Sydney’s ever-changing dining scene has welcomed some super strong entries over the past few months, and while there are almost too many to list in just one article, we’ve done our best to zone in on five we think deserve extra special attention. From a Waterloo restaurant bringing an interesting dimension to vegan dining, to the CBD expansion of one of Newtown’s absolute finest drinking and dining spots, take note of these ones and eat your way through Sydney’s lazy summer days.
Continental Deli & Bistro (CBD)
Ask a Newtown local for their best food recommendations, and if Continental Deli isn’t on that list then that person doesn’t even go here. Now one of the inner west’s favourite haunts, Continental Deli has gotten so popular the team behind it – and Porteno, and Bodega, and recently Bella Bruta – have been able to expand to the CBD bringing their cold cuts and canned goods to 167 Phillip Street.
Much of what makes Continental Deli so great has been recreated precisely for the CBD venue, from those addictive canned martinis, super rare and carefully selected cheeses, lunchtime sandwiches, and pastas. The larger space also means a bigger selection of wines on the drinks list, alongside a few new cocktails that should add nicely to the tinned range Continental have become renowned for.
Address: 167 Phillip Street, Sydney
Bopp & Tone (CBD)
Applejack’s latest venture pays homage to their grandfathers Keith ‘Bopp’ Evans and Anthony ‘Tone’ Adams and is fashioned to reflect the optimism and opulence of the post World War II era they’d lived through. Designer Luchetti Krelle has successfully created a comfortable yet luxe experience, generating dark romantic ambience through rich leather furnishings, heavy timber and marble flourishes and vintage pendant lights. It’s a stunning interior, made even better by it’s food and drink.
An open style kitchen located toward the back of the restaurant features a beautiful wood grill and charcoal oven which churn out a diverse range of share food developed by Head Chef Sa Va’afusuaga and Group Executive Chef Jason Roberson. Locally sourced Mooloolaba Prawns basted in chilli, garlic, oregano and lemon, Pecorino doused with wild thyme NZ honey and pepper, Brooklyn Valley Sirloin served with Bearnaise and olive croute and Spiced eggplant with woodside goats curd and pistachio form part of the taster menu showcasing the venue’s culinary ethos and the freshest Australian produce.
Address: 60 Carrington St, Sydney
As plant-based dining becomes more popular in Sydney, Paperbark is in a good place to race to the forefront of the scene. Premium local produce is being turned into elegant vegan dishes like generous gnocchi dumplings in mushroom and pepperberry broth, smoked Portobello mushrooms on paperbark twigs, and smashed avo toast with finger lime and marinated oyster mushrooms. It’s the kind of inventive, honest cooking that even those who aren’t on a vegan diet will gladly show up for. Throw in an impressive drinks list, also which features a strong commitment to exclusively Australian produce and vegan wine, and you’ve got a winner.
Address: 8/18 Danks St, Waterloo
Merivale’s new casual Italian diner opened at The Royal last month, and so far it’s proven a huge hit, especially with chefs Mike Eggert and Khan Danis at the helm. It’s breathed a fresh new life into Bondi’s already rich Italian dining scene, with hand-crafted pastas, meats and classic Italian cocktails framed by a picturesque courtyard and bar on Bondi Road.
Inspired by the simplicity (and success) of his Pinbone pop-up at The Tennyson, Eggert brings his A-game to the menu alongside Denis, who is known as one of the best wood-fired chefs in all of Australia. You’re pretty much guaranteed a satisfying meal here, whether it’s the schnitzels, the steaks, or the pastas.
Address: 283 Bondi Road, Bondi
Tayim (The Rocks)
The Rocks’ Harbour Rocks Hotel has just welcomed Sydney’s newest Middle Eastern restaurant with Tayim, sitting comfortably where modern meets traditional in a space that perfectly fits in with the historic area. The rich cultures of the Middle East have been designed to sit alongside the original heritage features of the space that once belonged to Scarlett Restaurant, with restored sandstone walls and contemporary furnishings, making for a comfortable atmosphere in which to tuck into a generous menu by Head Chef Ran Kimelfeld (formerly of Nour), designed to zone in on bold flavours and share plates cooked using traditional methods on an open grill.
That means diners can expect dishes like grilled sardine shakshuka, summer mushroom borekas, grilled chicken masahan, and time-honoured dishes like roasted figs paired with radicchio, goat’s cheese and chardonnay dressing. The food sits along with a highly curated wine and cocktail selection, carefully put developed by GM Reuvin Lim to complement the spice and earthiness of Ran’s menu.
The attractive space also doubles as Tayim Deli, a by-day iteration that sits adjacent to the restaurant and serves up breakfast and lunch take-away options, as well as Middle Eastern street food, so expect sandwiches and wraps filled with wonderful things like falafel, chicken shish and lamb kofta.
Address: 34 Harrington St, Sydney NSW 2000
Feature image: Totti’s, by Nikki To.