Need help in planning the perfect evening in Sydney

Mar 25th, 2010, 09:30 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 25
Need help in planning the perfect evening in Sydney

Hi Everyone,
I need help in planning the perfect evening in Sydney. Let me explain why. Ever since my wife was a little girl, she has always dreamed about visiting Australia. On our wedding day, I promised her that if she could put up with me for 25 years, I would take her. Well our 25th wedding anniversary is in May, but because our daughter will be graduating college, we decided to go later this summer. This will be our first vacation, just the two of us, since our honeymoon. Through much help from all of you, I have planned and book what I believe to be a great vacation.

We will be finishing our vacation in Sydney, and even though we will not be going over our wedding anniversary, we will be there on the 34th anniversary of our first date. To commemorate that date, Saturday August 14, 2010, we decided to renew our wedding vows. I have hired a wedding celebrant to help us. The ceremony will be done in the afternoon, followed by an afternoon cruise of Sydney Harbor. I want to top off the day with a very romantic evening, which is where I am looking for some help. We will be leaving Australia a day or two later and I want that whole day to be the most memorable of the vacation. I want her to look back on that day 25 years from now and have it bring a smile to her face and a warm feeling in her heart. I’m thinking going to dinner and then something else to top off the night. I would greatly appreciate any and all suggestions.
Scudam is offline  
Mar 25th, 2010, 10:49 AM
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I don't have any dinner suggestions but this all sounds fantastic!! Congrats to you both!
jules39 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2010, 01:39 PM
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Maybe think about the Quay restuarant overlooking the Opera House.

It's not cheap but it won restaurant of the year recently

Geordie is offline  
Mar 25th, 2010, 02:42 PM
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Or Guillaume Brahimi's at the Opera House

preceeded by cocktails (or even after dinner)at the Shangri La
DownUnder is offline  
Mar 25th, 2010, 03:00 PM
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The Summit is fantastic for pre-dinner drinks, the rotation of the bar/restaurant means you get a fabulous view of Sydney.

For dinner I'd recommend est or Tetsuyas, you would need to book well in advance for Tetsuyas.
Susan7 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2010, 03:38 PM
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A few restaurants you might like to consider:

Pier at Rose Bay is in a wonderful position, excellent food and wine list

Tetsuyas - Australia's No. 1 restaurant for years, until bumped this year by:


Marque - Marque has no view and is a more intimate space. Sublime food - 2010 Chef of the year. I've been going there for about 10 years and never been disappointed.

Arguably one of the city's finest hotels, with a view (and price tag) to match, is the Park Hyatt.

You'll have had a very full day, renewing your vows; harbour cruise etc. If you haven't already booked your accommodation, a harbour view suite here would be superb. Is superb. I'd be tempted to have dinner at one of the restaurants along Circular Quay (Quay, Aria, Benelong) and walk back to the Park Hyatt.

My pick of the trio would be Quay, partly because of its proximity to the Park Hyatt and the iconic views, but also because it's an example of the very best we have to offer in terms of service, food - and the management & staff are extremely helpful. (I should add that I've also had special requests handled beyond my expectations at Aria & Benelong).

You might also consider having the Park Hyatt chef prepare something special & have it on your balcony if it's a nice night.

Something Theatrical/Music? May be something on at the Opera House

Sydney Theatre Company
Cate Blanchett & Andrew Upton are the Artistic Directors.

Good restaurant there, too.

If you were doing this at home, where would you go?
Bokhara2 is offline  
Mar 26th, 2010, 07:04 PM
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When I read your request before I saw answers, I immediately thought QUAY restaurant.Great food, service and view . Not inexpensive as others have said but hey this is a special night! If you decide on this , reserve well in advance and ask if it is possible to get a window seat. Tell thenm how important the night is.One proviso though. You will need to check if there will be any cruise ships in on that night as they will completely block the view.Would still be great but even better with that view! I am a sucker for romance so I wish you both all the best.
Peteralan is offline  
Mar 27th, 2010, 07:11 AM
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Thank-you all for the great suggestions however neither my wife nor I are seafood eaters. Can you recommend any steak houses in the area?
Scudam is offline  
Mar 27th, 2010, 07:34 PM
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In Gourmet Traveller Paloma Picasso described Neil Perry's Rockpool Bar & Grill as follows "I don't think there is any other restaurant in the world as beautiful as Rockpool..." Now this guy serves brilliant steaks and although I haven't been to the Sydney restaurant if it is anything like his Melbourne Rockpool, you will have a fantastic steak. Wagyu beef is the specialty.
DownUnder is offline  
Mar 27th, 2010, 10:23 PM
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I had to look up Paloma Picasso, having had no idea who she is, but I would think that the opinion of someone the restaurant knows in advance to be a celebrity should be discounted just a tad.

It's a long time since I and my more proletarian friends (it must have showed) ate at Rockpool, so my view based on that one dire experience (food awful, service contemptuous) may be worth even less than Ms Picasso's.

So I went to Fodors' restaurant reviews and found only one (older ones having seamingly been wiped), as follows:

"Reviewed by Rhardy5554 from Seattle area on 12/30/07
"If you're a meateater, don't bother with Rockpool. If you love fish, you'll like it a lot. Interesting selections and each can be prepared in several ways. On the downside, we thought the service was perfunctory, chairs uncomfortable, and a bit noisy.
Member Rating: 3.0 (out of 5)"

So I went to Trip Advisor (URL below) and found reviews all over the shop. Frankly, there wasn't enough consistency of ratings there to make me comfortable about going back, certainly not at that price.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Mar 28th, 2010, 12:02 PM
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All of the restaurants mentioned serve a variety of foods; none is exclusively fish, and all would have steak on the menu. Our specialty steak restaurants tend not to be "Special Occasion" venues. The one exception that comes to mind is Prime, - more for the prices than the ambience. Located under the old GPO (General Post Office)in Martin Place. Kingsleys have a few locations; probably the most attractive would be the one on the Wooloomooloo finger wharf.
They're typical specialty steak houses and do a good job, but you certainly don't need to go to a steak house to get a fantastic steak here.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Mar 28th, 2010, 10:16 PM
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Here's a list of "100 Greatest Australian Gourmet Experiences" according to latest Australian Traveller magazine which used a panel of chefs, food critics and judges. This is an Australia-wide list which also covers cooking schools, cheese makers, specialty farms, gourmet butchers, etc - Sydney and a few of its suburbs' restaurant rankings are:
3. Quay Restaurant
7. Tetsuya's
14. Aria Sydney
15. Berowra Waters Inn
24. Rockpool Bar and Grill
25. Bilson's Restaurant
30. Longrain
35. Spice Temple
42. Rockpool Sydney
53. Guillaume at Bennelong
61. Billy Kwong
65. Vietnamese at Cabramatta
86. Jonah's (Whale Beach)
pat_woolford is offline  
Mar 28th, 2010, 11:07 PM
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Don't confuse Rockpool with Rockpool Bar and Grill - the latter specialises in steaks.
margo_oz is offline  
Mar 31st, 2010, 04:48 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
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I can recommend Aria in Sydney for a romantic night out. Ask for a table right next to the window - you'll have the Opera House in front of you, the Harbour Bridge to the left and an endless entertaining parade of Sydney Harbour Ferries, Cruise Ships etc. on the water. The food is wonderful and the service is great. It's a bit pricey, but fantastic for a special occasion.
Wooders101 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2010, 04:52 AM
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P.S. Aria's website is If there is a cruise ship in port that night, it won't block your view from Aria.
Wooders101 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2010, 03:27 PM
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If you are looking for something a cut above a normal dinner out, try taking a seaplane from Rose Bay wharf to Berowra Waters Inn on the Hawkesbury river, for a truly spectacular meal. The ride over Sydney late afternoon/evening will leave you breathless (if the weather is nice). We recently enjoyed an anniversary lunch at Berowra Waters Inn ( though we didn't spring for the 12 minute plane ride). They have a wonderful tasting menu where you get a free choice of 4, 5 or 6 dishes from the extensive menu, with execellnet wines to match. A truly memorable outing.
irenen is offline  
Apr 11th, 2010, 11:48 AM
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Congrats, this sounds so amazing. What a good husband you are.
amelie is offline  
Apr 11th, 2010, 03:41 PM
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I just returned from my first trip to Sydney. I have been to many of the great cities in the world and I don't call anyone my favorite. They are all too different to compare. But after visiting Sydney, I now have a favorite park...the Sydney Botanical Gardens. Please stroll through the gardens on your special day!!! Maybe twice, day time and at night. My suggestion is the only that won't require you to bust out your wallet.
Congrats and enjoy
celusnek is offline  

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