Although the status quo leads us to believe that the best bistros and restaurants in any city beat in the heart of a metropolis, often some of the finest eateries are hiding from the hordes of crowds in sleepy city-side suburbs. Kirribilli is a fine example of this; only three kilometres from Sydney’s Central Business District (CBD), Kirribilli is a distinguished neighbourhood and well worth a visit. With city vistas and affluent residences, Kirribilli attracts a tasteful crowd along with some of the finest restaurants in the city. Here are the top eats, north of the Harbour Bridge.
Thai Fusion nails the art of Asian food with an effortlessness so perfectly in tune with the Thai style of dining. Minimal and authentic, Thai Fusion‘s restaurant is contemporary, comfortable and unpretentious, allowing the food to speak for itself. The food: inspiring plates of Thai cooking; a festival of colours, flavours and textures so perfectly balanced, guests are transported to The Orient over aromatic dishes designed by Founder, and award-winning Chef Srivilai Buddacharoen.
This multi award-winning local seafood restaurant is the perfect representation of modern Australian dining in Sydney. Boasting some of the finest seafood in town, Garfish is synonymous with diners seeking some of the city’s freshest catch. Just a stone’s throw from the CBD, the Kirribilli restaurant is set moments from the water’s edge, one stop on the train over the Harbour Bridge.
Part of Sydney Flying Squadron, the oldest open boat sailing club in Australia is FOYS, a casual and contemporary restaurant serving modern Australian cuisine. With an outdoor, sun-shaded terrace on the water’s edge with views spanning across the high-rises of Sydney’s CBD, this is the perfect place to escape the city crowds and delve into a seafood plate or charcuterie board over a glass of wine.
If the quintessential local spot could take form in a venue it would be Small Bar & Kitchen. Keeping it small, keeping it real is what these guys are all about. This neighbourhood staple smashes out quality breakfast, lunch and dinner in equal measure and has an alcohol license too, meaning craft beers and boutique wines are a goer. Proudly void of TV screens or gambling facilities, Small Bar & Kitchen is all about creating a community vibe over plates of home cooked quality food.
Grace of India is a fine Indian eatery on the North Shore of Sydney. Family-run, this neighbourhood restaurant has been wooing crowds with its authentic Indian cooking since its inception. Dishes are inherently native, having been passed down from generation to generation, according to Santokh Singh, owner and head chef of Grace of India. If its stellar reviews online aren’t enough to sway even the most discerning palate, just try the butter chicken — the food speaks for itself here.
The Botanist is an on-trend restaurant in Kirribilli with a unique story. Conceptualised as a tribute to botanist Gerard Fothergill — who not only dedicated his life to the study of flora, but its medicinal uses — the venue is bursting with colour, bouquets and leafy arrangements. Spending his final years on the site of the now restaurant, it seemed only appropriate that the venue would be an almost-love letter to the pioneer. Expect rustic furnishing, colourful bites and a fantastic bar selection in this buzzing day-to-night bistro.
Ainoya is quite simply Japanese dining as it is intended: simple, minimal and entirely unpretentious. Generally at capacity, Ainoya fuses modern cooking methods with the traditional art of Japanese cuisine to offer a menu that is exciting, fresh and innovative. More so, the carefully curated wine list has been devised to truly accentuate the already stunning fare on offer.
Bustling and down right brilliant, this Asian street food joint boasts a fun and food-filled experience for guests seven nights a week. Specialising in share plates, Street Market Asian Tapas takes the brilliance of Spanish tapas-style dining and fuses it with street cooking styles of Asia to offer something truly unique. Eat your way from Shanghai to Singapore; the fare is nothing short of superb.
This joint pays tribute to the classic American diner experience. Set in the sleepy shadows of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Batch Burgers is clad in neon lights and checkered tiles. Serving up bundles of burgers and fries with sinful shakes to savour, Batch is the epitome of ‘food porn’ — just check out its Instagram for further verification!
Opened in 2016, this Swedish cafe came bouncing onto the Kirribilli restaurant scene with a bang. Offering up staples such as avocado on toast as well as traditional Scandinavian dishes like Pyttipanna (a Swedish version of bubble and squeak), there’s a little something for everyone on the limited, but thoughtful menu. Keeping it small and real is what Oski is about — from the charming staff to the snug 18-seater dining experience.