Sydney is stacked with plenty of excellent eateries, from cheap eats to fine dining. Here are 10 fancy restaurants at the top end of the price scale – if you can snag a table.
Blessed with world-class local produce and culinary influences from every corner of the globe, Sydney’s dining scene matches any city on earth. Whether it’s institutions like Rockpool and Tetsuya’s or exciting eateries like Sixpenny and The Bridge Room, treat yourself to dinner at these 10 fine dining restaurants in Sydney, Australia.
The name of acclaimed chef Tetsuya Wakuda is a byword for fine dining in Sydney, thanks to his award-winning restaurant on Kent Street. Tetsuya’s serves a degustation menu that the adjective ‘inventive’ doesn’t even begin to describe, fusing French cuisine and Japanese techniques with the freshest Australian ingredients. Tables at Tetsuya’s are extremely hard to come by, so it’s smart to book months in advance.
This Circular Quay establishment serves food that matches its million-dollar views, overlooking the Opera House from the shadow of the Harbour Bridge. Located on the upper level of the Overseas Passenger Terminal, Quay’s menu is the brainchild of esteemed executive chef Peter Gilmore, the genius behind culinary inventions like the legendary ‘snow egg’ dessert that rose to fame on Australian cooking show MasterChef.
Peter Gilmore’s other modern Australian restaurant occupies an equally enviable location within Sydney’s iconic Opera House, but the surroundings don’t overshadow the food. Quay’s sister restaurant Bennelong spotlights mouth-watering seasonal produce, showcasing the very best local farmers, providores and winemakers inside one of the country’s most celebrated landmarks.
Aria is perhaps the only dining room in Sydney that boasts views that rival Quay’s. Perched right on the Sydney Harbour waterfront between the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, Aria was opened by celebrity chef Matt Moran in 1999 before it was given a multi-million-dollar make-over in 2016. Fortunately, the revamp hasn’t affected the quality of modern Australian cuisine coming out of the kitchen.
Sydney’s fine dining scene is centred on the harbour, but Sixpenny has brought upscale food to the bohemian Inner West. Named after the sixpence restaurants that opened in Australia in the late 1800s, this Stanmore eatery serves modern Australian dishes in a pared-back suburban dining room, including six and eight-course tasting menus that utilise produce from the kitchen garden in the backyard.
This understated eatery isn’t as elaborate as some of its neighbours in Circular Quay, but The Bridge Room plates up exciting Asian-European dishes that match the quality of any of them. Situated within a renovated Art Deco building in Sydney’s inner city, this warm dining room offers both an à la carte and a tasting menu that fuses flavours from every corner of the globe, the inventions of husband-and-wife ownership team Sunny and Ross Lusted.
The towering white columns and huge arched windows of this heritage dining room set the scene for one of Sydney’s most opulent dining experiences. Restaurant est. is renowned for its flawless service and even better food — executive head chef Peter Doyle combines precise French techniques with contemporary Australian flavours to create an elegant fine dining menu, including the signature steamed Murray cod.
This French bistro might be tiny, but its flavours are enormous. The finest fare you’ll find in the colourful Inner West neighbourhood of Newtown, Oscillate Wildly produces French cuisine that wouldn’t be out of place in some of Paris’s top eateries — chef and owner Karl Firla oversees an adventurous, creative, ever-evolving menu that has locals waiting for weeks for a table.
Rockpool is an institution of the Sydney food scene, grilling its first steak way back in 1989. Celebrity chef Neil Perry is one of the biggest names in Australian hospitality and this high-end bar and grill is key to his success. Rockpool fills the green-marbled dining room of a gorgeous Art Deco inner-city skyscraper with the aroma of dry-aged steaks grilled to perfection.
This contemporary restaurant is the best fine dining option around Sydney’s Darling Harbour, serving luxurious degustation dishes in Sepia’s moody, dimly lit, 1920s-style dining room. Tetsuya-trained chef Martin Benn and seafood expert George Costi have come up with a range of five and nine-course menus that fuse modern Australian and traditional Japanese flavours, expertly paired with an extensive wine list.