Sydney City guide: 11 restaurants that give Melbourne a run for her money
Not to rub it in, but I’m feeling pretty refreshed (and even a little tanned!) after a nice holiday in Australia for the last couple weeks. Normally on a trip all the way out to Australia I’ll always spend a good amount of time with my first city love, Melbourne but this time I cheated and explored what sunny Sydney had to offer.
They say Melbourne is the intellectual brunette with all her cultural activities and meandering laneways that force you to really get to know her and Sydney is the beautiful blonde with all her dazzling natural beauty, iconic beaches and waterfronts that are obvious and right there for everyone to see and admire. But there’s more to Sydney than her gorgeous looks – she can cook, and damn well too.
Here’s a guide that’ll blow your gastronomic mind (the same way it did mine) and make your trip to Sydney one to remember.
SYDNEY RESTAURANT HIT LIST
A trip to Sydney would not be the same without a trip to Bill Granger’s restaurant, Bills in Darlinghurst. Bills is the home of the most famous scrambled eggs in dare I say it, Australia. Everything on the menu here is simple, well cooked with Bill’s signature freshness.
Best Bit: The scrambled eggs – they are fluffy, buttery and smooth like you’ve never tasted before. You can also pick up a (hopefully signed!) copy of one of his cookbooks to try recreating them at home.
THE GROUNDS OF ALEXANDRIA, ALEXANDRIA
They don’t call it “The Grounds” for nothing – it’s a veritable complex of food, coffee, horticulture, floristry and landscape design. How many cafés have you been to that have a coffee research and training centre, grow their own herbs and veggies in the gardens, have an in-house bakery AND keep baby farm animals?
Best Bit: The Breakfast Board is the breakfast of champions.
KITCHEN BY MIKE, ROSEBERY
Not far from The Grounds of Alexandria is another restaurant/concept store but this time in a warehouse complex that is breathtakingly huge. The canteen style restaurant serves up quality food prepared with ridiculously fresh ingredients – think beetroot, freekah, goats cheese and mint salad with a bacon and gruyere quiche. Be warned that lunch starts serving at 12pm and everyone gets there on time – if you’re not on time you’ll be lining up a while!
Best Bit: Head there early and give yourself a good hour to check out the incredibly curated Koskela home store, which takes up most of the warehouse space. The gorgeous space is filled with amazing light and Australian designed furniture, art, artisan home wares and utensils as well as a children’s area – think Scandinavian whimsy meets Brooklyn craftiness.
THE COMMONS, DARLINGHURST
The kind of spot you can hit on a warm Sunday afternoon and stay well into the night grazing on charcuterie, calamari and chardonnay. You won’t know where the time went once it’s time to head downstairs into the basement bar
Best Bit: The Sunday afternoon garden party vibe is completed with an Aperol Spritz.
GNOME, SURRY HILLS
After strolling Surry Hills you’ll need a little caffeine hit to keep you perky enough to visit all of the boutiques on your list. Situated right on Crown Street is Gnome – the perfect spot to recharge with a short macchiato and inadvertently overhear an interesting conversation between some cool looking local DJs planning their European tours.
Best Bit: They know how to make good coffee. The consistency of the macchiato is creamy all the way to the end and never ever watery.
THREE BLUE DUCKS, BRONTE
Sydney food at its very best – there’s something about this city that does food with an Asian twist with such finesse and this spot is no different. Three Blue Ducks is known equally for its amazing fusion food as it is for its two very handsome surfer/chef/gardening owners – either way, it’s very much worth the visit
Best Bit: Visiting the back garden where they grow all the fresh herbs and veggies.
MS G’S POTTS POINT
Ms G’s is that cool bar where Vietnam and Malaysia meet up with Sydney. Unfussy pan-Asian food with big flavours and a little edge via graffiti-ed walls and pink neon signage.
Best Bit: Who doesn’t love a slider let alone a banh mi slider?
A hole in the wall Japanese Izakaya that I probably wouldn’t tell you about if I lived in Sydney for fear of not being able to get a seat. Run by a mother and daughter team from Tokyo and frequented by Japanese locals – its as authentic as you can get.
Best Bit: Japanese potato salad with fish eggs on top – OMG
THE FISH SHOP, POTTS POINT
I’ve had a fish and chips craving for over a year now (the Americans just can’t seem to get it right). It was finally satisfied at The Fish Shop. Amazingly fresh fish fried just enough for that light crunch in your mouth, thick hand cut chips, gourmet tartar sauce and a slice of lemon (and maybe a side of mushy peas) is all you need to walk out with the look of satisfaction on your face.
Best Bit: You’ll start out with the intention to share your fish and chips and market menu item with your dining buddy but neither of you will want to share in the end.
HOUSE, SURRY HILLS
North Eastern Thai food from the same people who brought Sydney-siders Spice I Am (arguably the most famous Thai restaurant in the city) but this time, no queue to go with it.
Best Bit: Jackfruit salad and green curry is done how you’d expect it to be done in Thailand.
REUBEN HILLS, SURRY HILLS
Reuben Hills has all the right cred – voted best coffee by the Sydney Morning Herald, owners from respected coffee stock in Sydney and a decided passion for coffee that you can see and feel as soon as you walk in and take note of all of the high-tech Barista contraptions.
Best Bit: The space – unassuming Surry Hills shop at the front, open garage roller door with cool light installation and exposed brick walls at the back.
LETS GET SOCIAL!
Follow meltingbutter.com on the social web to keep up to date with new posts and get daily inspiration on food, travel, music, fashion, culture and lifestyle: