Sydney - Special Occasion Restaurant

Old Jan 10th, 2005, 03:32 AM
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Sydney - Special Occasion Restaurant

Looking for a recommendation for a special occasion restaurant in Sydney (getting a jump on Valentine's Day while we are there in February). Cost is not decisive, but it would be nice to have something walking distance from our hotel -- we will be staying at the Observatory Hotel in the Rocks. We like all types of cuisine, but would be most interested in Australian. Any suggestions?
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 04:02 AM
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Australia is pretty good when it comes to seafood, and Doyle's Seafood Restaurant on Pier One certainly has the edge on just about anything else within walking distance of the Observatory when it comes to view: at the water's edge, it looks straight out at Sydney Harbour and the Opera House. This is not the ORIGINAL Doyle's (where Russell Crowe was once a waiter); that one is out at Watson's Bay, reached by an easy ferry ride from Circular Quay (the ferry terminal is also within easy walking distance of the Observatory).

The Benelong Restaurant at the Opera House might also be a pleasant, if overpriced, experience.... it looks at Doyle's on Pier One, and, beyond that, the Harbour Bridge. And you could combine the evening with a concert or an opera in one of the most instantly-recognisable buildings in the world.

I never eat at any of these establishments, myself, so I am only repeating what has previously been said on this forum with this last piece of advice: be very wary of choosing a restaurant on top of a tower, or one which revolves. You get, apparently, a fantastic view, as if from a plane, but the food tastes a bit like you were on a plane, also... and the bill, when it comes, will make you think you're being asked to pay for the flight! The sad truth seems to be, if you have a view to die for, you can serve up mediocre food and maybe nobody will notice, or care. Of course, this MAY be true of Benelong, also... but, at least, it doesn't revolve!
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 05:20 PM
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Hi Callaloo..I've been away for a couple of weeks so have only just seen your request. There is an ongoing argument here as to whether anything can be said to be Australian cuisine and I often see things being described as " modern Australian " but I'd say Alan is probably right when he says seafood is as close to it as we come. Also he is right about how much it might cost but after all you want a special occasion place..so I'll give you my favourite and others.It is Quay restaurant not far from your hotel ( although of course there is a swish one in the Observatory Hotel itself).Quay is on the upper level of the overseas shipping passenger terminal at the Rocks ( ph 92515600 or www.quay.com.au ). It has a view of the harbour, great food and service and a nice ambiance.Others nearby ( but without the view) are Rockpool (107 George St, The Rocks..ph 92521888 or www.rockpool.com) and Est (252 George St ph 92403010 or www.merivale.com). I've been to Benelong that Alan mentioned and liked it but not as well as any of the three above. Hope I am not too late. Enjoy!
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Old Jan 24th, 2005, 05:59 PM
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Ditto on Quay. Absolutely incredible setting but hold onto your wallet. This past November, from our table, one of us faced Harbour Bridge and the other the Opera House. Excellent food but it's difficult to get 'bad' food in Sydney.
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 05:19 PM
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If you want to go a bit further out - perhaps by bus or taxi - I'll wave the flag for Seans Panaroma, at North Bondi, overlooking the beach.

02 9365 4924

This is about my favourite restaurant in Sydney - and I've lived here all my life (so far!) Mod Oz food, great service - wonderful views in daytime over the ocean.
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Old Jan 31st, 2005, 07:45 PM
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Rockpool is about as good as it gets. No view but the food is fabulous. 15-20 mins walk from your hotel.
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Old Feb 1st, 2005, 08:56 PM
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I have been to Est. It's a lovely restaurant with great service, but be prepared to pay for it.

The Summit is one of those revolving restaurants in Australia Square (close to Wynyard Station). I'm not sure about the quality of the food, but I have been to the Orbit bar up there which is pretty good. Cocktails are about $17AU and their service is great. If you don't want to eat there, maybe you could go before or after dinner.
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