• First look: Bar Louise, a new tapas and wine bar by the Porteno Group in Enmore Road’s old Marie-Louise Salon. The former Stanbuli digs have been brightened up with beautiful terracotta and rust colours, and mid-century-inspired flourishes. The produce-driven menu pulls from Europe in dishes such as house-made chorizo, charcoal-grilled vegetables and smoked paprika octopus.
• Lennox Hastie’s inviting new Surry Hills wine bar Gildas is a love letter to Spain’s Basque region. The sister venue to Firedoor, it’s a celebration of the vibrant pintxos bars of northern Spain. The menu offers Australian ingredients with Basque-inspired touches (think a sherry-rubbed ham from NSW’s Northern Tablelands, and a “Grillda” with finger lime), and a taste of Spain via imported jamon iberico and a drinks list that’ll change how you feel about sherry.
• First look: Merivale opens the Surf Deck on Collaroy Beach, with smashing views and tropical cocktails. It’s the perfect spot to hole up for the afternoon with snacks by Mimi’s and Bert’s executive chef Jordan Toft, including a chilli-spiked yellowfin tuna tostada, battered-fish tacos and calamari fritti, as well as a Pina Colada that’s “a thing of iced beauty”.
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• First look: Bar Grazie, a “casually luxe” Italian restaurant and bar exuding old-world charm in Elizabeth Bay. It’s by Barry McDonald, the influential Sydney restaurateur who opened Fratelli Fresh back when it was a provedore, and its sidekick restaurant Sopra. Lean into Italian-style spritzes, saltimbocca made “the Roman way” with chicken wrapped up in prosciutto and sage, and pappardelle with Wagyu bolognaise.
• First look: Bar Conte, an intimate Italian-inspired bar in Surry Hills dedicated to the Negroni. Named for the inventor of the Negroni, there are 20 classic Negronis and Negroni adaptations, Negroni-infused smallgoods and a collection of aperitivi and digestivi so rare they’re hard to find even in Italy. You won’t find anything else like it in Sydney.
• First look: Alice, the plush new basement bar in The Rocks from the group behind Rockpool Bar & Grill. Follow the staircase, part the heavy velvet curtains and enter a glamorous subterranean space serving considered cocktails – including a silky number made with pisco, lime, Nippy’s iced banana milk and makrut lime syrup – and snacks inspired by dishes at its sister restaurants, including a katsu pork sando with a hint of yuzu, and raw kingfish on crackers.
• At new Chinatown restaurant, Porkfat, a Long Chim alumnus is cooking punchy Thai food. The menu at the 30-seater riffs off Thai street food and home-style cooking. Find deep-fried barramundi with mango salad, Phuket-style curry with tiger prawns and betel leaves, and a refreshing coconut ice-cream with roasted peanuts and candied pumpkin.
• Sharon Kwan Kitchen swaps its Petersham digs for a roaming food truck with outstanding curries. Its beloved char kway teow is off the menu – but you’ll find fiery beef rendang, chickpea masala, chicken wings, curry puffs, roti wraps and a rich sago pudding.
• First look: Rekodo, Matt Moran’s good-looking new Japanese-inspired listening bar in Barangaroo House. Its top-of-the-range speakers will be pumping out tracks hand-picked by Meg Mac, Donny Benét and more, as diners dig into a playful menu of DIY handrolls, kingfish nori tartlets and a show-stopping snapper karaage. Plus, two omakase options and a solid library of sake.
• First look: choose your own experience at Rafi, a dynamic new 300-seat restaurant and bar in North Sydney. By the group behind The Butler and Bopp and Tone, diners can settle under a colourful umbrella on the sprawling outdoor terrace for a cocktail and snacks such as oysters or Cantabrian anchovies. Or, pull up a seat in the handsome main dining room for Glacier 51 toothfish skewers, crispy lamb ribs and grilled lobster with cultured butter.
• Now open in a former Sydney CBD warehouse: a stylish brasserie, and a deli, all-day diner and wine bar. Dixson & Sons and Henry’s Bread and Wine are the first two venues to open in the new Porter House development. Fish Butchery’s former head chef is leading the stylish brasserie Dixson & Sons, with dishes that include a show-stopping beef Wellington and hay-aged duck. Or get morning pastries and coffee, grab-and-go sandwiches, and wine and cheese at Henry’s.
• Enjoy vegan cinnamon scrolls and croissants at Miss Sina, the sunny new Marrickville bakery by Nutie Donuts. While Nutie is gluten-free, Miss Sina brings flour into the fold for an entirely vegan menu that also includes a German pastry that’s the love child of a croissant and a cinnamon scroll, garlic bread pretzels and pizza croissant scrolls.
• Now open: George St Deli, bringing a slice of New York’s bagel scene to Redfern. Tuck into a Lox Classic packed with house-made cream cheese and smoked trout, paired with house-made lemonade – then follow it up with a giant chewy, double-choc-fudge cookie.
• Glebe cafe Oh My Days has been reimagined as a fully vegan patisserie. The plant-based cafe has homed in on the baked goods that have become its signature – including a croissant made with shea butter that took eight months to perfect, baklava croissants, eclairs and seasonal fruit danishes.
• Step back in time to ’40s Mexico City at sultry bar and restaurant Londres 126 in the Quay Quarter Lanes precinct. From the group behind Santa Catarina, Calita and Casa Merida, it’s heavy on the mezcal and fuses global influences with Mexican standards. Visit for a crispy taco filled with potato and cheese, cocktails named after Frida Kahlo paintings and lockers for stashing bottles of mezcal for future visits.
• Now open: Dusk Club is the new late-night jazz bar upstairs at the CBD’s Edinburgh Castle Hotel. Channelling the golden era of jazz, the intimate bar is having fun with gin-based classics. Plus, there’s an easygoing snack menu, including charcuterie and cheese boards, and live music till the small hours.
• After a massive $15 million renovation, Sans Souci’s St George Sailing Club reopens – and it’s a beauty. The new space appears to float over the water – and it has a fresh menu to match, including seaside classics (seafood platters and fish’n’chips included) and a sophisticated raw bar serving tuna tartare with pickled fennel and lemongrass, and salmon sashimi with black bean ponzu.
• Cheerful new Newtown diner Tokyo Taco puts a Japanese spin on tacos. Though punters were sceptical at first, they’ve been won over by tacos with nori shells filled with house-baked miso salmon or barbequed pulled pork with lime-infused guacamole, and a creamy, plant-based soft serve, all designed by a former Noma chef.
• Natural winemaker Doom Juice opens a “gothic but approachable” cellar door in St Peters. Bathed in red neon lights, it’s pouring natural, organic wines to enjoy in the sunny courtyard, and selling bottles of plonk to take away. Plus, live music, ace chef collaborations every Sunday, a Good Ways Deli pop-up each Friday, and taramasalata, baba ganoush and fresh bread from Marrickville’s Lamia Super Deli.
13 Oct 2022
11 Oct 2022
11 Oct 2022
11 Oct 2022