Jul 04, 2017
These are the latest openings in Sydney.
NOLA Smokehouse and Bar
A piece of New Orleans has come to Sydney. Fitted out with cane chairs, shutter windows and bursts of colour (soothing blue on the floor; vivid red on the walls), NOLA creates a relaxed southern American vibe right in the middle of Sydney’s Barangaroo. Open the vast, harbour-facing windows at this second-floor eatery, let the sea breeze in and your Louisiana life is complete. That is, after you’ve ordered your share of Creole-spiced okra and steak tartare from the bar menu, or enjoyed the house-smoked glazed pork knuckle with pickled bullhorn peppers and slaw. And don’t forget the drinks. There are 450 American whiskies to choose from as well as a bevy of cocktails – from Absinthe Sazeracs to fruity Hurricanes.
Level 1, International Tower 1, 100 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo South; 02 9188 3039
Jersey Rd. Bistro
A newcomer to Woollahra, Jersey Rd. Bistro (formerly Ouzo), is an unassuming neighbourhood restaurant that shouldn’t be overlooked. With rustic wooden wall panels and soft lighting, the restaurant feels warm and relaxed. The menu is full of fresh produce from a rooftop garden brimming with lemon verbena, thyme, sage and mint. Head chef Jason Dean (Bentley, Est.) serves up an array of impressive dishes, all with a focus on the local and seasonal: beetroot salad with goat's curd, smoked almonds and salted honeycomb and, for the main act, a hearty roasted lamb rump with potato, zucchini, macadamia and mint is hard to pass up.
3 Jersey Road, Woollahra; (02) 9328 1600
Expect a front-row seat at one of Sydney's most iconic, and happening, beaches and a tight but crowd-pleasing menu of considered dishes at the recently revamped Hotel Ravesis. Unsurprisingly, there's a great selection of seafood – from a free-form, freshly rolled pasta with local crab to a seared tuna burger. There are also a few unexpected, but welcome, entries on the menu – the vegan porcini paté being first and foremost on the list and grilled kangaroo skewers coming in a close second. The likes of steak frites, pork schnitzel and sourdough pizzas cover off the pub favourites. It's worth taking a peek at the cocktail menu, full of classics; the single-page wine-list concentrates on Aussie, New Zealand and French drops.
118 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach; (02) 9365 4422
Image: Nikki To
Cha Li Boi
Bondi Junction isn’t exactly known for dining hotspots, but Cha Li Boi is out to challenge that perception. The sprawling space above East Leagues Club has been done up with an industrial style fit-out – think exposed concrete walls and beams, light wood furnishings and dim lighting – can seat up to 285 diners at an array of communal and individual tables. It’s hard to pass up the extensive yum cha offerings straight off the trolley (the Cray Cray dumplings – stuffed with crayfish and scampi – are a must), but you can also choose from a la carte selections such as playful Pac Man dumplings (colourful ghost-shaped dumplings filled with prawns or kohlrabi and mushroom) or spicy wok-fried scallops in house XO sauce. End the meal on a sweet high – traditional desserts such as warm egg custard tart and mango pancakes are both on offer.
Level 1, 9-13 Bronte Road, Bondi Junction; (02) 9369 5391
There are many reasons to visit 12-Micron – the sprawling 230-seat establishment located on second floor on Barangaroo Avenue, with uninterrupted views of the harbour (pleasant) and the still-under-construction casino (not so pleasant). The high-ceilinged bar – with mixed seating, plenty of daylight as well as an outdoor terrace area – is perfect for sundowners. Try Smokey Bee, a heady basil-laced concoction of Hendricks and limoncello before making your way to the dining room for a menu brimming with seasonal Australian produce. Justine Wise (of Melbourne’s Press Club) is at the helm, with hearty dishes such as roast lamb and seared duck. Whatever you do, don’t miss the sweet offerings in the 64-seater dessert-bar section. Options range from fermented strawberry and white-chocolate cheesecake to lemon tarts. And you don’t need to settle for just one, thanks to three-, five- or seven-course dessert dégustation menus by Melbourne patissiere Darren Purchese.
Level 2, 100 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo; 02 8322 2075
Image: Ryan Linnegar
The latest addition to the Lotus Dining Group, Madame Shanghai – situated on the edge of the city overlooking Hyde Park – isn’t just another sizable Chinese diner. Striking velvet curtains, Oriental-inspired patterned carpet and Chinoiserie create a captivating ambience. With a focus on street food, the menu is a mash-up of Asian flavours, such as tempura jasmine smoked fish with Chinese five spice; and sticky pork hock with tamarind. Cocktail artist Kate McGraw has put a refreshing twist on classics; standouts include the Great Imperial with lemongrass vermouth, spiced lychee and rose, as well as the Poets and Artists with buttered cognac, mustard seed and liquorice root. From Thursday to Sunday there’s a brunch-time menu of yum cha favourites (scallop and snow-pea dumpling, mushroom spring rolls and xiao long bao).
18 College Street, Darlinghurst; (02) 8318 8618
Image: Alana Dimou
Located in the heart of Circular Quay’s brand new Gateway gastro-complex, Tokyo Laundry is Melbourne entrepreneur David Loh’s first foray into the Sydney food scene. The 180-seat restaurant/bar feels fresh and contemporary, with floor-to-ceiling windows that bathe the purple and stone interiors with natural light. The decor is much like the menu devised by Masahiko Yomoda (formerly of Michelin-starred Arbace in Tokyo) and executed by head chef Naoki Hozawa: Japanese history and tradition entwined with modern artistic flair. Try Yomoda creations such as Hiramasa carpaccio with jalapeño sauce, olives and yuzu; and Hokkaido scallop gratin. Before you begin, make sure you’ve ordered a salted-seaweed-rimmed Junmai sake gin and tonic. And make note: a Champagne and oyster bar will soon be added to the line-up.
Level 1, Gateway Sydney, 1 Macquarie Place, Sydney; 02 9251 3323
Everyone should have at least one Greek friend but if for some unforgivable reason you don’t, Sydney’s 1821 demonstrates what you’re missing. It’s larger than life but revels in simplicity, it eyes the future adventurously while acknowledging its cultural past. Despite towering ceilings, the sophisticated space – with its clever decorative nods to Greece’s War of Independence – still feels intimate. Chef David Tsirekas has framed a menu with cheeky multicultural twists (Greek San Choy Bow) that deftly honours the staples (BBQ Lamb Shoulder) and subtly reversions others (Custard Filo Pie). Here in this unambiguously Greek space, you don’t break the plates, the plates break you with their generosity, inventiveness and celebration.
122 Pitt Street Sydney; (02) 8080 7070
Hotel restaurants have a certain reputation and Silvester’s – located in the lobby of the recently renovated Sydney Harbour Marriott – is out to challenge that. Start off at the Three Bottle Man bar where the cocktail menu is minuscule (only three bespoke cocktails a week) and for good reason. The mixologists only work with Australian produce and spirits, so expect Rising Sun – lemon, berry and apple juices vigorously shaken with vanilla syrup and Poor Toms Gin from a distillery in Marrickville. Then make your way to the restaurant where French-born head chef Raphael Szurek surprises with unexpected flavours and combinations. Black pudding and seared scallops match beautifully thanks to a drizzle of yuzukoshō (a Japanese seasoning made using citrus fruit), while chorizo adds a burst of flavour to Cone Bay barramundi served with pipis and mussels. There’s a clutch of desserts to choose from, but the salted chocolate soufflé with caramel ice-cream wins the decadence award hands down. Smart, courteous and well-informed staff as well as a comprehensive wine list of local and international drops satisfactorily rounds off the experience.
Sydney Harbour Marriott, 1 Bulletin Place, Sydney; 02 9259 7330
Top image: Cha Li Boi
SEE ALSO: Sydney’s Best Yum Cha Restaurants