Dust off your suits and bring out your frocks for Sydney’s best fine dining restaurants.
While some might argue that their local pub might give them better value for money, fine dining invites us to appreciate the details, the finesse and the art that truly is eating with opulence. Fine dining institutions in Sydney rival Michelin-starred venues from around the world and with so much variety in Sydney’s food scene, we’re spoilt for choice. Here we’ve garnered Sydney’s Top 10 Fine Dining Restaurants for you to add to your list.
Landing the number one on the AFR’s Top 100 Restaurants of 2016 and the Top Service Award 2016, Sepia is the collaboration of Chef Martin Benn and seafood extraordinaire, George Costi of De Costi Seafoods. With Benn’s focus on seafood and Japanese-nuanced cooking becoming more refined and precise than ever, Sepia is showing a sophistication and finesse like never before.
(02) 9283 1990
201 Sussex St, Sydney CBD
Tues-Thurs 6:30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-4pm, 6:30pm-10pm
Frequently on the list for Australia’s top restaurants and adorned with three hats, eating at Quay is on a lot of people’s bucket lists. Located at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal, the restaurant has sweeping views of the harbour with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge all in view. Chef Peter Gilmore has never been one to rest on his laurels, continuing to fill Quay with some of the most articulate, textural, botanical and graceful food in all of Australia, with many considering it to be Australia’s finest fine-dining venue.
(02) 9251 5600
Overseas Passenger Terminal, Hickson Road, The Rocks
Mon-Thurs 6pm-9:30pm, Fri-Sun 12-1:30pm, 6-9:30pm
This ambitious, degustation only restaurant serves some of the most finessed food in the inner west, with a focus on produce grown in the backyard or on the Parry family farm in Bowral. Sixpenny is not a restaurant defined by chef-egos or a million dollar fit out, it is about letting ingredients speak for themselves in new and interesting ways, the dishes all fine examples of simplicity, unbothered by excessive or unnecessary techniques. Former co-head chef James Perry left the kitchen in February this year, leaving Chef Daniel Puska in charge.
(02) 9572 6666
83 Percival Rd, Stanmore
Wed-Fri 6pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-4pm, 6pm-11pm, Sun 12pm-4pm
Back and better than ever, Bennelong is a benchmark for fine dining from one of Australia’s most renowned chefs, Peter Gilmore. Located in Sydney’s most iconic harbourside space, it’s a show-stopping venue with a definitively Australian menu that has exceed the very high expectations placed upon it. A new hybrid of casual fine dining, the food at Bennelong is modern, beautiful and a celebration of Australian local produce, meat and seafood.
(02) 9240 8000
Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point
Mon-Thurs 5:30pm-10pm, Fri-Sun, 12pm-2pm, 5:30pm-10pm
Crowned number nine in this year’s AFR Top 100 Restaurants, Automata should be your first and last destination for a smorgasbord of fine dining and exceptional bar snacks (which are alone are enough reason to visit). The five-course fixed-price menu ($88) which is intriguing, minimalist and delicious is designed by former Momofuku sous-chef Clayton Wells.
(02) 8277 8555
5 kensington St, Chippendale
Tues-Thurs 6pm-12am, Fri-Sat 12pm-3pm, 6pm-12am
6. Bentley Restaurant + Bar
Chef Brent Savage and sommelier Nick Hildebrandt have transformed the stuffiness of corporate dining into a cleverly designed bar and restaurant in the original Fairfax building in the heart of the CBD. Rarely can a duo pair food and wine together as well as Savage and Hildebrandt, so much so dining that dining at Bentley isn’t just ‘going out for dinner’ but a whole experience in a league of its own.
Bentley Restaurant + Bar
(02) 8214 0505
Corner Pitt and Hunter Streets, Sydney CBD
Mon-Fri 12pm, 12am, Sat 6pm-12am
7. The Bridge Room
It’s one thing for chefs to obsess about technique and ingredients, however it’s quite another for them to design the plates, the bowls, the placemats and the table on which their food is served. But head chef and co-owner Ross Lusted’s most creative contribution to The Bridge Room is his compelling menu that is underpinned by precise and perceptive sourcing and an astounding insight into technique. At $60 for one course it may seem ridiculous, yet the room is never empty because Lusted knows exactly how to deliver.
The Bridge Room
(02) 9247 7000
44 Bridge St, Sydney CBD
Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm, 6pm-10pm, Sat 6pm-10pm
8. LuMi Bar & Dining
Taking Italian food and interweaving masterful Japanese influences, LuMi Bar and Dining takes fine dining to a whole new level by bringing together two incredibly different cuisines for one cohesive experience. For instance, you’ve got scialatielli with eel, cime di rapa and bottarga, followed by Spanish mackerel, umeboshi butter and broad beans. It’s also one of Sydney’s best value restaurants, with a five-course degustation for $115.
Lumi Bar & Dining
(02) 9571 1999
56 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont
Wed-Thurs 6:30pm-10:30pm, Fri-Sun 12mp-4pm, 6:30pm-10:30pm
Tetsuya’s 10-course degustation ($230) is a balancing act of Japanese and European flavours that is elegantly minimalist and best taken at a leisurely place. In an art-filled restaurant that is light-dappled by day and moodily dramatic at night, Tetsuya’s overlooks a glorious Japanese garden and is masterclass in fine dining. Long term favourites such as the confit ocean trout with unpasteurised roe and Tetsuya’s famous mirror finish cake are sure to outlive most of us – removing them would likely ignite riots.
(02) 9267 2900
529 Kent St, Sydney CBD
Tues-Fri 5:30pm-12am, Sat 12pm-3:30pm, 6:30pm-12am
Ester is fine dining that isn’t too overworked. At the heart of this Chippendale restaurant is a mallee root-fuelled wood-fired oven which was co-designed by chef Mat Lindsay. The overall feel of the dining room is stripped back – concrete interiors, paper napkins on a clothless tables – but when it comes to the food, Ester doesn’t hold back. Masters of dishes that work just as well at the bar as they do at the table, you’ll see likes of roasted oysters accented with a horseradish emulsion.
(02) 8068 8279
46/52 Meagher St, Chippendale
Mon-Thurs 5:30pm-12am, Fri 12pm-3pm, 5:30pm-12am, Sat 6pm-12am, Sun 12pm-4pm