2012 Restaurant List – Why I will return!

Over the Christmas break, I had time to reflect on my experience of Sydney’s restaurant scene for 2012. Overall, it was fantastic. There are always some disappointments of course, but I will happily return to about 70% of the restaurants I visited last year. Below are the restaurants I would return to and why:

  • 4Fourteen for hip atmosphere, smoked salmon bread and bounty dessert.
  • AKI’s for fine Indian flavours, and the cardamom and pistachio kulfi.
  • Azuma for outstanding sushi and sashimi.
  • Barrafinna for the range of tasty tapas and spanish wines.
  • Bentley for fantastic food and wine matches.
  • Buffalo Dining Club for buffalo mozarella and antipasto plate.
  • Cafe Morso for views of Sydney harbour and outstanding breakfast dishes.

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  • Catalina for stunning 180 degrees views of the harbour.
  • Chez Dee for great decor, atmosphere and service.
  • Chiswick for its laid-back, country feel and lovely garden.
  • DOV for original and always delicious breakfast dishes – in particular those with brioche.
  • Food Society for well-priced, modern Eastern European fare.

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  • Guillaume at Bennelong for top french dishes and very professional service.
  • GPO Cheese and Wine Room for the somewhat mysterious atmosphere, and cheese and wine flights.
  • Jimmy Liks for beef cheeks in green curry.
  • Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse at Woolloomooloo Wharf for mud crab in Singapore chilli sauce, green beans with almonds, and stunning views.
  • Malabar Darlinghurst for chicken chettinad, and okra masala.
  • Marque for its exquisitely refined tasting menu.
  • Mere Catherine for quail with raisins, and profiteroles.
  • Momofuku for the surprising and exciting tasting menu.

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  • Mr Wong for superlative surrounds, steamed lobster with ginger and shallots, pork and chives dumplings, and service a step above traditional Asian restaurants.
  • Ms G’s for funky atmosphere, intensely flavoursome dishes and margaritas.
  • No. 9 for Bruschetta with poached eggs and avocado salsa.
  • Ocean Room for views of the Opera House and an interesting, well priced, degustation.
  • Pendolino for beef carpaccio with truffle oil, and veal pasta with bone marrow.
  • Pilu at Freshwater for the picturesque setting, and panacotta.
  • Porteno for the best vegetable dishes in town.
  • Public Dining Room for idyllic views, and Boston style baked beans with ham hock.
  • Sushi-e for the sashimi platter, infused kingfish carpaccio and Waygu beef score 9.
  • Sushiwa for quality lunch time sushi with a modern take.
  • Rockpool Bar & Grill for grandiose decor, wood fire grilled king prawns, and Cape Grim rib-eye on the bone.
  • Sepia for chocolate forest and other sophisticated dishes.
  • Sky Pheonix for wok-fried snake beans, deboned roast duck, prawn and spinach dumplings, and crab in spicy salt and chilli.
  • The Alibi for seared scallops & ocean trout tartare, and banana harumaki.

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  • The Apollo for taramasalata of mullet roe and Kritharaki pasta with braised oxtail. 
  • The Bather’s Pavillon for sights and sounds of the sea, and pistachio and raspberry gateau.

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  • The Owl House for duck terrine, cocktails and friendly service.
  • The Sardine Room for consistently delicious seafood dishes and attentive wait staff.
  • The Winery for the beer garden and Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc by the glass.
  • Universal for “Gaytime goes Nuts”, and great cocktails.
  • Watermoon for reasonably priced, yet delicious, sushi and sashimi, and Wagyu beef steak with sweet miso sauce.

Because I eat take-away pretty much every working lunch, I am also going to list my 3 favourite places for an on-the-run weekday lunch:

  • CBD Noodles for flat rice noodles with chicken / beef, oyster sauce and Malaysian chilli paste
  • Guzman & Gomez for mini burrito or soft-shell tacos with chicken guerrero or pork chipolte
  • Sabbaba for messy but tasty Algerian falafel roll

Please note that a number of restaurants haven’t made the list. What are your recommendations for 2013? I’d love to read them in the comment box below.

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4 Responses to 2012 Restaurant List – Why I will return!

  1. Fiona says:

    Fantastic photography Doe! I am feeling quite hungry after looking at these pictures.

  2. Tim Rosser says:

    Doe, I come back to this list every time I need an idea. Thank you.

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