From sizzling steakhouses to cool contemporary cuisine, you’re never far from a great restaurant in Sydney — and the busy tourist precinct of Darling Harbour is no exception. Check out the top 10 places to sit back with a delicious meal with a side serving of sparkling water views.
Restaurant, Asian, $$$
This upscale South-East Asian eatery was founded in 1963 by merchant seaman Wong Tia See after he migrated to Australia in the 1940s. Five decades later, The Malaya continues to combine many of those time-honoured recipes with cutting-edge contemporary seafood dishes that echo the waterfront location on King St Wharf.
The best Brazilian barbecue — or churrascaria — in Sydney, serving skewers of mouth-watering meat in a beach house style restaurant. Wash down the steak with a refreshing cocktail made with cachaça, a Brazilian spirit made of fermented sugarcane juice, and a samba show on Saturday nights.
An upscale art-deco space serving sophisticated contemporary Australian cuisine with a strong Japanese streak. The five-course ($210pp) and nine-course ($235pp) tasting menu evolves every week and the price is reflected in the quality — Sepia’s long list of awards include being named the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year in 2015.
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This newly refurbished cafe at Cockle Bay Wharf serves more chocolatey concoctions than even Willy Wonka himself could dream up. Lindt has been producing luxurious sweets since 1845 and the Swiss chocolatiers have brought their hot chocolates, milkshakes, croissants, cakes, truffles and ice creams to two locations in Sydney’s city centre, in Darling Harbour and Martin Place.
Meals don’t get much more Australian than tucking into one half of the national coat of arms, and that’s exactly what the Waterfront Grill offers: a marinated kangaroo strip loin with spinach pesto mash, wild rocket and red wine jus, plus a sweeping vista of Darling Harbour.
This modern restaurant has been serving authentic French cuisine to Sydney-siders since 1966, including their signature dish: a dozen escargot marinated in herb-infused court bouillon then oven-baked in garlic butter.
The Darling Harbour branch of this uber-popular Sydney institution dishes up delectable all-day breakfasts that shoehorn fluffy pancakes alongside savoury breakfast classics, as well as gourmet pizzas, steaks and salads later in the day.
A lively steakhouse serving melt-in-your-mouth meat, meat, meat and more meat basted in Hurricane’s famously sticky sauce. The rack of ribs with sweet potato fries — with a side serving of of the Sydney skyline — is the house specialty.
The ethos of this atmospheric Cockle Bay Wharf eatery? To celebrate the day’s hunt around a roaring fire with a drink straight from the barrel. Think smoked meat in crackling coal pits, barrel-aged beverages, a hearty menu of stews, pies, soups and slow-cooked meat, and a rustic dining room that’s half hunting lodge, half treehouse.
Café del Mar has views across Darling Harbour | Courtesy of Café del Mar
The original Cafe Del Mar in Ibiza is the most popular place to watch the sunset on the iconic resort island, but the rooftop terrace of the Sydney incarnation might just give the Spanish version a run for its money, serving modern Mediterranean meals and sexy cocktails with the best water views in Darling Harbour as its backdrop.