2017 – what a year for dining in Sydney, with a number of new restaurant opening and a whole new dining precinct in Barrangaroo. Many new venues are continuing to improve the Sydney food scene. A few of our favourites are Meet Mica, Labl’d, Silly Tart, Kusuka, Chimichuri, Strings premium noodle bar, LoLuk Bistro, Born by TapaVino, 12 Micron, Mjolner, Source Brewery and Zephyr Bar.
A number of old favourites have maintained or upped their game, and on this list, we have Bennelong, LuMi, Black Bar and Grill, to name a few fine dining establishments. Bondi Trattoria is under new management and this restaurant was very much enjoyed. Kindred continued to produce quality fare and earned a chefs hat this year. Other notables include; Suzuya – one we always return to for Japanese weekly, Vizio – good for a meal anytime of the day, Welcome Dose and Harry’s Bondi – also good spots to start the day. The Oaks, The Alfred and Archie Rose, all great for a drink. Coffee wise: Panivore gets me through the week, Frankie’s beans is doing great coffee, as is Roastville, Coffee Alchemy and Mecca.
Below are listed our top pics for the year gone by.
The Top fine dining restaurant for 2017
Bennelong and LuMi were our favourites for the year. The food at both restaurants is superb, demonstrates great technique and the service is impeccable. The stunning outlook and the architecture inside Bennelong is alone is worth seeing, and a must if in Sydney.
LuMi, the glass box on the water, another great dining spot and the food is incredible.
Best Pub venue for 2017
The Oaks in Neutral Bay is a top pub venue. This iconic Sydney venue delivers in many areas: a great beer garden, with that big old oak tree, a number of small private rooms to enjoy a drink with friends, the Saloon bar great for a great atmosphere and to watch sport. The restaurant serves up a quality pub feed, the steak is top notch. Amy and the crew at the Oaks also put on some great events, be it beer or wine matching dinners, cocktail making, whisky tastings or their current promo for beer off the wood.
The Hotel Palisade is a close second with amazing views and a good list of drinks. The Alfred in Camperdown also serving up a quality pub feed and the Tennyson Hotel at Mascot, purely because Merviale has converted the drive in Bottle shop into a cool restaurant called Mr Liquor’s dirty Italian Disco.
Coolest venue of 2017
Mr Liquor’s dirty Italian Disco is a converted drive through bottle shop with the coolroom used as a walk in wine fridge, how cool is that!
Side note: If in Bangkok you have to pop into Namsaah Bottling trust, a large pink colonial house with white shutters and it is very eclectic inside, with leopard wall paper and Ostrich feather Chandeliers. They serve quality food and cocktails at this joint.
Best Cafe for 2017
Meet Mica is our favourite cafe of 2017. The food here is impressive, using fine dining technique and applying it to the cafe scene. Meet Mica is also producing progressive menu items. The matcha lava french toast a clear stand out, the brioche filled with macha lava and that viscose condensed milk syrup was one of my favourite things of the year, it was like pouring the liquid in slow motion.
Best Coffee 2017
We’re going to go with the local, Panivore in Pagewood as the top pick. They serve up a quality cup of coffee day in day out. This joint has kept me caffeinated throughout the year. Other notables include Roastville in Marrickville, who do it all on site including roasting and barista courses, Frankie’s beans in Potts Point with FAB (fractional atmospheric brew) and Coffee Alchemy also serving a top cup of coffee.
Best Cheap eats 2017
This would have to be Suzuya in Devonshire street Surry Hills run by Husband and wife team Ryoji and Susan. We regularly pop in for a Japanese feed at this restaurant. The portions are huge, the food is great as is the service.
Other notables include Crayz cafe in Matraville who do a $10 coffee and breakfast. $10 for a coffee and a good shakshuka, you cannot go wrong. Isabella’s in Randwick do a range of breakfast options for under $10. Betawi Indonesian in Maroubra junction, Hong Ha, Vinata’s and Marrickville Pork Roll continue to bang out quality Bahn Mi on the cheap. Charcoal Kingdom in Rockdale, serve up Lebanese BBQ chicken is a regularly frequented.
Best bars for 2017
This is a tough one with so many good bars in Sydney. We have chosen two, Mjolner and ‘This must be the place’. Mjolner is just cool, a Viking themed whisky bar and restaurant. This must be the place is a small trendy bar with an interesting cocktail list inspired by Native Australian flavours.
Zephr in the Hyatt Regency does good cocktails (albeit pricy) and an amazing view.
Best dessert for 2017
At the top of the list is the 12 micron dessert bar. Sit at the bench around the impressive dessert kitchen and have a chat to the head dessert chef Ashley Smith about his creations and local produce used. You can also do a dessert degustation. Make sure you don’t eat too much for your mains, and keep a lot of room for their awesome desserts.
Other notables include Ibrahim’s Lebanese Pastry for their pastries and a ridiculously good Fatayer. We will also include Messina on this list, we love their weekly specials. Aqua S is always good for an ice cream (and it’s pretty instagrammable too) and we also enjoyed Honey Crème for a takeway dessert.
On a side note our favourite dessert of the year was across the ditch in Christchurch. An amazing Bombe Alaska from a bar called O.G.B. This dessert was a spectacle, a literal mountain of goodness.
The most Instagrammable of 2017
People flock to these places to get an awesome photo that will receive the love on instagram. When one orders, they often point to the Instagram pic saying “I want this one”. For us, it needs to look good, but also taste good. Bello the Shelter in Burwood grabs our top prize this year. All of the dishes are beautifully presented, popping with colour and are very whimsical, reminding us of a bygone era in our youth. Not only are the meals highly instagrammable, they are tasty too. You must try anything there to do with unicorns.
Other notables include Chimichurri in Chatswood, also serving up tasty photogenic cuisine and Kusuka an Indonesian coffee house serving up a range of cool drinks and tasty food. Mas.que in St Leonards appeared on the scene for us late 2017 too with the crème brulee latte and fondue set.
We hope this has inspired you all for your food adventures. We look forward to trying many new cafes and restaurants in 2018!
Kurt and Sarah