Ever wanted to attend a dinner party at a restaurant? Well now you can at the Farmhouse on Bayswater Road, at its huge and unique communal wooden table. Seating 20 and made by one of the three co-owners, it is dressed with fine linen, white napkins and shining cutlery and sits in the center of the restaurant. With its exposed bricks, wooden beams and floorboards, the interior is the epitome of urban style meets rustic country. At the center of the Farmhouse is an exceedingly clever and oh-so-simple concept; there are two sittings at 6.30pm and the at 8.30pm, and the fuss-free four to five course menu is put up on the window each morning, so there are no decisions to make! The two highly-trained chefs who cook up the meals previously worked at Est and will impress you with the quality and inventiveness of their dishes. You could be served mussel croquettes or cob loaf with artichoke dip, followed by salmon miso, brown butter eggplant and macadamia, or slow cooked lamb shoulder with almond and cashew sauce followed by citrus and honey rice pudding – who knows? Come along and find out what’s cooking.
Housed in a basement with exposed bricks and archways, a stone’s throw from the famous Coca Cola sign, Old Growler is a pub run by a trio of pedigree restaurateurs. The ambiance down here is informal, warm and relaxed, with big comfy booths and large communal tables. Besides craft and bottled beer, a decent menu of wines and Growler special cocktails are also available here. Their “Chews” are much more than your usual hearty pub grub. From the menu, why not try the huge portion of spicy chicken wings from the Shared section, the famous Old Growler Roadburger, or their hickory smoked pork bellys. If you have room afterwards, you can sample the Deep Fried Mars Bar complete with berry coulis and ice cream.
This is a trendy Taqueria and Tequileria serving Mexican street food at its best. Barrio Chino is centrally located in the heart of The Cross, yet tucked away through a pale blue door. It boasts a large airy space with a long central table as well as alcove seating if you are looking for a bit more privacy. At Barrio Chino, out goes the usual stodgy Mexican melted-cheese affairs, and in comes much lighter and fresher tasting food made from really good ingredients. There is a superb taco menu with salsas such as Baja fish and prawn or pulled pork as well as taco specials of the day. There is also an interesting dessert menu, which includes a glass tumbler of mini churros served with a gorgeous chocolate orange and dulce de leche dipping sauce. Share jugs of Sangria and Margaritas or choose from their range of different tequilas.
New Hampton Bar & Bistro
The famous Hampton Court Hotel, for nearly a century a landmark of The Cross, has been totally renovated and converted into New Hampton Bar and Bistro, a brand new, glamorous venue comprising of two large bar areas, an upmarket restaurant and nightclub. Decked out in the fashion of a giant wine cellar with hidden nooks, it has a cozy, rustic feel to it. Wooden beams, Indian furniture, stone walls and concrete floors add to the trendy, country look. Classically trained chef Aron Johnson turns out French and Italian inspired modern Australian cuisine. The Bistro menu, ordered at the bar, features hearty fare such as slow cooked rosemary lamb pie and Cape Byron Black Angus Scotch Fillet. You can also order plates to share such as their special tasting board of salmon tartare, prosciutto, salt and pepper squid, pate, bread and olives.
This ‘new kid on the block’ is a cheap, fun and friendly Izakaya – a Japanese after-work drinking establishment serving food to accompany drinks. Red certainly is the color of choice here, with bright red vinyl stools at the bar and red pendant lights. On the walls and tables are humorous plates depicting a Japanese Elvis, Godzilla eating a city and giant gyozas, the speciality here. A type of Japanese dumpling, these little delicacies, handmade everyday, can be ordered pan fried or steamed and even come as dessert dishes; try the salted caramel or Nutella and banana gyoza.
This is no ordinary Italian Restaurant. Founded by the wife of celebrity chef Opel Khan and tucked away in a small street, Pizza Boccone serves up beautifully light wood fired pizzas, as well as daily specials and homemade pasta dishes. Try the heavenly Pizza Salsiccia (Italian sausage, wild mushroom and truffle oil) or their tasty fig and prosciutto pizza. How about the melt-in-the-mouth pumpkin ravioli and burnt butter sage or tortelli with ricotta and zucchini flowers? The simple and warm inside space has a handful of communal tables and blankets are provided for outdoor dining, making for a relaxed and cozy meal.
Address: Shop 11, Sydney, Llankelly Place, Potts Point NSW 2011, Australia +61 2 9357 5591
Sweethearts Rooftop BBQ
If you can make it up the seven flights of stairs and you have pre-booked, you will be rewarded with a magical, lofted outdoor restaurant and bar set up like a trendy beach club. This is stunning al fresco dining at its best at The Cross, high above its rooftops. The outdoor bar serves up wines by the glass, cocktails and Aussie-themed pitchers with outlandish names such as Hills Hoist and Stormy Captain. The food is gourmet barbecue, including grilled seafood and all kinds of barbecued meats, cooked to perfection. Head to Sweethearts Rooftop for a perfect dining experience under the stars.
Jimmy Lik’s is a local institution in a classy hideaway doiwn a leafy street, a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of The Cross, serving incredible Asian food with a modern twist. With low atmospheric lighting, soul music, and long banqueting tables, owner Justin Maloney has cleverly managed to create an exotic and funky dining area with a relaxed yet sophisticated vibe. With it’s open plan kitchen, tapas-style street hawker lunches can be taken in the bar area. In the Restaurant, try their $45 great value 7 course sharing banquet plus fab cocktail. Vegetarians haven’t been overlooked here either, with good meat and fish free options always available. And look out for the chefs special dessert board, which is always bursting with scrumptious dishes.
A family-owned, authentic Vietnamese restaurant, Bay Bua is run by grand-daughter Mai Tran, with drinks and cocktails ably prepared at the cute bar by friendly sister Xuan Tran. Located at The Potts Point end of The Cross, it has secured a quiet area with a tropical outlook onto an outdoor dining area, with subdued lighting surrounded by palm trees. Listen to soothing Vietnamese music and try their extensive menu of light and fragrantly delicate dishes. This is a true family affair with the emphasis on fine dining at an affordable price.
Located just 5 minutes walk from King’s Cross Station, tucked into a corner on Roslyn Street, this award-winning establishment owned by chef Grant King of Australian Masterchef fame is as far away from a posh, formal restaurant as you can get. Aside from the effortlessly cool interior with stripped-bare decor, here it is all about the food. Try the vibrant butternut gnocchi with mushroom consommé, the softest beef rib, or pan fried goat’s cheese with truffled honey. Asides from a seven course tasting menu, there’s a fantastic vegetarian a la carte menu available as well. Foodies must go off the beaten track to check out Gastro Park, where each plate is truly a work of art.