We are quite happy to have a cheap dinner or eat at a casual restaurant but it’s also nice to select a fancy place for that special occasion. If you’re going to spend your hard earned dollars on dinner, you want to make sure it’s worth it. Here’s our list of our favourites for the year. We pretty much will try anything and this list showcases French, Japanese, Modern Australian as well as some fusions. In particular we like things with Australian ingredients, fresh produce and proteins.
Whilst it is hard to rate the restaurants below, Ester would probably be our number 1.
In the back streets of Chippendale, this restaurant has made a name for itself, serving up high quality food with a chilled vibe. It’s brilliant menu of wood fired meats and veg has made this our favourite place all year.
See more about Ester in our blog here:
Sasaki is a small authentic and beautiful Japanese restaurant that reminds us of those we visited in Kyoto. Each dish has been thoughtfully created with ingredients that give the chef memories of his hometown. You can order the short or long course omakase, with small plates of beautifully prepared food that have incredible flavour combinations.
See more about Sasaki in our blog here:
Nel in Surry Hills really impressed, the menu is creative and there is plenty of technique on display throughout the menu. Although there is plenty of technique, taste and flavour combinations are the main priority and it is good to see they do not lose sight of this. The restaurant space is industrial and minimalist, with main focus on the kitchen and food. The service is what you would expect from a fine dining restaurant, with the waitstaff emphasising attention to detail.
Read more in our blog on Nel here:
Paperbark had been on our list for a while, for we love their use of Australian ingredients in their menu. The menu is also 100 percent plant based.
Sadly we’ve just read they’re about to close their doors, so be sure to get in soon.
See more about Paperbark in our blog here:
Macleay St Bistro
Macleay St Bistro is a Sydney dining institution which has served up classic French Cuisine for over 35 years. Each and every time we go, it is outstanding in the taste of the food, the quality and the exceptional service provided by the waitstaff.
See more about Macleay St Bistro in our blog here:
We love Solander and have visited a few times. Solander can be aptly described as suave and sophisticated. The menu explores Australian flora and fauna, but in a culinary sense. The menu is split into flora – vegetable dishes and fauna – protein based. The chefs, led by executive chef David Vandenabeele have done their research to locate and source the freshest native produce, incorporating the ingredients into their menu. Be sure to order the Moreton Bay Bugs.
See more about Solander in our blog here:
Rick Stein at Bannisters
Rick Stein at Bannisters in Mollymook regularly makes our list. We visit here when we trip down the coast. It is reliable and we love that our favourite menu items are retained on the menu, in particular the fish pie. Seafood here is outstanding and prepared simply and delicately to highlight their quality.
See more in our blog here.
Bennelong is another place we have returned to multiple times. It is Sydney’s Premier dining experience, in every way. Dining inside the iconic and internationally recognised Sydney Opera House with a stunning views of another Sydney icon – the Harbour Bridge. Food in the restaurant is outstanding but if you can’t get a booking, try for the bar menu at ‘Cultured and Cured’ which has some of the main highlights.
We didn’t visit Cirrus or LuMi in 2019, but they remain two of our favourites.
Overall, these restaurants not only had superb food showing culinary technique but also matched with excellent service and hospitality.!