What are the best Sydney restaurants?

Jan 12th, 2006, 02:06 AM
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The Oceanic Cafe sounds like a gem. An eating house that treats tie-wearers as undesirables upholds the finest traditions of Australian hospitality. And I'll bet they'd whip up a good lamb's fry, bacon and onions if you asked them, too. RichardJ should be aware that the Central Station end of Elizabeth Street isn't exactly ultra-chic, though. "Serviceable" might be the politest way of describing it. The view isn't to die for, either.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Jan 12th, 2006, 03:10 AM
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While I completely agree with your comments concerning Australians always dressing casually for dining out, the same cannot be said for entering a golf club. I'm looking at joining this club and it begs the question, what is allowed.


Geordie is online now  
Jan 12th, 2006, 01:24 PM
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Thanks for giving me my first good laugh of the day, Geordie. The club's regulations give a whole new meaning to the term "fashion police". But any place that doesn't ban shorts with long socks is pretty questionable IMO.

Are you tempted to repeat Groucho Marx's line "I wouldn't want to join any club that would have me as a member"?
Neil_Oz is offline  
Jan 12th, 2006, 05:15 PM
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fuzzylogic, your assumption re Doyle's at Watsons Bay is dead right. Very overpriced for average only food. It does have that magnificent view but you can get the same view next door in the Hotel beer garden with seafood cooked to order at a fraction of the cost!
Peteralan is offline  
Jan 12th, 2006, 06:04 PM
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Flying Fish is always raved about, but I wouldn't recommend The Boathouse (I found it overpriced for pretty average food). Haven't been to Doyles proper, but have pulled in to the wharf on our boat for takeaway which was dreadful. Those I know who have been to Doyle's have been disappointed. Good seafood at Nicks (Cockle Bay) or Jordan's (Darling Harbour). If you get to Balmain (you could walk from the ferry although the hill is huge - but there are 2 pubs on the way!!) try Kazbah on Darling, La Lupa, L'unico or any one of many and varied restaurants. The Mixing Pot in Glebe is a personal favourite as is Astral at Star City. There are many pubs that have really good and innovative food too. You don't have to pay through the nose to eat well in Sydney.
Daneille is offline  
Jan 13th, 2006, 12:08 PM
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Thanks to all of these helpful posts I think we will just wing it and not get involved with these fancy, haute cusine book-ahead restaurants. I will copy down all of the favorite places recommended (and ones to avoid). I am considering not taking a sports coat but then I might feel odd at Pirates of Penzance in the Opera house without. Sounds like we can relax and not worry about making decisions in advance. Very grateful to everyone.
RichardJ is offline  
Jan 13th, 2006, 02:39 PM
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We were at a Ballet performance in the Opera House in December and there were many men (of all ages) not wearing coats. They were all in collared shirts and trousers and as is the norm these days some of the younger ones were in jeans.
Although the theatre was air conditioned it was still very warm and certainly a coat would have made you quite uncomfortable.
prue is offline  
Jan 14th, 2006, 06:27 AM
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This is a little off thread, but the question about attire relates to best restaurants, performance halls, etc.

We are Americans and were in Sydney a few years ago, husband, wife, 2 daughters. We were staying in Cronulla and took the train to Sydney for the day, toured the Opera House etc. We wore clothes meant for walking around, for an active day of sightseeing. After the Opera House tour my husband learned that there would be a concert that night with tickets available and he wanted to go with our older daughter. They were definitely not dressed for the theatre or a concert according to our "hometown" expectations! But an Australian we encountered said they should do it anyway. Said it would be very un-Australian to exclude people like that. So they went (and I returned by train to Cronulla with our younger daughter)

Their report was that there were people dressed all kinds of ways at the concert. There were people in fancy dress and people in jeans. They wished they'd been dressed a bit better but enjoyed the concert and didn't feel "looked down upon". They had a lovely conversation with an elderly Australia man at intermission who was quite dressed up. This is one of the things I LOVE about Australia.
LynAK is offline  
Jan 26th, 2006, 12:28 PM
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If you are looking for a 'special occasion' dining experience, second the recommendation for Quay. Make sure you get a window table though - window is designed like a cockpit and the view is amazing - had the Harbour Bridge on one side and the Opera House on the other side.

Went to Aria last week and was disappointed - food was very average and overpriced.

Since you are after views, there is a strip of restaurants in the King St Wharf area that are worth a try. Another option is Bather's Pavilion at Balmoral Beach.

Sydney is very multicultural and there is a lot of good food. So, depends on what you want to eat 'Mod oz', Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Italian, Seafood, Turkish, Lao..you can pretty much find it all!

Also check out www.sydneyeats.com.au and www.eatability.com.au
for more ideas/reviews from locals
jenster007 is offline  
Jan 31st, 2006, 03:42 AM
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For a truly memorable and fun evening, what about the Lowenbrau Keller at the Rocks (www.lowenbraukeller.com.au) a very well known Bavarian/German restaurant with oompah band entertainment 7 nights a week. Great atmosphere and well worth it if you like that sort of thing.
AussiegallovesUSA is offline  
Jan 31st, 2006, 03:47 AM
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Forgot to mention we have been to Doyles at the Quay and were very disappointed. I thought it was very overpriced for fish and rice/potato/chips - they don't serve vegetables or salad - you can't even order them on the side, they simply don't have them.
AussiegallovesUSA is offline  
Jan 31st, 2006, 06:35 AM
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from a food-loving new yorker....

LONGRAIN on commonwealth in surrey hills (hip)
BILLS (any of them)- best breakfast in town. (hip and casual)
BLUE GINGER in balmain (casual)
TETSUYA in the city. best dinner we've ever had. (fancy fancy)
LOTUS in Potts Point. gorgeous cocktails in the back bar. (hip)

have fun!

Icebergs is great for drinks....
BellaZ is offline  
Jan 31st, 2006, 11:28 AM
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Now I am totally overwhelmed with so many great choices. We will only have 5 dinners so I have no idea how we will decide. We found a fabulous little breakfast place in New York City near our hotel in Times Square. For $5.95 we had two eggs, hash browns, toast and 5 strips of bacon! We were so full that we skipped lunch each day. Would we be able to find a little hole in the wall breakfast place near the Sydney Four Seasons?
RichardJ is offline  
Jan 31st, 2006, 07:49 PM
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Not at that price.
Bokhara is offline  
Jan 31st, 2006, 10:31 PM
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No-one mentioned my favourite, Seans Panaroma, at North Bondi. Great view of the beach (apart from N Bondi SLSC!) - and really good food. Not cheap - but well worth the trip. May be best for lunch or early evening, if you are going to Bondi anyway.

Second Longrain as really outstanding Thai.

I have been requested to go (at my expense) to a $200/head dinner at Galileo, in the Observatory Hotel, on Saturday night. I'm not sure if food can be that [email protected] ! Should I just offer to meet them at Harry's Cafe de Wheels after?!
margo_oz is offline  
Jan 31st, 2006, 10:52 PM
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Hi Margo, if it were my $200, I'd be off to Tetsuyas with it.(LOL) I remember when Bilsons opened at the Quay, there was a black truffle risotto appetiser for $84. My dining companion, not unused to spending a $, opined that for $84, he'd want the truffle finding pig as well! We passed on it
Bokhara is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 02:16 AM
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Now I am really confused - why are you staying at the Four Seasons and asking about gourmet restaurants if 2 eggs, etc. in a hole in the wall (or "greasy spoon") is what you hanker for?

Nowhere at that price I can think of in the CBD though there are great places for brekkie in the inner suburbs, at about that price (or a little more) for the "plate" - it's the coffee and orange juice that bump it up to the $15 AUS mark.

But they aren't open for dinner.
fuzzylogic is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 03:52 AM
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Richard, for that price in Sydney you'd be best hopping on bus down Elizabeth St and trying the Oceanic, mentioned somewhere above by Crosswords.
pat_woolford is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 06:46 AM
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We aren't trying to be cheap. Some of the best breakfast places are simple and unpretentious, serving great morning food. As a tourist, breakfast provides energy for the day and we always try to avoid the heavy, rich foods for breakfast. Ambiance is not important to us for breakfast. Where we sleep at night really doesn't impact what we want to eat (plus we got a great deal, stay 3 nights get the 4th night free)
RichardJ is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 08:21 AM
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My favorite restaurants in Australia are the BYO restaurants. Bring a bottle of wine that you purchased from a liquor store and they will open it for you for free. I found several around Oxford Street area of Sydney.
wally34949 is offline  

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