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Drinking and Dining in Sydney- What's New

by Paul Hawes on 05 February 2016, 14:02PM

Sydney is bursting at the seams with places to eat and drink, many of them new and some of them operated by Sydney’s biggest names. Peter Gilmore’s Bennelong at the Sydney Opera House is set to open within weeks while recent openings include Sake at Double Bay, Billy Kwong in Potts Point, Tim Ho Wan in Chatswood, and Chiswick at the Gallery in The Domain.

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Situated in the back streets of Surry Hills and housed within a heritage building on Mary Street, Firedoor is Lennox Hastie’s acclaimed new restaurant featuring an open kitchen that centres around custom-made wood-fired ovens, grills and an Australian-made Aga. Hastie spent five years working at Etxebarri in Spain where he was inspired by a strong tradition of wood-fired grilling over an open flame. Nelly Robinson’s new restaurant, Nel, is located near Central Station in the basement of Central Station Hotel. Inspired by working with acclaimed chef Nigel Howarth (Michelin-starred Northcote Manor, UK), Nel’s menu showcases the best seasonal produce with a monthly changing seasonal degustation menu.

Other newcomers are located in Sydney’s up-and-coming neighbourhoods sprinkled around the city centre. Inner-city Chippendale has recently undergone an exciting urban renaissance from industrial landscape to cool dining, fashion and arts neighbourhood. Best eats here right now are Ester, LP’s Quality Meats and Brickfields Bakery, with more big names to come in 2015. Automata will be Clayton Wells’ first solo restaurant following stints at Momofuku Seiõbo and Quay; Kensington Street Social will be Michelin-starred Jason Atherton’s first Australian venue; while Noma graduate, Sam Miller, will head up his first restaurant, Silvereye.

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Just south of the city centre, Rosebery has also morphed from industrial to fabulous food hotspot with Kitchen by Mike, Black Star Pastry, and Da Mario pizzeria. In Redfern, top-notch modern Korean restaurant, Moon Park, has won an army of fans, and hip new bars such as Arcadia Liquors and The Bearded Tit have transformed the area into a burgeoning nightlife destination.

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Quirky, classy and full of personality, small bars are cropping up all over Sydney, serving sassy cocktails, boutique beers, wines by the glass and small-plate foods. A quick selection includes Monopole in Potts Point, The Gretz in Enmore, Bloodwood in Newtown, Love, Tilly Devine in Darlinghurst and 121BC in Surry Hills. In the city, the Baxter Inn has an extraordinary whisky collection; Frankie’s Pizza is a big, dark rock ‘n’ roll space with pinball machines and pumping party tunes; and Papa Gede’s is a voodoo-inspired little bar with comfy couches, church pews and soft candlelight.

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