The 50 best restaurants in Sydney right now
January 2020: Lankan Filling Station was the big winner at our annual Time Out Food Awards last year. The all-day Sri Lankan eatery took home the prize for both Restaurant of the Year and Best Casual Dining Restaurant, which makes it our undisputed top pick for where you should be heading right now – for hoppers that are equal parts spongy and lacy, dynamite curries and a weekend brunch menu that you won't be able to stop thinking about long after you've paid the bill. Sydney's long-standing love affair with Italian cuisine also shows no signs of slowing down, which is why you'll find newcomers like Totti's, Alberto's Lounge and our Best New Restaurant, Bella Brutta, on the list, alongside old favourites like Fratelli Paradiso. This is the Time Out EAT List, our handpicked choices for the best places to eat in this city right now: from hot newcomers to time-honoured institutions – all memorable, all at the top of their game – ranked by our expert local editors. Whether it's a neighbourhood pizzeria or a degustation-only Caribbean restaurant in a casino, this roll call has all price points and appetites covered. Bon appétit! Eaten somewhere on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutEatList. You can also find out more about how Time Out makes recommendations and reviews restaurants here.
The 16 best Indonesian restaurants in Sydney
Ask the average Sydneysider about Indonesian cuisine and you’ll probably hear something about nasi goreng, rendang, sate and maybe gado gado or ayam goreng. Understandable. For a long time, that’s mostly what was available – but not anymore. While it was once almost exclusively home to the sweeter-style Javanese cuisine, Sydney now boasts region-specific restaurants serving up spicier and more nuanced recipes from Padang, Medan, Bandung and Bali. Today, Sydney’s best Indonesian restaurants are on par with what you’d find on the streets or in the humble warungs of the world’s largest island nation. Some still offer the same sate and nasi goreng combo but others are more focused, specialising in pressure-cooked soft-bone fried chicken, jackfruit curry, crunchy roti packages stuffed with spiced meat or simple bowls of pork-topped egg noodles. Whether you crave the basics or want to try something new, these are the best of the best when it comes to Indonesian eats in Sydney. Need to clear the spice away? Grab a scoop or three of Sydney's best gelato and ice cream. Still sweating? Take a dip in one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.
Sydney's best Korean fried chicken restaurants
First, a quick bit of history. Korean fried chicken, the crunchy-battered and often saucy kind we know and love, doesn’t have a long history in Korea. It wasn’t really a thing until Americans introduced the idea during the '50s and '60s and didn’t take off until 1977, when Lims Chicken started frying individually portioned bits of bird. Then came the '80s, which ushered in the arrival of KFC and several other local chains. Korean fried chicken is essentially American-style fried chicken with a second swim in the deep fryer that’s been Koreanised with garlic-heavy sauces, experimental flavours and chilli. In Korea, it’s seen as the perfect unglamorous fast food, best consumed with beer, maybe a few pickles, and more beer. Koreans call the combo ‘chimaek’, literally a blend of the words ‘maekju’ (beer) and ‘chikin’ (fried chicken). That’s how you should approach it here in Sydney. These Korean fried chicken restaurants might not have the best side dishes, chicken alternatives or service, but what they do offer – crunchy-battered, on-the-bone hunks of the juiciest chicken lathered in whatever spicy, garlicky or even cheesy sauces you can imagine, plus the addition of beer and pickles – is such a fundamentally enjoyable experience, nothing else seems to matter. Feel like a sweet finish? Grab a scoop of Sydney's best gelato and ice cream. On the hunt for other top cheap eats? Here are our picks for the 50 best cheap eats in Sydney.
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Try Silvester’s new umami rich menu
The award-winning Silvester’s Restaurant has launched a brand new contemporary Australian menu with east-meets-west cuisines , surprising flavour combinations, and a commitment to sustainability front of mind. Fascinating global flavours and carefully selected local artisan produce come together at this sophisticated restaurant, a world-class dining experience described as a hidden gem serving works of art. Think dishes like soft, gooey burrata served with savoy cabbage, fermented chilli and honey; signature oysters served with coriander, ponzu and zingy finger lime; Hunter Valley spatchcock baked on hay; or Riverina lamb served with eggplant, miso and fragrant jus. They're also reintroducing classic cooking techniques to develop deeper, richer flavours in their latest dishes – with food cooked on the bone and directly on the fire to develop an exceptional juicy, delicate texture. Michelin Star restaurant-trained chef, Raphael Szurek, brings a wealth of experience and talent to this finely curated menu and a love for fresh, sustainable produce. Szurek was taught by French cuisine master, Paul Bocuse, and mastered his craft working at Michelin Starred restaurants across Europe and Asia. Silvester’s is but one string in the bow of this sought-after chef; in the past year alone Szurek has travelled across the world to launch restaurants in cities including Beijing and Mumbai. Produce from soil, the sea and the butcher’s block are all handled with care; everything is sustai
Discover authentic Italian flavours at Pino's Vino e Cucina
Hidden on a quiet residential backstreet in Alexandria, Pino’s Vino e Cucina is serving up traditional hospitality by the bowlful. Pasta is made and bread is baked in-house daily at this family-owned affair, where the seasonal menu also champions small suppliers and the freshest ingredients. You’ll be welcomed in as part of the family as you take a seat at the hand-crafted wooden bar or sink into one of the soft leather banquettes. Sip on an Italian wine or lager, or try one of the specialty cocktails or masterfully crafted traditional drinks – like a Nonno's Remedy that mixes Amaro Nonino, eucalyptus pear, bee pollen and ginger beer. Pino’s summer offerings are packed with flavours perfect for grazing on warm evenings. Start with antipasti selections like house marinated olives or soft, gooey burrata with crispy prosciutto and rockmelon before moving on to an impressive selection of mains. Such as fresh gnocchi-shaped malloreddus pasta infused with hay ash and served with zucchini flowers and ricotta; spaghetti with spanner crab, roasted tomatoes and dill; braised pork ragu with Gigli (a cone-shaped pasta with a ruffled edge); or the sizeable black angus Fiorentina. If that’s not enough, there’s also a selection of formaggi (cheese) and salumi (cured meats) to peruse, including a truffle pecorino and a ghost chilli infused Norcia salame (one of the most sought after salami’s in Italy). If you’re thinking ahead, you can pre-order a special lobster pasta on the restauran
What I learned about opening restaurants in Sydney
In January of 2015, Brody Petersen, a Sydney-based restaurateur, walked into a junk shop in Long Beach, 37 kilometres south of downtown Los Angeles. Petersen and a friend were looking for items of Americana to decorate a new Sydney restaurant they planned to open, and were in the process of filling a rented truck with beer posters, artworks, knick-knacks and tchotchkes to ship back across the Pacific. An item in the store immediately caught Petersen’s eye: a big, yellow neon sign flashing a frosty beer mug, a Martini glass with an olive, and an eight ball. Petersen loved it, so he went to unplug it, unthinkingly placing his thumb on the bent earth prong. “I electrocuted myself,” Petersen says with a laugh. “I had a numb arm for about eight hours... I got the neon sign for half price because they thought I was going to sue them. It’s such a funny memory.” Going the extra mile to bring North American things to Sydney is one of the recurrent themes in the life of Petersen, a twinkly-eyed, dark-bearded Canadian in his thirties who owns and runs three Sydney venues: Riley Street Garage (in Woolloomooloo), the Village Inn (in Paddington) and Stanton and Co (in the Cannery building in Rosebery). Born in Vancouver, Petersen first came to our shores as a teenager in the early 1990s when his father, who worked for Pepsi, was transferred here. He went to school at Redlands in Neutral Bay, and on graduating decided to move back to Canada under his own steam. “I wanted to be a ski
The best Filipino restaurants in Sydney
Filipino food is influenced by a variety of culinary cultures from around the world, taking cues from Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish cuisine. But make no mistake, the dishes that are born and bred in the Philippines have a distinct deliciousness all their own. For example, there’s the famous adobo (meaning ‘marinade’ in Spanish), a dish of either chicken or pork, marinated in a mixture of soy sauce and vinegar. And then, of course, there’s halo halo (meaning ‘mixed together’ in Filipino), a cheeky dessert containing ice shavings, evaporated milk and trimmings like sweetened beans, coconut gel and ube ice cream. And don’t even get us started on crispy pata – a perfectly deep-fried pork leg, served with a soy-vinegar dipping sauce – or sinigang, a delicious sour broth of vegetables and meat of your choice. The list truly goes on and on... Luckily, Filipino food seems to be making its way to the mainstream (and rightly so), which means if you haven’t already, it might be time to jump on the jeepney and give these places a try. On the hunt for a bargain? These are the 50 best cheap eats in Sydney.