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A Chinese barbecued steak and more from Chi by Lotus restaurant
Photograph: Supplied/Chi by LotusChi by Lotus

Pair your Sydney Festival show with these Festival Feasts

Please your palate before or after the show with $30 and $55 meal offers

By Time Out in association with Sydney Festival
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Sydney Festival will take over the city in January 2022 with a program bursting with diversity, colour, life and verve. So why should your dining experience in the city be any different?  

The Festival has partnered with some of the city’s best restaurants to bring you great food and exclusive menus in locations close to where the shows are happening. Planning the perfect night out is easy with convenient pre/post dining options to make a night of it when seeing a groundbreaking show. Just ask for ‘Festival Feasts’ in-restaurant or at the time of booking.

There are plenty of special, limited-time offers to choose from, and you don’t have to be going to a show to take advantage of them. Offers are valid throughout Sydney Festival – Jan 6-30.

THE VENUE Perched atop Customs House at Circular Quay, Café Sydney has sweeping views and polished service that have made it a firm favourite for locals and visitors for more than 20 years. Fine local seafood is a specialty as are cuts of meats from Sydney’s top suppliers.

THE OFFER A daily selection of à la carte specials, with a focus on quality cuts of meat, fresh and exotic seafood, including chilled crustaceans, freshly shucked oysters and grilled ocean fish.

THEN GO SEE Decadance at Sydney Opera House – Sydney Dance Company’s remix of signature works from visionary choreographer Ohad Naharin. 

THE VENUE The eye-catching performance of noodles being hand pulled is an essential part of the Chefs Gallery experience. The restaurant offers gourmet delights from across China, coupled with changing displays of contemporary Chinese artwork.

THE OFFER For $30 enjoy a yum cha-styled dumpling starter to share followed by a choice of main meal between the famous hand-pulled noodles or signature fried rice.  

THEN GO SEE A Chorus Line at the Riverside Theatres, a new production of the brilliant 1970s meta-musical about the casting process for a musical. 

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THE VENUE Town Hall’s iteration of the famous Chinese eatery offers the brand’s combination of traditional Cantonese food with pan-Asian influences and contemporary flair in the handy location of Regent Place.

THE OFFER For $30 enjoy a yum cha-styled dumpling starter to share followed by a choice of main meal between the famous hand-pulled noodles or signature fried rice.  

THEN GO SEE The Reckoning at Sydney Town Hall – a four-part talk series curated by the UNSW Centre for Ideas tackling pandemic politics, climate inaction, Indigenous recognition and our changing national identity. 

THE VENUE The heady scent of chargrill permeates this casual but stylish venue on the Streets of Barangaroo specialising in the shaokao (or Chinese-style barbecue). The food is designed to be perfect for soaking up the alcohol from Lotus x White Bay lager beer, and Chi’s range of mini cocktails features a Chinese-inspired Negroni.

THE OFFER Enjoy six courses of delicious Shanghai street food designed to share and accompanied by a beverage for only $55pp.

THEN GO SEE Vigil: Songs for Tomorrow in Barangaroo Reserve is a night of ceremony, song and fire led by First Nations performers that reflects on the issues around January 26.

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THE VENUE Lotus the Galeries showcases Shanghainese cuisine with a nod to Cantonese. The Peking Duck is a signature, with duck master Chef Lin joining diners at tableside to help serve. Wine from Burgundy and Australian gins are highlights of the drinks list.

THE OFFER It’s a six-course share-style banquet plus a beverage for $55. Experience the famous Lotus dumplings with a selection of modern Chinese dishes showcasing the best of Australian produce.

THEN GO SEE -barra at City Recital Hall – a sonic and visual journey through Yuwaalaraay country in NSW that is a collaboration between Yuwaalaraay musician and storyteller Nardi Simpson and Ensemble Offspring.

THE VENUE Misfits is a local Redfern cocktail bar with a creative kitchen and a fetish for 1960s and ‘70s pop culture (hello, giant Twiggy portrait). Settle into a booth by the bar, cosy up in the secret cocktail lounge or get back to nature in the glasshouse courtyard surrounded by lush greenery.

THE OFFER Baked artichoke dip and olives and eggplant tartare plus two glasses of wine is just $30.

THEN GO SEE Grey Rhino at Carriageworks – an intricate new dance epic by award-winning choreographers Charmene Yap and Cass Mortimer Eipper that is all about the dangers that hide in plain sight.

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THE VENUE Located in the Rocks, Park Hyatt Sydney’s the Dining Room offers unrivalled harbour views of the Sydney Opera House and a pared-back menu of sustainable Australian fare in relaxed and elegant surrounds. 

THE OFFER Daily à la carte specials.

THEN GO SEE An ambitious symphony of circus and music from award-winning theatremakers Gravity and Other Myths, The Pulse at Roslyn Packer Theatre brings together 30 acrobats and 30 Sydney Philharmonia Choir voices for an awe-inspiring evening.

THE VENUE Watson’s in the Entertainment Quarter is a pub with a huge beer garden where fairy lights festoon the fig trees. There’s everything you would expect from your local pub (except pokies), and the modern Australian traditional pub food includes classics with a few twists.

THE OFFER To drink there’s ‘A Foolish woMAN’ – a combination of Beefeater Gin, Hanwood Dry Apera, Frangelico, lemon, orange bitters and egg white shaken over ice. To eat, there's a selection of hard and soft cheese, salami, prosciutto and cornichons together with seasonal fruits, house pickles, dips, lavosh and grissini. Get both for just $30.

THEN GO SEE Qween Lear at the Hordern Pavilion – an immersive extravaganza telling the history of Sydney’s queer nightlife, with all the hedonism, fetish, drag and house music you’d expect.

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THE VENUE Bellbird on the banks of the Georges River in Liverpool is guided by the principles of local, sustainable, seasonal and affordable (with a touch of fine dining). Influences range from French and Asian through to South American, with Cordon Bleu-trained head chef Federico Rekowski and sous chef Steven Pham focusing on locally sourced, seasonal produce.

THE OFFER Handmade gnocchi plus a glass of wine for $30.

THEN GO SEE The West Ball 3 at Casula Powerhouse – which merges Western Sydney culture with NYC’s underground ballroom subculture created by black and brown trans women. 

THE VENUE Located on Level 4 of the refurbed Australian Museum, No 1 William boasts floor-to-ceiling glass doors opening up onto an outdoor terrace where diners can get a drink, a bite to eat and some of the best views in the city. The fresh seasonal menu of contemporary Australian dishes is by head chef Liz Mason (Nomad and Song Kitchen).

THE OFFER For $30, enjoy a delicious main with a glass of house wine. The Sydney Festival summer specials are: shredded duck and watermelon salad; spiced eggplant with whipped garlic and cherry tomato; and market fish with shaved fennel and cucumber salad.

THEN GO SEE Speaker’s Corner on the corner of College and William Streets – 22 nights of music, DJs, comedy and cabaret with everyone from Amyl & the Sniffers to James Morrison.

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THE VENUE Dinner at Bennelong in the Opera House is as peak Sydney as it gets – you’ve ticked off world class chef, waterfront dining, famous architecture and cultural institution in one fell swoop. Every Sydneysider should play tourist in their own city at least once and go.

THE OFFER Experience a taste of Bennelong with your choice of glass of Australian sparkling with half a dozen oysters, or the Village Vanguard cocktail and the iconic Chocolate Crackle for $55. Walk-ins subject to availability with limited bookings available online.

THEN GO SEE Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – the American stage classic depicting a booze-fuelled cage fight between two couples gets a new race-conscious Australian production at the Sydney Opera House.

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