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Matty Hirsch

Matty Hirsch

Matty Hirsch is Time Out's former Sydney Acting Food and Drink Editor.

Articles (55)

The best ramen in Sydney

The best ramen in Sydney

Ramen, more than any other soup, will divide people. Are you after an opaque tonkotsu or a brighter chicken shoyu broth? Firm hand-cut noodles or soft squiggly noodles? Do you add in some intense black garlic or keep it simple? Would you like your chasu extra fatty or thinly sliced and lean? Each ramen house will have its own distinctive broth, but toppings (mushrooms, eggs, seaweed, bamboo and corn) and seasonings (soy, miso, salt) let you cater to your own tastes. Need a winter challenge? Find your favourite ramen in Sydney the old fashioned way – try them all. We did, and regret nothing except that we now need to buy bigger jeans. Stay in the loop: sign up for our free Time Out Sydney newsletter for more news, straight to your inbox. RECOMMENDED READS: Still hungry? These are the best restaurants in Sydney right now. Want more? Check out our guide to the best Japanese restaurants in town.

The best restaurants in the CBD

The best restaurants in the CBD

Virtually every suburb in Sydney can boast a world-class eatery (or several), but none rival the CBD for the sheer number of exceptional dining options on offer. Time Out Sydney's critics, including Food & Drink Editor Avril Treasure, have cherry-picked the best tables to book in the heart of the city, whether you're stepping out for a business lunch, a pre-show bite, or a swanky degustation. Stay in the loop: sign up for our free Time Out Sydney newsletter for more news, travel inspo and activity ideas, straight to your inbox.  RECOMMENDED READS: Want something a little more casual? Check out our guide to the best cheap eats in the city. Nightcap anyone? Polish off your meal with a drink at one of these fine cocktail bars. 

The best hotels in Sydney

The best hotels in Sydney

The Emerald City is peppered with a whole host of stellar hotels that each individually carry their own little sparkly slice of je ne sais quoi. Whether you’re in town for one night, want a longer stay, are flitting through for business, or are travelling to Sydney for the very first time and want to make sure you’re in the best possible spot to properly explore the city, we have you covered. Having earned our stripes reviewing hotels across the country, our team of writers (including Lifestyle Writer Winnie Stubbs and our Travel and News Editor Melissa Woodley) have shared their top picks – along with top tips on how to make the most of your stay. From five-star luxury to boutique boltholes, this list is our edit of the best hotels in Sydney (in no particular order). Warning: it'll be hard for you to choose just one to stay at! Sorry, not sorry. Rather stay under canvas? Find the best glamping sites in NSW or the best camping near Sydney. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

The best cocktail bars in Sydney

The best cocktail bars in Sydney

No one is pretending that cocktails are a cost-effective way to relax or party in Sydney. In a city where a $25 cocktail isn't an uncommon price tag, you really want to know that what's in your glass has been shaken and stirred by the best in the business. Here, Time Our Sydney critics, including Food & Drink Editor Avril Treasure, have put together a list of the best places for cocktails in Sydney that you can always trust to give you an outstanding drink in exchange for your hard-earned. You're welcome.  Want something a bit stiffer? Try one of the the best bars in Sydney. Or still hungry? Try one of Sydney's best cheap eats. Or head up to one of Sydney's best rooftop bars.

The best private dining rooms in Sydney

The best private dining rooms in Sydney

There are times when dining among strangers in the atmospheric clatter of a restaurant is just what you’re after. Then there are times when that simply won’t do, and what you’d really like is a private room with your people. Ideally that room isn't in your own house, either – it's in one of Sydney’s best restaurants, where a team of trained professionals does the heavy lifting. Happily, that is entirely achievable. From the laidback saltwater vibes of the Bathers’ Pavilion to the perfected polish of Quay, to the rollicking good times at Hubert, here’s a handy list of the best private dining rooms in Sydney. Book one for your next office function, big celebration – or when you just don’t feel like doing the dishes. Going out for dinner with a smaller group? Check out Sydney's best restaurants. Prefer dining in the great outdoors? Have a look at the best places for a picnic in Sydney.

The 66 best cafés in Sydney right now

The 66 best cafés in Sydney right now

Autumn 2024 update: Breathe in the fresh autumn air and start your morning on the right note with a cracking brekkie and coffee at one of Sydney’s best cafés below. How many have you checked out? Sydneysiders are café people. We're constantly on the hunt for the city's best coffee, we won't bat an eyelid over shelling out $30+ a head for brunch, and we love nothing more than donning our finest sport-luxe activewear and catching up with mates on a weekend morning over eggs, fritters and crusty artisan sourdough. So, whether it's a reward for tackling one of Sydney's most beautiful walks, a quick caffeinated catch-up, an indulgent hangover fix after a night at one of the city's best bars, or a workday coffee stop, these are the best Sydney cafés, according to our in-the-know Time Out Sydney critics, including Food & Drink Editor Avril Treasure. We'll have one B&E roll, please.  Is it lunch time? Check out our guide to Sydney's best restaurants right now.

The 57 best pubs in Sydney right now

The 57 best pubs in Sydney right now

Autumn 2024 update: Happy autumn, folks. If you’re craving a chilled beer, steak and chips and a relaxed vibe, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ve rounded up Sydney’s very best pubs, where everyone is welcome. There's a lot that goes into making a great pub. They need to furnish you with an excellent meal and friendly service, and a game of pool or darts doesn't go astray. On a sunny day, it's all about having a welcoming beer garden. There are a lot of rock-solid pubs in this city, and these are our picks of the bunch, pulled together by Time Out Sydney critics, including Food & Drink Editor Avril Treasure. Cheers. For something a bit less pubby, a bit higher end, see our picks of the best bars in Sydney. Hungry? Check out our ultimate guide to Sydney's best restaurants. 

The 63 best cheap eats in Sydney right now

The 63 best cheap eats in Sydney right now

Autumn 2024 update: Cozzie livs is hurting us all, but that doesn’t mean you need to stay home this autumn and survive on tuna and rice, thanks to our city’s incredible cheap eats. The best bit? Often they rival any dishes you would find in any fancy fine diner. We’ve rounded up our favourite places with prices that won’t burn a hole in your wallet. Because life’s too short to eat bad food. Going out for a meal is sometimes a big occasion, worth the splurge. But it doesn't have to be that way. From banh mi to tonkotsu ramen, biang biang noodles to vegan burgers, and pretty much everything else in between, some of Sydney's greatest culinary hits are the cheapest. Time Out Sydney critics, including Food & Drink Editor Avril Treasure, have eaten their way around town to bring you this list, and while cheap isn't what it used to be, there are still lots of excellent affordable venues to check out. These are the ones well worth their salt. Want to spend less at the big-ticket players? Check out our cheap fine-dining hacks. Looking for a café to sit down at for coffee and brunch? Here's our guide to the best cafés in Sydney.

The 67 best bars in Sydney right now

The 67 best bars in Sydney right now

Autumn 2024 update: The cooler weather may be on its way but that doesn’t mean we’re keen to stay home. Whether you’re heading out on a date, want an after-work tipple, or in for a long session, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to rocking bars in Sydney. Below, you’ll find the very best ones. This list represents our picks of the best bars in Sydney right now, from fresh faces to tried-and-tested temples of great drinks, ranked by our local editors, critics and fellow booze hounds including Time Out Sydney's Food & Drink Editor Avril Treasure. We’re looking for quality above all, with fun, flavour, atmosphere, creativity and options at every price point. Currently, we're obsessed with Sydney's hot new spot, The Caterpillar Club, debauchery den Pleasure Club, killer sake bar Ante, Darlinghurst's newest bar tinged with nostalgia The Waratah, and PS40 for excellent cocktails. Cheers to you, Sydney. After a watering hole that's a bit more casual? See our list of the best pubs in Sydney, here. After a meal? Check out our best restaurants here.

The best restaurants in Sydney right now

The best restaurants in Sydney right now

Autumn 2024 update: Hey autumn, so glad you’re here, with your still-pleasant weather, fresh air and gorgeous leaves. Sydney’s dining scene is as red-hot as ever, and this guide is the place to start. Here's our list of Time Out's best restaurants in Sydney right now, from hot newcomers to time-honoured institutions, curated by our expert local editors and critics who have tasted their way through Sydney, including Time Out's Food & Drink Editor Avril Treasure.  How did we narrow it down to the very best? When deciding, we considered fun, flavour, creativity, value for money – and 'wow' factor. So yes, of course, you’ll find a fine diner inside the Sydney Opera House here, but you’ll also find neighbourhood pasta, hole-in-the-wall Thai and venues right by the sea. Our picks right now are seafood haven Saint Peter, NY-style steakhouse Clam Bar, timeless vegan diner Yellow, and gorgeous trattoria Palazzo Salato. (Be sure to check out our guide to Sydney's best new restaurants, too.) Happy dining, Sydney. RECOMMENDED READS: After a drink? Check out our favourite bars in Sydney. Or: Our list of the best cheap eats.

The best seafood restaurants in Sydney

The best seafood restaurants in Sydney

Located on a sparkling harbour and fringed by idyllic beaches, Sydney is a true seafood city. We love our fish and chips, we've got one of the biggest seafood markets in the country and a bunch of incredible waterfront restaurants. So where are the best restaurants for eating the ocean's gifts? Whether you want to enjoy a perfect piece of fish served simply with lemon and olive oil at Margaret, dig into a ripping fish pie at The Rover, get around a whole mud crab at Mr Wong or try fish offal at Saint Peter, Time Out Sydney's critics, including Food & Drink Editor Avril Treasure, have eaten their way around the city's fresh spots – and these are the best seafood restaurants in Sydney.  Want more? Check out our guide to the best Sydney restaurants.

The 48 best rooftop bars in Sydney

The 48 best rooftop bars in Sydney

We're all about a secret underground dive bar or two – but in a city as beautiful as Sydney, it seems like a damn shame to retreat into the depths for every tipple. From a sundowner by the harbour to a sunny rooftop in the Inner West, our town is awash with sky-high watering holes. So we've rounded up the best spots in the city to sip a cold one under a gorgeous open sky. But drinkers beware: Sydney's rooftop bars play host to some of the most contested seats in the city, so get in early for a spot in the sun.  For more al fresco drinking try one of Sydney's best beer gardens. Looking for another top-notch watering hole? Check out the best bars in Sydney.

Listings and reviews (92)

Stanley's on Stanley

Stanley's on Stanley

This little pocket of good times on the Stanley Street strip has gone through a few changes of hands over the years, but since 2019, the forces behind the long-lived Sunday S.A.S.H parties and Enmore’s legendary but sadly now closed Sly Fox Hotel are in charge. The hot pink façade lives on, but inside they’ve traded the kooky Wes Anderson references and Grand Budapest Hotel vibe for a scheme that nods more to Miami Vice. It’s true as much about the interiors (flashes of teal and pink, fluoro, neon, the Astroturf courtyard) as it is about the tunes laid down by an ever-changing line-up of respected locals, which lean disco and house. Thursdays are BYO record nights, where punters can book a spot on the turnies and spin faves from their own collections. Cocktails are just as fun and freewheeling, from pickleback shots to tropical concoctions like the Flamingo Run, which teams vodka with watermelon, pomegranate and basil. Local craft brewers keep the taps flowing, and if hunger strikes there are three toasties at the ready, including a Camembert, truffle and Vegemite number dubbed the Triple Dare. Challenge accepted.

Barangaroo House

Barangaroo House

Is it a spaceship? Three giant bowls stacked on top of each other? No, it's Barangaroo House! The behemoth took four years of research, design and development before its hotly anticipated arrival to the drinking and dining scene late in 2017. The vibe is all things for allcomers from the bottom to the top, and the journey begins on the ground level at House Bar. It's a posh take on a pub, for all intents and purposes, with marble benchtops, curvy leather banquettes and places to park your bum both indoors and out. You know the drill down here: beers, burgers and all the rest of it. On level one, you'll find Rekōdo – a Japanese-inspired restaurant and vinyl bar with very funky cocktails. Influenced by Japanese listening rooms, this sonic paradise is full of moody corners, immersive sound and more zingy boozy bevs than we can count.  If your legs still have it in 'em, hike up to the top, where you'll find Smoke. It's one of the city's best rooftop bars and a dress circle seat to watch the sun go down with neck-stretching panoramas of the city and the sea. Want more cool places to drink? Here's our pick of the best bars in Sydney right now.

Ovolo Woolloomooloo

Ovolo Woolloomooloo

For many visitors, Circular Quay and Darling Harbour take top honours in the prime hotel real estate stakes. It’s hard to blame them, of course, but it’s important to consider the downsides (and there are a few): big crowds, tourist attractions at almost every turn and an overload of unreasonably priced eating and drinking possibilities, many of which are mediocre at best. The Ovolo Woolloomooloo occupies the front half of the heritage-listed Finger Wharf, which means you’ve got waterside wow-factor, knockout vistas and some of Sydney’s best dining at your fingertips. That’s a pretty tempting proposition in and of itself. Plus, you get to stay in the world’s largest wooden building, according to Guinness World Records, which is a big tick for history buffs and fans of heritage-listed architecture. The sheer scale of the hangar-like structure might overwhelm at first, but the greeting you receive from the reception team when you walk through the door is warm, spirited and genuine. The ’80s rock soundtrack and playful colour palette of pastel pinks, purples and pale greens are equal parts cutesy and clever ways to inject a bit of fun and whimsy to the imposing industrial atmosphere. If you’ve come here to get away from it all, Netflix and chill – you’re in good hands. It’s worth splurging on a room on the western side of the building because the skyline views are so mesmerising, there’s every chance you won’t even turn on the TV. Our Cityvoo Loft on level five is a nifty split-

Senpai Ramen

Senpai Ramen

Ramen. Omakase. In 2022, it is difficult to think of two words more likely to accelerate the resting heart rate of a Sydneysider (although ‘free rent’ or ‘endless sunshine’ might come close). The city’s fixation with the ever popular noodle soup is nothing new. In recent years, however, a legion of splashy Japanese diners devoted to elaborate seasonal tasting menus ('omakase' loosely means 'I’ll leave it up to you') has emerged, reigniting a fervour for sushi, sashimi, kushiyaki and tempura, as well as the degustation dining format.  Senpai Ramen is an attempt to unify all these ideas orchestrated by Chase Kojima, the California-born chef best known as the top brass at Sokyo (home to one of the most sought-after omakase bookings in town) and the force behind fast-casual concept Simulation Senpai. How much you enjoy it depends largely on your willingness to take it for exactly what it is – a casual and commendably affordable way to experience this style of eating. The set menu comprises seven courses, including dessert and a thoughtfully portioned ramen of your choice. Those first four "courses" are more like three-bite morsels, delivered by well-meaning staff not one-by-one but in groups of two at rapid speed. So rapid, in fact, that if you book a solo spot there’s every chance you’ll be out the door in not much more than half the allocated 90-minute sitting time. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but a little breathing room wouldn’t hurt. There are captivating moments: a s

Bar Mammoni

Bar Mammoni

Unlike Melbourne, Sydney has never quite gotten the ‘all-day dining’ thing right. There have certainly been valiant attempts (vale, A1 Canteen), but for some reason or other – the atmosphere, the neighbourhood, the variability of the offering – ‘morning-till-night’ places just don’t seem to last too long.  It is hard to imagine that Bar Mammoni, the laneway café and bar from the up-and-coming House Made Hospitality group, will suffer the same fate. There’s the location, for one thing – tucked behind Customs House in the burgeoning Quay Quarter Lanes precinct off Circular Quay – which pretty much guarantees steady foot traffic. There’s the lure of the operators, too, who made a big splash in 2021 by transforming neighbouring Hinchcliff House into a red-hot, Italian-accented mega-venue. The real hook, though, is neither of those things, but an item on the breakfast menu: a rolled-up slice of slippery LP’s mortadella that’s brushed with feisty salsa verde and laid inside a neat rectangular croissant on piped little clouds of whipped ricotta. It’s called a cro-sando and, at $8.50, has to be among the most purely enjoyable things you can eat in this city for less than a tenner. If the notion of ordering one before 9am makes you feel especially smug, know that you also have the option to spike your morning juice with a nip of Campari. To experience Mammoni at its peak, aim to arrive not long after the doors open at 7am. That way, you’re more likely to pinch one of the 30 seats (24

Ayam Goreng 99

Ayam Goreng 99

5 out of 5 stars

Yes, there is nasi goreng on the menu. And yes, there is beef rendang as well. But let’s face it – you, and everybody else, are here for the chicken. You will have to make choices: thigh or breast; grilled over charcoal, deep-fried, or deep-fried and coated in a sweetish glaze, Javanese style. Whatever you decide, the result will be a tender, succulent and seasoned to the high heavens thanks to a hearty marinade of turmeric, garlic, ginger and galangal, among other ingredients. It epitomises the ‘hole-in-the-wall’ trope in the very best of ways, almost always pack to the rafters with expats and uni students, and a true champion in the value-for-money stakes.

Bar Copo

Bar Copo

The corner of Glenayr Avenue in Bondi, where Hall and O’Brien Streets intersect, is the sort of high-traffic intersection that deserves a buzzy, reliable spot for a snack and a cold one. And in Bar Copo – which opened just before Sydney plunged into its second Covid lockdown in June of 2021 – it seems it may have found one. By 6.30pm on any given evening, there is often a wait to get in. The doors and bifold windows are wide open, inviting passersby into the breezy, compact and vaguely retro space where laidback expats planted on barstools and huddled around small tables gossip in Portuguese and bicker in Spanish over who gets to dip the last thick, starchy cassava chip into what’s left of the garlicky allioli.  Copo is named after the ‘copo americano’, in which most of the drinks are served – a palm-sized, 190ml faceted glass tumbler that will be familiar to anyone who has spent time in Brazil necking draught beers in the unfussy local bars known as ‘botecos’. Copo’s owners clearly have, and this is their attempt to bring a somewhat more polished take on the “no shirt, no shoes, no problem” ethos to the 2026 postcode.  For the most part, they succeed. That may come down to the fact that while Bondi isn’t short on bars or restaurants, surprisingly few are so effortlessly casual and stylish. Fewer still get the job done with such an upbeat and attitude-free approach to service. Sometimes, it means that getting someone’s attention can take longer than it should, but relax, you’

Baba's Place

Baba's Place

In physics, we’re taught that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. More often than not, a similar logic is at play in the unending rhythm of venue openings in Sydney. So when bigwigs like Neil Perry and Phil Wood open swanky restaurants in the moneyed heart of the Eastern Suburbs, for instance, it usually follows that something more DIY appears in an industrial pocket of Marrickville best known for illicit raves, craft breweries and wholesale poultry.  In this case, that something is Baba’s Place – a sprawling, high-ceilinged warehouse turned eatery with an interior design that looks as though St Vincent de Paul himself decked the halls with kitschy chandeliers, hanging tapestries, framed needlepoint art work, old family photos and mismatched chairs and tables overlaid with doilies and clear plastic. If it strikes you as a roguishly energetic operation run by a few mates who got together and decided to give it a red-hot go, it’s because that is pretty much exactly what it is, set to a deafening soundtrack of throwback Levantine jams. Those mates are co-owners Alexander Kelly and head chef Jean-Paul El Tom, two school friends with respective backgrounds in literature and engineering who ran Baba’s Place as a pop-up at places like CBD bar PS40, Newtown café Rolling Penny and Bush in Redfern. Kelly hails from Macedonian descent (the restaurant is named after his ‘baba’, or grandmother), while El Tom has Lebanese lineage, and sous chef/co-owner James Bellos’s ancestry

Ursula's Paddington

Ursula's Paddington

One very curious consequence of the pandemic has been the rise of a phenomenon known as ‘dopamine dressing’, wherein people don vivid colours and vibrant patterns to make themselves feel pleasure and glee. If one Sydney restaurant among the blizzard of new openings has emerged from the wake of Covid-19 more gussied-up than the others, more eager to elicit the ecstasy that comes with dining out, it’s Ursula’s Paddington. Set foot in the regal Paddington terrace that used to house both Guillaume and Darcy’s, and you’ll be met with Melbourne designer Brahman Perera’s whimsical pastiche of warm butterscotch tones and vibrant blues, cushy carpeting, glowing Maison Balzac glassware and sculpted Clementine Maconachie wall lights that look like origami folded by Frank Gehry. Spark joy the space certainly does, and so, too, should the guy doing the cooking – one of the country’s most well-respected and likeable chefs, Phil Wood.  Before skipping town to commandeer the culinary program at Pt. Leo Estate on the Mornington Peninsula, Wood manned the pans under Neil Perry in Sydney for the best part of a decade, as the executive chef at Rockpool and its short-lived successor, Eleven Bridge. In those kitchens, he melded Asian flavours, top-drawer Australian produce and high-wire French technique with an often extraordinary degree of finesse. In this one, where he’s playing the chef-owner role for the first time (along with partner in business and life, Lis Davies), the motifs are not dissi

Margaret

Margaret

In July of 2020, at the age of 63, Neil Perry announced he was retiring, after roughly 40 years in the game. For many, the news that one of Modern Australian cuisine’s founding fathers was stepping back from his role as culinary director of Rockpool Dining Group – a restaurant empire that encompassed 80-odd establishments across the country – came as something of a shock. But some people, it seems, just can’t stay away for too long.   One year and a bit later, after a gruelling stretch that saw the celebrity chef feeding thousands of disadvantaged people, hosting online cooking classes and pivoting to takeaway, Perry and his signature ponytail are back in the kitchen at his latest (and reportedly final) venture, Margaret. It is his first venue to date without any financial partners and, in many ways, his most personal project yet.   It feels very much like a family affair. Step inside and Perry’s daughter, manager Josephine Perry Clift, might be the first to greet you. Look towards the open kitchen, and you’ll spot executive chef Richard Purdue on the pass, who began working alongside Perry nearly 30 years ago as an apprentice at Rockpool. Scan the cocktail list, and you’ll discover the perfect Martini was “quintessential” to Margaret, Perry’s late mother, after whom the restaurant is named. Seems only fitting, then, to start with one.    The bar has assembled an adventurous collection of small-batch Australian vermouths and gins, the wildest of which might be a mixture of Re

Maíz

Maíz

When Rosa Cienfuegos opened Dulwich Hill’s Tamaleria and Mexican Deli in 2018, she offered us a much welcome glimpse of everyday Mexican food beyond pick‘n’mix burrito chains, uninspired Taco Tuesday pub specials and Margarita slushies in some cartoonishly appropriated vision of the Day of the Dead. Now, with the arrival of Maíz Mexican Street Food on south King Street in Newtown, it appears that we have ourselves another.  Maíz is the brainchild of co-owner Juan Carlos Negrete Lopez, a former Three Blue Ducks sous-chef and permaculture designer who hails from Baja California. And unless you have shelled out more than a few pesos at Oaxacan market stalls or on the side of the road in Puebla, quesadillas are the only item you might recognise on his expansive and exciting menu – a menu which is essentially a celebration of corn in its various incarnations.  Sopes – thick, saucer-like masa tarts with pinched edges – act as vehicles for juicy shreds of beef barbacoa, plump mushrooms sheathed in umber-hued mole or a sweet-sour symphony of hibiscus flowers and pineapple jam. Tlacoyos are even thicker, purple corn patties shaped like flattened footballs and stuffed with black beans and topped with a simple avocado and corn spread, or fried eggs soused in tomatillo and pasilla chilli salsas. There’s also a section devoted to the breakfast favourite, chilaquiles – crisp-fried tortilla chips smothered in crema, queso fresco and poached chicken or stringy lengths of braised nopale cactu

Pepito's

Pepito's

Once again, we find ourselves faced with the age-old question: is this a restaurant, or is this a bar? On the one hand, you could pull up a stool at Pepito’s for a longie of Reschs or a glass of natural Chilean red wine and leave it at that. On the other, that would mean missing out on the leche de tigre – and that would be foolish. Your eyes will tell you it’s essentially a glorified shot glass of ceviche. Your mouth, however, will register that it is, in fact, so much more. Once you make your way past the toasted Peruvian corn kernels and lightly crumbed calamari on top, through the layers of explosively fresh prawns and firm-fleshed Hiramasa kingfish, you’re left with nothing but a nip of the marinade, which you’re advised to drink. If you’ve never fully realised the power of lime, ginger, garlic and chilli shot through with a marine tang, you most certainly will. But back to the matter at hand. Pepito’s, it turns out, is neither restaurant nor bar, but a homage to what Peruvians call a ‘taberna’ – an unpretentious, often century-old, family-run neighbourhood haunt where people from all walks of life cross paths for a drink and a casual bite to eat. Owner José Alkon and his family migrated to Australia when he was eight years old, and this is his way of introducing a slice of everyday life in his native Lima to Illawarra Road (complete with pan flute Smokey Robinson covers that play in the bathroom). Alkon is also a cinematographer by day, which goes a long way in explaini

News (94)

Support your favourite restaurant in these trying times by buying a voucher

Support your favourite restaurant in these trying times by buying a voucher

No two ways about it, it’s been more than a rough streak for the Australian hospitality industry in 2020. First came the summer’s horrific bushfire crisis, which impacted bars, pubs, cafés and restaurants during their busiest time of the year – especially those in regional areas, which rely heavily on holiday trade. And now, along with the global outbreak of the coronavirus, comes a period of unprecedented uncertainty as venues around the world are being forced to temporarily shut the doors. Unlike in so many other industries, hospitality staff simply cannot work from home – and their places of employment depend entirely on people coming through the doors. In what feels like a couple of weeks, that has become a serious question of health and safety. As venues find ways to adapt to the current situation and ever-changing circumstances, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to visit your favourite venue in order to show your support. Buying a voucher is one of the best ways you can do your part right now, because the money goes straight to the restaurant and ensures the doors stay open one more day. Below is a list of links to purchase vouchers from the restaurants on our 50 best Eat list. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and if you’re wondering whether your local favourite offers gift vouchers, the best thing to do is pick up the phone and call. (And let’s face it, most restaurants are all too happy to take your money – margins are slim!) Terms and conditions w

Din Tai Fung has launched an online store and is now delivering frozen dumplings

Din Tai Fung has launched an online store and is now delivering frozen dumplings

When it comes to comfort foods, few compare to the almighty dumpling. And when it comes to dumplings, almost none are as widely revered around the world as the ones you’ll find at Din Tai Fung. Melbourne's Emporium outlet of the insanely popular Taiwanese franchise has remained open for takeaway and home delivery via online partners during the shutdowns, but the Michelin-starred chain is now offering a frozen range of its most popular products on a new online store. The legendary xiao long bao are available, as well as the glorious shrimp and pork wontons, along with a host of other dumpling varieties, which can be boiled, steamed or deep fried to your liking. Both savoury and sweet buns are also on offer, as are regular and wide noodles, soup broths, fried rice and desserts. You can even purchase Din Tai Fung steamer baskets. The minimum spend for home delivery is $50, and delivery sits between $10 and $20, but the goods last for up to two months in the freezer so there isn’t any harm in stocking up (not that you probably wouldn’t anyway). Want to know what other Melbourne restaurants and cafés are offering in terms of takeaway and home delivery? Find out here.

This legendary Surry Hills restaurant has launched an online shop

This legendary Surry Hills restaurant has launched an online shop

Update: On June 10, Fireshop and Gelato Messina teamed up to launch a new truffle gelato. They've gathered truffles from Manjimup, in Western Australia, and churned the fragrant flavours into Messina's jersey milk base. Order online from Fireshop for pick-up starting from Friday. Admit it: you never dreamed you’d be putting the finishing touches on dishes from the likes of Mr Wong and Yellow in your own kitchen. And the thought of cooking housemade pasta from Ragazzi or utilising the same produce as some of the best restaurants in Sydney probably never crossed your mind. But, alas, here we are – and there’s now another top-tier eatery offering killer staples and ready-made meals you can add to your newfangled shopping list. Firedoor, Lennox Hastie’s epic flame-powered Surry Hills restaurant, has announced the launch of Fireshop – a new online marketplace featuring “almost-ready” dishes, fresh produce, dry goods and pantry essentials curated by the chef and his team. Die-hard fans will recognise dishes like Goolwa pippies in XO sauce with karkalla and Murray cod in pil-pil, but there are new additions, too, like kangaroo sausages with bush-tomato sauce, as well as sides like a smoked potato salad with horseradish and dill. And of course, no meal could possibly be complete without a loaf of Pioik’s sourdough bread and the restaurant’s housemade smoked butter. In addition, you can stock up on Messina’s Jersey milk, free-range eggs from the Southern Highlands, Cudgegong Valley ol

Here's how Sydney's hospitality businesses are adapting to the Covid-19 pandemic

Here's how Sydney's hospitality businesses are adapting to the Covid-19 pandemic

When “non-essential” businesses and services closed on Monday, March 23, restaurants and cafés were restricted to takeaway and home delivery only. On Friday, May 15, they were allowed to reopen with a maximum capacity of ten patrons. While many of our favourite spots are offering sit-down dining again, they are also still doing takeaway and delivery. Other restaurants have decided not to reopen their dine-in service until restrictions are relaxed further, and takeaway remains their only form of business for now. Despite drastic staff cuts and an unprecedented downturn in trade, our city’s hospitality workforce is still proving how resourceful, supportive and proactive it can be, from heat-and-eat options that you finish at home, to pre-prepared freezer meals and produce boxes direct from their suppliers. And while restrictions are still in place, ordering takeaway remains the best way to support our favourite restaurants and cafés. Below is a by-no-means exhaustive list of the venues making it incredibly easy for you to continue showing your support (in alphabetical order). Please understand that circumstances are changing constantly and everyone is doing their best to keep up. Check the social media accounts of your favourite venues for the most up-to-date information.   Arthur This intimate deg-only diner in Surry Hills has launched ‘Arthur To-Go’, a collection of rotating $40 meals for two the Arthur team likes to cook at home. Think lasagne with pork and tomato ragù, cott

Some of Australia’s best oyster farmers have launched a delivery service

Some of Australia’s best oyster farmers have launched a delivery service

Perhaps you’ve spent the past month or so upping your home-cooking game and perfecting the art of baking sourdough. Maybe you’re on the third rotation of a small but mighty repertoire of pantry pastas and sad sandwiches. Or has nothing changed, and you still find yourself ordering takeaway every night? Whatever the case, you probably haven’t kicked off a meal with a glass of bubbles and a handful of Sydney rock oysters in a fair while, and thanks to the good folk at East 33, you now can. East 33 is one of the nation’s most esteemed suppliers of these beautiful bivalves, and for a limited time is delivering oysters usually reserved for Australia’s best restaurants directly to your door (for a $10 shipping fee) at a fraction of the usual price. For just $59, you can score two dozen – which comes out to less than $2.50 a pop – and it’s up to you whether you’d like them shucked or prefer to do the work yourself.  It’s well worth spending an extra $10 for a ‘Tasting Kit’, which showcases oysters from each of East 33’s three farming regions along the coast of New South Wales. You’ll get to experience the different flavours and textures from waterways between Pambula and Nambucca, with tasting notes to guide your journey. They’re all farmed by a collective that includes multiple fourth-generation families, with a heritage that spans more than 130 years – so regardless of whether you prefer yours clean and dry or creamy and salty, quality is never in question.  Delivery to Melbourne

You can now take virtual cooking lessons from out-of-work Sydney chefs

You can now take virtual cooking lessons from out-of-work Sydney chefs

What do you get when you combine a suddenly stood-down legion of talented kitchen professionals and a population spending more time cooking at home? For Ankita Metha, the answer is a clever business idea. Plagued with boredom in the early days of lockdown, the Sydneysider and software engineer enrolled in an online cooking class with her mother-in-law and, to her surprise, thoroughly enjoyed mastering the fine art of baking pecan pie from scratch. The next day, she bumped into her barista on a run, who told her he’d been stood down, and the concept clicked – why not create a community initiative that connects displaced workers with people looking to upskill? Mehta took a photo of a few rogue pantry ingredients and posted it in a few online chef groups, asking whether anyone was willing to help her create something delicious. She ended up with zucchini noodles in a slow-roasted chickpea and tomato ragu, as well as a chef that was eager to give her a hand with a new project. The result is Yum Tum, a website offering intimate cooking classes with Sydney-based chefs from all over the world, who’ve clocked time at the likes of Quay, Fred’s, Coogee Pavilion and Bar Patrón to name a few. Lessons are limited to a maximum of five participants and typically cost between $20 and $25 per person (plus the cost of the ingredients). In 45-90 minutes, you’ll learn a traditional sweet or savoury recipe from your chosen chef’s home country, from paella and tacos al pastor to millefeuille, shor

One of Australia’s biggest restaurant groups has launched a community meal program

One of Australia’s biggest restaurant groups has launched a community meal program

It should come as no surprise that an industry centred around taking care of other people also knows how to look after its own. Over the course of the past month, bars and restaurants across the city have responded to these challenging times with all manner of inspiring initiatives, from feeding displaced workers to pivoting their businesses in order to keep their staff employed. Neil Perry’s Rockpool Dining Group is the latest to step up to the plate, with the launch of Hope Delivery. Backed by Rockpool Dining Group’s charitable arm, Rockpool Foundation, the community meal program kicked off in Sydney on Thursday, April 30, and in Melbourne on May 7, with the goal of feeding international hospitality workers, in addition to the homeless and disadvantaged. Meals are prepared and distributed by staff members and volunteers at Rosetta in Sydney and Melbourne’s Rockpool Bar and Grill, and through agencies like OzHarvest, Foodbank and Meals on Wheels. “Neil and I wanted to see the Rockpool Foundation expand and add another meaningful and critically important program that helps our visa staff and other hospitality employees in need,” says Rockpool Dining Group CEO Thomas Pash. The restaurant group is sourcing ingredients directly from its extensive network of suppliers, growers and makers in the hope of keeping producers afloat as well. Hope Delivery is aiming to feed 2,000 people per day, seven days a week, in both cities until at least November. “We can stop sporting and cultur

Mr Wong and other Merivale favourites are now offering takeaway and delivery

Mr Wong and other Merivale favourites are now offering takeaway and delivery

When you’ve got more than 70 brands and venues in your portfolio, adapting to a lengthy list of new regulations and restrictions overnight isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Merivale took a brief hiatus when bars and restaurants were ordered to close on March 23, but returned in early April with ‘Merivale at Home’, a new delivery service offering five different “almost-ready” menus for two from the likes of Mr Wong, Fred’s, Bert’s and Totti’s. Now, the restaurant and bar conglomerate is upping the ante and adding pick-up and home delivery options to the mix. Ready-to-eat signature dishes and weekly specials from three of the group’s leading establishments – Mr Wong, the Paddington and Coogee Pavilion – are now available to pick up, which means you can enjoy Peking duck pancakes, rotisserie chook and a bevy of pizzas and pastas without busting out the pots and pans or having to wash up. The move coincides with the government’s decision to allow two adults to visit other households, so you’ll also find larger share-style dishes like whole roast duck and three-course family meals for four – a perfect way to resurrect that thing we used to call “having friends over for dinner”. The industry pioneer has also created its very own delivery service, beginning with Mr Wong which is expected to launch this week in time for Mother's Day. Vehicles will be driven entirely by Merivale employees who would otherwise not have been working during this period of uncertainty. You can place an ord

One of Sydney’s best pastry chefs is selling tubs of cookie dough

One of Sydney’s best pastry chefs is selling tubs of cookie dough

Are you one of the seemingly few people left in this city that hasn’t fallen victim to the unrelenting wave of sourdough mania, but still loves to bake? Are you a hapless cook, whose prowess doesn’t extend far beyond sticking a tray of dough in the oven? Or are you, perhaps, someone that just really like cookies? Whatever the case, your time in the kitchen is about get a lot more exciting.  Anna Polyviou, the instantly recognisable pink-mohakwed executive pastry chef at Sydney’s Shangri-La Hotel, is joining forces with chicken institution Chargrill Charlie’s and selling cookie dough for you to bake at home (or eat with a spoon – no judgment). Beginning Friday, May 8, 600-gram tubs of the triple chocolate dough will be available for $15 at all 13 Chargrill Charlie’s outlets in Sydney, as well as on the Chargrill Charlie’s app and through select delivery partners until sold out. The award-winning author, MasterChef guest judge and so-called ‘punk princess of pastry’ is the latest addition to a series of collaborations organised by Chargrill Charlie’s, as part of its 'Local Flavours' initiative. In an effort to lend a hand to out-of-work chefs and restaurants that have been forced to close their doors in response to government restrictions, the family-owned chicken empire has been selling products from other businesses to help keep them afloat. Last week, Lotus head chef Sam Young’s lasagna was up for grabs, and Middle Eastern specialities from Redfern’s Kepos Street Kitchen hav

You can now support hospitality workers in need by buying wine in bulk

You can now support hospitality workers in need by buying wine in bulk

As yet another week of restrictions and uncertainty rolls by, there’s every chance you’re wondering how you can help others that are doing it tough and simultaneously thinking of restocking the wine cupboard. We don’t blame you – these aren’t uncommon thoughts nowadays. The good news is you can do both in one fell swoop, thanks to three mates in the Sydney wine industry. Wine Aid is a new initiative developed by Connor Sainsbury-Canham, Dan Simmons and Andrew Jamieson – a trio of hospitality pros with decades of experience consulting, importing and distributing between them. The premise is a simple one: you buy a curated mystery pack of six ($150) or twelve ($295) wines from small Australian producers which are delivered to your door, and a portion of the proceeds goes towards providing meals for hospitality workers from participating restaurants. Each six pack sold equates to two meals, while a dozen provides four. “The hospitality industry has been very kind to us throughout our careers,” Simmons says. “Our shared goal is to support those that serve us’ in a time of crisis.” The wines are currently for sale at bars, restaurants and bottle shops across the city, including Annata in Crows Nest, Arthur in Surry Hills, Osteria Coogee, Prince of York and the Oak Barrel in the CBD, as well as Manly’s Winona Wine. In order to receive a meal, hospitality staff simply need to follow Wine Aid on Instagram (@wineaid_), and they’ll find out which restaurants are participating and how t

The Tramsheds Growers Markets has gone virtual

The Tramsheds Growers Markets has gone virtual

Nothing will ever compare to the feel-good feeling that comes with meandering through the stalls of a weekend farmers market. They’ll be back someday, without a doubt, but at least we can still get our hands on premium produce in the meantime. In fact, never before have we had access to restaurant-quality goods on such an extensive scale – we can now buy oysters that were destined to be served by Sydney’s best chefs, score boxes of fruits and vegetables from some of the finest restaurants in the country and, thanks to the good folk at the Tramsheds Growers Markets, we can still purchase products from our favourite stallholders. The weekly Sunday market has temporarily moved online and has made the best of the best from its growers and makers available at the click of a button. Yes, that means Madeleines, meringues and canelés from Sacrebleu; doughnuts from Sergio’s Kitchen; all things macadamia from Brother Mountain; handcrafted miso from Enokido; olives galore from the Olive Bar and small-batch granola from MG Food Co. Breakfast boxes from Brickfields are also available (complete with Pepe Saya butter), as are the recently launched smoked sausages from LP’s Quality Meats. If you’re after fresh produce, boxes of organic fruits and vegetables are on offer from Prickle Hill. Small boxes start at $60 while large ones go for $90, and the contents depend on what comes from the farm each week. For an additional $30 or $35, respectively, you have the option to upgrade to a growers b

Icebergs is now offering a series of ace at-home dining experiences

Icebergs is now offering a series of ace at-home dining experiences

Whether you’re knocking back tip-top cocktails in the bar overlooking the beach on the sunniest of summer days or sitting down to a lavish long Sunday lunch in the dining room, it’s safe to say that a session at Icebergs really is a consummate Sydney experience. And while it is nigh impossible to imagine re-creating the magic in your lounge room without those knockout views, owner Maurice Terzini and his team are giving it a red-hot go by introducing a handful of new at-home dining experiences. Like many other pointy-end restaurants, the modern Italian standard-setter temporarily closed the doors on March 22, but is back in business as of this week with the launch of Icebergs Moments – a series of events that would have otherwise taken place at the seaside stalwart, recalibrated for enjoyment under your own roof.  Action kicks off this Thursday, May 7, with a Full Moon Spaghetti and Wine party, spotlighting pasta dishes and hand-selected vino from Tuscany.  You’ve got the choice of “almost-ready” spaghetti sauced in wild-boar ragù or ziti with braised bitter greens, and you can pimp up the festivities with a nip of liquorice amaro from Florence’s Santa Maria Novella to finish. Icebergs resident DJ Charlie Chux has also created a Full Moon playlist so that you can keep the mood alive.   If you’re still looking for ways to spoil mum on Mother’s Day this coming Sunday, the restaurant has put together an epic three-course takeaway spread for four. You’ll begin with Sonoma bread a