Tag Archives: Sydney Restaurants

Hola, we’re off to meh-he-co!

Just when you thought good-ol’ Sydney town couldn’t take another taco… hola, Mejico! Swinging open its doors, right next to Jamie’s Italian on Pitt Street, Mejico has set itself apart from its fellow quesadilla-loving counterparts in various arenas.

Firstly, the name. It’s not pronounced Mexico, it’s “meh-he-co” – the way you say it in North America. I’m usually not one for silly restaurant names but just saying “meh-he-co” gets me all excited. I almost want to break into a Mexican hat dance and twirl my brightly coloured skirt. Almost.

It's a far cry from your usual Mexican restaurant

It’s a far cry from your usual Mexican restaurant

Secondly, the fitout. You may want to leave your feathered headdress at home because Mejico is no ordinary cantina. Owner Dr Sam Prince, of Zambrero Fresh Mex Grill, has spent over $4 million on a design that features fluro pink stools, leather lounges, an open bar and bold hand-painted striped walls. This vibrant aesthetic, together with a team of staff that strut around in fluro pink-and-white striped t-shirts mean that energy levels at Mejico are high.

 

Hiramasa kingfish ceviche with watermelon, radish and pepita on house-baked tostadas

Hiramasa kingfish ceviche with watermelon, radish and pepita on house-baked tostadas

Thirdly, Mejico does not serve Mexican street food. Chef Daniel Schai (imported from Singapore) has created an upmarket menu with dishes such as Achiote chicken and 24 hour smoked pork belly tacos. But the key component in all dishes is freshness. And this isn’t the standard claim-to-fresh-produce statement. It’s; “You want guac to start?”. Smack, bang – the wait staff mash it up right in front of you. “Need a corn fix?” Out comes the grill. Plantain chips are made by hand and the tostadas are baked in-house.

Chargrilled Black Angus sirloin with quinoa, black bean, pumpkin and green chimichurri

Chargrilled Black Angus sirloin with quinoa, black bean, pumpkin and green chimichurri

And lastly, there’s more than margaritas on the drinks list. In fact, Mejico has the longest tequila list in Sydney. If you don’t want to eat, guests can perch themselves at the open bar and enjoy a cocktail or two.

Restaurants love to make a claim but most are just that; statements that aren’t followed though. At Mejico, they practise what they preach.

Anna Lisle

Read more about Mejico here

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Filed under Mejico, Reviews, Sydney CBD

Location, location, location… The Bucket List

Sydney living doesn’t get much sweeter than this. Sprawling out onto Bondi’s promenade, within the Bondi Pavilion, is The Bucket List. It may be touted as the ‘playground of the Pacific’ by The Bucket Lists’ owners but to me it feels more like the ‘playground of Bondi’s beautiful people.’ Loose white singlets, Tsubi shorts and Ray Bans are the order of the day, as are ice buckets of lime wedge-topped Coronas and jugs of sangria or Pimms.

Not interested in beach views? The Bucket List is perfect for people-watching

Not interested in beach views? The Bucket List is perfect for people-watching

Snag a table outside and you’ll be blessed with panoramic views, not only of Bondi Beach but also of the Eastern Suburbs hipsters who wander along the promenade out front. The best bit though? Whatever day of the week, night or day, the atmosphere is abuzz. It feels like nobody has a worry in the world – no work deadlines, no houses to clean or mortgages to pay. Everything here is happy and carefree.

Roast chook with quinoa tabouli

Roast chook with quinoa tabouli

Despite its location, the prices are reasonable and the food offers a range of nibbling options, as well as more substantial delights. Looking to impress an out-of-towner? The Bucket List is your answer.

Anna Lisle

Read more about The Bucket List here

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Filed under Bondi Beach, Reviews, The Bucket List

Sydney’s best private dining rooms

Looking for a venue to host a special event? Here’s our top picks in Sydney.

Altitude

A first class dining experience from the dizzy heights of the Shangri-La’s 36th floor. Altitude overlooks Sydney’s most iconic attractions – the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and Sydney Harbour.

Holds: 18

Altitude at Shangri-La Sydney

Altitude at Shangri-La Sydney

ARIA

ARIA offers private dining experiences that encapsulate Sydney’s picture-perfect lifestyle with its stunning views of Sydney Harbour, an innovative and contemporary menu, extensive wine list and seamless service. The brainchild of celebrity chef Matt Moran and business partner Peter Sullivan.

Holds: 60-120

Bathers’ Pavilion

At Bathers’ Pavilion, guests enjoy stunning views of Balmoral Beach in a dining room with silver-lined walls that bring the glow of the light on the ocean indoors. Come for the sophisticated seasonal menu, rare wines and digestives; stay for the view.

Holds: 102

Bells at Killcare

Bells at Killcare Boutique Hotel, Restaurant and Spa is a luxury coastal retreat that’s home to hatted Italian restaurant, Manfredi’s. Guests will dine on dishes thoughtfully prepared with estate-grown produce and locally harvested meat and seafood, while taking in views of the property’s expansive manicured gardens.

Holds: 70

Guillaume at Bennelong

Guillaume restaurant at Bennelong is nestled beneath the iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House, commanding unique views of Sydney Harbour. A number of private dining spaces are available, but all offer exquisite French cuisine, fine wine and impeccable service.

Holds: 60

Biota

Not quite Sydney, but well worth the hour and half drive to Bowral. The innovative restaurant supports local farmers and growers, with fine artisan produce transformed into exceptional dishes that are curated to showcase the beauty of the natural world.

Holds: 55

Biota Dining

Biota Dining

Bistro Lilly

With its prestigious Observatory Tower location and traditional French cuisine, Bistro Lilly offers a warm, intimate dining experience at the heart of The Rocks.

Holds: 25

Café Opera

Sydney Intercontinental’s beautiful 1851 Treasury Building is home to Cafe Opera, famous for its market-fresh buffet and refined a la carte menu. The hotel’s beautifully styled private dining areas offer the ultimate luxury experience.

Holds: 30

Cafe Opera at InterContinental Sydney

Cafe Opera at InterContinental Sydney

Café Sydney

With its view of the Harbour Bridge from the rooftop of Customs House, Cafe Sydney offers diners the chance to experience the essence of the Harbour City. The restaurant is a regular haunt for business people and beautiful people, who flock in for the views, the fresh food and the great wines on offer.

Holds: 14

Flying Fish

Flying Fish restaurant holds court at the end of a heritage-listed wharf, with a unique view to the Harbour Bridge through the industrial docklands of Pyrmont. It offers diners seclusion, style and a menu brimming with delicious seafood.

Holds: 30

Public Dining Room

Public Dining Room offers the ultimate beachside dining experience with views that stretch from Balmoral to Manly and beyond. The restaurant has perfected the art of casual fine dining, with a sophisticated and summery Mediterranean menu.

Holds: 30-110

Ripples at Chowder Bay

Ripples at Chowder Bay is one of Sydney’s most picturesque venues, overlooking Chowder Bay at Mosman. The historical site boasts chic interior styling and the meals on the Modern Australian menu are executed with an Italian twist.

Holds: 100

Sake

Whether you’d like to wrap your lips around one of the most exclusive (and extensive) ranges of sake in Sydney or spectacular hot and cold Japanese fare by master chef Shaun Presland (of Sushi e, Teppanyaki and Nobu fame), private dining at Saké Restaurant and Bar in The Rocks is guaranteed to be a meal like no other.

Holds: 30

O Bar and Dining

Perched 47 floors above the city, O Bar and Dining is one of Sydney’s most spectacular culinary experiences. The private dining room, Salon Prive, showcases breathtaking 360 degree views of Sydney Harbour and beyond, while bespoke menus and dedicated wait staff add another element of luxury.

Holds: 28

O Bar and Dining

O Bar and Dining

Toko

About: Squeezed in among the eateries that line the Surry Hills strip, Toko Restaurant and Bar brings a splash of urban sophistication to traditional Japanese fare. The izakaya offers a melange of small dishes to share, complemented by a sterling sake list.

Holds: 12 to 20

Wildfire

Located in the Overseas Passenger Terminal, Wildfire’s views of the Harbour are spectacular but the decor of the restaurant is just as impressive. The private dining room is encased in glass, with a birds eye view of the main restaurant and the Harbour.

Holds: 45

Marque

Marque, the Surry Hills icon owned by one of Australia’s best loved chefs, Mark Best, also offers private dining rooms for its guests. Expect the wondrous French-inspired constructions that earn Marque its Chef Hats and a wine list that will please even the most discerning diner.

Holds: 14

Balla at The Star

Balla has fast become the “it” Italian dining destination for Sydney’s beautiful people. Its main dining room and private dining areas are fitted out with the swankiest decor but the star of the show is the restaurant’s spectacular harbour view.

Holds: 25

Balla at The Star

Balla at The Star

 

Otto Ristorante

At Otto Ristorante, the famous Otto’s experience involves a spectacular view of the city skyline, a modern Italian feast and being waited on by tuxedo’d staff. Enjoy all these elements in private with the exclusive use of an intimate 100-year old wool lift that’s suspended above the restaurant.

Holds: 8-14

 

Rockpool Bar & Grill

One of Sydney’s most impressive restaurants, dining at Rockpool Bar & Grill is even more spectacular when enjoying its meals in a completely private dining room. The restaurant is famous for its meat, but the menu ventures into seafood in spectacular style.

Holds: 6-50

 

Black by Ezard 

Located in The Star, Black by Ezard is a Modern Australian steak and seafood restaurant with an encyclopaedic wine list and million dollar views of Sydney Harbour. Visit if you’re after a cut of meat beyond grass-fed angus and nine-plus wagyu or if you’re looking for a celebrity dining experience – Black’s private dining rooms have their own entrances.

Holds: BLACK by Ezard features two stunning and intimate private dining rooms seating 10 and 16 people.

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Très bien to Trippas White

Since when did the Art Gallery of NSW suddenly become a dining destination? I’ll tell you –  since Art After Hours became ‘a thing’ and Trippas White Group put The Restaurant on the hospitality map.

The impressive exterior of the NSW Art Gallery

The Restaurant’s design is as minimalist as its name. An excitable blush of cherry carpet marks the only trace of colour, whilst dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows take in a view of Woolloomooloo Wharf and the tall terraces at Potts Point. As part of Crave Sydney, English bred chef Marc Cartwright created a four-course Modern French menu, inspired by the latest photographic exhibition by Eugene Atget.

Head chef Marc Cartwright with our food writer, Sami Jo.

To begin – an amuse of seared oysters, with foamy artichoke cream, pickled cucumbers and parsley. Now oysters and I haven’t had the most favourable relationship. They leave me feeling as though I have been French kissed by an old fisherman with salt-stained lips from years at sea. So you can imagine my hesitancy when the dish arrived. Let’s just say I think our Facebook status would now read “it’s complicated”. The second course was a deconstructed nicoise salad with raw kingfish that was wistful and eloquent. A classic main of perfectly pink filet mignon was generous and robust, but it was dessert that left the biggest impression. An ‘assiette de chocolat’, dolled up in fairy floss was a sinful trio that left my palate on edge. Sensual and seductive, our table could only say four words of our experience: ‘très bien Trippas White’.

Sami-Jo Adelman

Read more about The Restaurant here

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Filed under Events, Reviews, Sydney CBD, The Restaurant