pubs, the recent opening of Bloodwood has taken the neighbourhood’s restaurant scene in a new and welcome direction. Raising the bar of funky, tasty and affordable casual dining in the area, this is one of the most popular new openings and has been drawing in locals from all over the city. The team of chefs boast some serious culinary credentials, i.e. ex-Claude's chefs Mitch Grady, Jo Ward and Claire van Vuurenis, who left the world of fine dining to open this cool new venture. The cool 1950s inspired decor is composed of recycled materials such as a mishmash ceiling of coloured doors, bare-bulb lighting, vintage chairs and retro fittings. Don’t expect a posh menu, however, as the menu is more of a modern revamp of comfort food favourites served as tasting-plates which are designed to be shared - the crispy chicken wings with a spicy yoghurt remoulade and the polenta chips with gorgonzola dipping sauce are a definite highlight.