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The private dining room at Fred's
Photograph: Supplied/Fred's

The best private dining rooms in Sydney

Need to gather your favourites for a group booking away from the masses? Here’s where to do it

Written by
Tamar Cranswick
,
Matty Hirsch
&
Avril Treasure
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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.

Best private dining rooms

  • Restaurants
  • Modern Australian
  • Coogee
  • price 3 of 4

The private dining room at beachside fine diner Mimi's looks like it's been ripped straight from the pages of Vogue, complete with a coastal palate, natural sunlight, and chic seats that probably cost more than the sum of my belongings. It's the place for one of life's special events, so if you've got the cash to burn, and want to treat yourself – this is your spot. The room seats up to 18 guests, with the option to curate your ideal shared menu from Mimi's hits.

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Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Sydney
  • price 3 of 4

Wind your way down the stairs into the cavernous glory that is Hubert – home to good times and the much-worshipped chicken fricassée. Take a right at the bottom, and you’ll come to the two intimate private dining rooms, which are a world of their own. The first fits ten and the second just eight, so you might have to be brutal with the invite list. Groups can choose from two menus, which feature a roll call of Hubert's takes on French classics. The Swillhouse team (Le Foote, the Baxter Inn, Alberto’s) know their way around a bar, and the cocktail and wine choices impress just as much as the food. Get your people together, grab a room, and toast to one of Sydney’s grandest dining destinations.

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  • Restaurants
  • Freshwater
  • price 2 of 4

Book the Balcony Room at Pilu, and you and your group will be rewarded with Insta-worthy, uninterrupted views of Freshwater Beach. The space, which stretches along the side of the weatherboard building, can fit up to ten and has its own private balcony where you can watch the waves while sipping an aperitivo. Come for a long lunch or admire the sunset with your pals before sitting down to dinner. Set menus all feature the gorgeous Sardinian fare that defines this place. Water views in Sydney don’t come cheap, so be aware there’s a  minimum spend. 

  • Restaurants
  • Sydney

Dark woods and moody, clubby tones characterise the five elegantly appointed private dining spaces at Neil Perry’s steak-focused Art Deco stalwart. It should come as no surprise that this is one of the city’s business lunch hubs, so the secluded spaces set the scene for discreet negotiation and closing big deals. The big win here is that if your booking is for fewer than 12 people, you’re not forced to go on a set menu – the warm-hued Boardroom with a capacity for eight is an ideal spot to sign on the dotted line. The Hunter (up to 30 guests) and the Bligh (up to 20) are solid bets for bigger groups, with set menus available.

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  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Surry Hills

Stunning Parisian brasserie Armorica has a private dining room at the back of the restaurant, which is pretty much the vision of a long lunch dream. It can seat 16 guests, so it’s ideal for a birthday or celebration. Having a bigger party? The luxe spot also has a semi private dining area, which can seat up to 30 guests. And with an excellent ten-course set menu on offer, the only question worth asking is: what the hell are you waiting for?

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Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
  • Restaurants
  • Bondi Beach
  • price 3 of 4

Bondi Beach is about as dramatic a backdrop as you could possibly ask for, and that’s the one you get in the private room at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar. Maurice Terzini’s endlessly schmick establishment is always wall-to-wall with the East’s most fashionable crowd, but this elegant room lets you sidestep the models and bigwigs and just enjoy the Italian-accented fare and stunning views. This is the place to celebrate that well-deserved promotion, long-awaited engagement or that big-number birthday, so keep the bubbles flowing.

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Woolloomooloo
  • price 3 of 4

Fancy dining in a 100-year-old wool lift? Easily sorted. Otto’s location on Woolloomooloo’s historic Finger Wharf offers front-row seats to the city skyline and some fairly sexy boat watching, but the reliable, tip-top Italian fare and intuitive service are what’s kept this Sydney institution front of mind for private diners. There are a few options for bigger events here, but our eye is on the intimate Wool Lift room, which seats just 14. Technically, this elevated space is only semi-private, but when it’s this one-of-a-kind, it doesn’t matter.

  • Restaurants
  • Woollahra
  • price 2 of 4

This postcard-pretty restaurant set beyond an always lush-looking lawn conjures images of very proper garden parties. But although you can't set yourself up on the green with a Pimm’s and a game of croquet, you can make use of this Woollahra institution’s exceedingly elegant private dining room. Up to 40 guests can come together for a soirée here, where they’ll be treated not only to Matt Moran’s produce-driven modern Australian fare (and that epic Moran family lamb shoulder), but also to uninterrupted views of the kitchen garden from large conservatory-style bi-fold doors. 

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  • Restaurants
  • European
  • Paddington
  • price 3 of 4

Dine on Fred's signature farm-to-table dishes while sitting in the beautful semi-private dining room. The eight-seater overlooks the open kichen and dining room, which looks like a rustic chic farmhouse that Gwyneth may own. We say come for a long, relaxed lunch, and forget about the time.

 

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Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
  • Restaurants
  • Middle Eastern
  • Surry Hills
  • price 3 of 4

With views out onto the deck shaded by lush greenery, Nour’s light-filled private room is the perfect spot for you and 15 friends to enjoy beautifully reworked Middle Eastern dishes. Although it’s separated by a wooden screen through which you can glimpse the main restaurant, the room still feels mostly private. An unlimited seating time means you may linger over that incredible shawarma and handmade shanklish, while your drinks are merrily topped up by your dedicated staff.  

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  • Restaurants
  • Barangaroo

Clare Smyth is the first British female chef to win three Michelin stars and her sequel (and only international restaurant) Oncore by Clare Smyth, is found right here in Sydney. The private dining room seats eight guests, with room to swing your arms. Decked out in creams and elegant furnishings with views of Sydney Harbour, this space looks fit for a queen. There is no minimum spend here, though note all guests will need to order Oncore’s tasting menu.

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Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
  • Restaurants
  • Modern Australian
  • Sydney
  • price 2 of 4

Having a bad meal at Monopole is like Sydney going a week without train disruptions. It just doesn’t happen. Chef Brent Savage and sommelier Nick Hildebrandt’s CBD bistro and wine bar dishes up clever, creative and seasonal plates of food alongside an exciting award-winning wine list. Seating 16, the semi private dining area is found at the back of the restaurant, hidden by a curtain, with glass walls which allow sunshine to pour through. A nice option for your next business or fun group lunch.

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Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
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  • Restaurants
  • Australian
  • The Rocks
  • price 4 of 4

Is there a dreamier space to celebrate a milestone than this, overlooking the Bridge and the House from the vantage point of Quay’s Upper Tower? If the name makes it sound like it’s a little out of reach, that’s because it very well might be: minimum spends vary – but you will need to drop some serious coin to dine here. Better make sure they're your closest pals, so you can all marvel at the peerless panoramas from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the harbour’s ultimate dress circle seats. 

  • Restaurants
  • Sydney
  • price 2 of 4

Step underground into your own secluded haven at Spice Temple. Set away from the hubbub of the main restaurant behind a beaded curtain, the chic room can accommodate up to 12 people in style and has lighting that can be adjusted to levels that are brighter than the pitch-black dining room. Dine à la carte or indulge in one of two banquet menus showcasing regional Chinese flavours. Cocktails inspired by the Chinese zodiac will help add some pep to the party, but for those on the straight and narrow, there’s also an extensive list of teas. Few cuisines are as geared for sharing as Chinese, and few restaurants do it as glamorously as Spice Temple – get the squad, get dressed up and get here.

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  • Restaurants
  • Modern Australian
  • Mosman
  • price 3 of 4

Long loved for laidback beachside dining on the northside, the Bathers' has two excellent dining rooms for get-togethers. If you’re after a more casual, kid-friendly vibe, slip on your linen shirt, dust the sand off your loafers and saunter into the Sunroom on the bistro side of things. Here, you can host a party of 20 (seated). If your gathering is a little more formal, don your bejewelled caftan and book the Good Room in the restaurant, where you can dine with up to 20 people. Both rooms are handily wheelchair accessible.

  • Restaurants
  • European
  • Potts Point
  • price 2 of 4

With one of the most impressive dining rooms in Sydney, Franca should be on your hit-list when planning your next big bash. The private dining room holds between 14-16 guests, where you'll be sitting on lavish chairs the colour of a perfect glass of red, and dining on seamless French brasserie mainstays and modern Mediterranean cooking.

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Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
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  • Restaurants
  • Australian
  • Sydney
  • price 3 of 4

The private dining room at this swish CBD spot is separate from the restaurant, and caters for up to 70 standing guests (with the seated option of 22 at a single table or 40 across two tables). It's a beautiful space to sit back and enjoy Brent Savage’s perfect cooking.

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Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
  • Restaurants
  • Sydney
  • price 3 of 4

When it comes to the pinnacle of harbourside greats, few compare to Aria. This is ultra-refined dining with all the shiny bells and whistles. So if you’re out to impress with a special event for a bigger group, look to Aria’s private dining rooms, seating 30 and 60 guests. This is a land of polished timber and starched linens, with the kind of discreet and professional service you come to expect at a place of this calibre. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Manly
  • price 2 of 4

Tsuchi, Mizu, Nami and Kaze are the names of four beautifully minimal private dining rooms at Sake’s beachside location. The rooms, divided by traditional circular moon gates, can hold up to nine guests each, but they can also be joined together if need be. Kaze’s the pick if you want an absorbing view of Manly Cove, and there’s also a fifth room, Sora, for a full-blown Japanese feast featuring traditional dishes as well as reimagined classics.

  • Restaurants
  • Barangaroo

Walking into Woodcut, the smell of charcoal, fire and smoke meets you as quickly as you’re greeted by the smiling maître d' at the front door. It’s inviting and nostalgic all at once, taking us back to our childhood of weekends spent around a campfire. Except it’s not marshmallows being toasted, but premium cuts of meats and vegetables on the finest charcoal grills across four different kitchens. You'll need to head down a walkway to find Woodcut's private dining room, which features a striking light fixture, long marble table and harbour views. Seating ten guests, it's a glamorous space. (Read: If you need to schmooze someone, this is the spot to do it in.)

 

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Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
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  • Restaurants
  • Summer Hill
  • price 2 of 4

Bring your posse along to One Penny Red, Summer Hill’s former post office that gives Inner Westies yet another reason to keep it local. Head up the stairs and you’ll find the private dining area, fit for ten. The cosy room, adjacent to Vernon’s Bar, opens out onto the first floor balcony and is adorned with framed First Day Covers – a homage to the building’s original purpose.The menu offers the kind of moreish, rustic food that chef RJ Lines has built his name on. Service is always on point, and the kitchen nails the ‘unpretentious food done well’ brief that makes every occasion a special occasion.

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Sydney
  • price 2 of 4

With five private dining room options, Lotus’s outpost on level one of the Galeries seems quite eager to entertain you and your group. The Lotus menu is a greatest hits album of Shanghainese and Cantonese dishes, aided by the use of fresh Australian ingredients. For private dining events, expect the same prettily presented, upmarket Chinese fare in chic, styled rooms, such as the Fish Bowl, which seats eight people, all the way up to the Blue Lady, which seats 40. There are minimum spends per room.

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  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Paddington
  • price 2 of 4

Though the crowds have quietened down somewhat since its opening, the Paddington is still perpetually busy. All the more reason to nab the mostly private dining space here. Situated on the second floor and with enough room for 12, the area has an open archway facing out to the cocktail bar. Groups of ten or more dine from a generous set menu, which includes dessert. And never fear, Ben Greeno’s famed rotisserie chicken is included. The only problem is you’re going to have to share it.

  • Restaurants
  • Sydney

Effortless sophistication is what this classic Italian fine diner in the Strand Arcade is all about. The atmosphere’s always dialled up to 11 thanks to the tightly drawn Venetian blinds and dramatic lighting, which casts quite a spell. Custom-made olive oils are designed to match particular dishes from Nino Zoccali’s pasta-centric menu, and the olive oil library itself doubles as the restaurant’s private dining room. The shape-shifting space features wheeled walls that can alter the room to hold anywhere from eight up to 30 guests.

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MuMu
Photograph: Supplied

MuMu

Merivale’s vibrant eatery MuMu is inspired by Justin Hemmes, Dan Hong and Oliver Hua’s travels through Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Vietnam. The private dining rooms feature modern art, shutter-blinds and oceanic colours. It’s a fun space, which matches the big, bright and delicious flavours found on head chef Hua’s menu. The private dining room – which can be used as one big room seating 32 or two separate rooms seating 16 – is found in a secluded corner of the restaurant.

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Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • Double Bay
  • price 2 of 4

Looking for a spot to host your next birthday lunch? This Double Bay stalwart could be the answer. The upstairs dining room and the courtyard space are available to book, and the dark wood panelling and tables match the sophisticated, unfussy vibe. Knock back a few vinos and feast on share style dishes from the Mediterranean leaning menu. 

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Avril Treasure
Food & Drink Editor, Time Out Sydney
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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Rozelle

Set within the inimitable 3 Weeds Hotel, executive chef Mike Eggert’s famous flavours are in the ‘burbs courtesy of Totti’s RozelleUnder Eggart’s masterful watch, diners can expect all the signature dishes from the Bondi flagship – including puffy woodfired bread and antipasti, as well as a formidable selection of handmade pastas. Found above Totti’s Rozelle lies an private dining room that’s perfect for birthdays, engagements, and functions. The space seats up to 50 guests seated, or 70 cocktail style, and comes with its own bar.

  • Restaurants
  • Paddington
  • price 3 of 4

Buon Ricordo has the ability to make you feel like an extra on an Italian film set – especially if you and the gang reserve the intimate wine cellar, with room for up to ten. You’ll feel like the ultimate VIP while other diners look through the glass wall with envy at you enjoying bottles of Grange and the unforgettable fettuccine al tartufovo in your own little oenophile’s paradise. Fret not if you’ve got five or six times that number of people in tow – the atmospheric upstairs dining room (complete with a reflective copper ceiling) fits up to 60 on round tables and offers plenty of room to enjoy the set menus with your choice of two to five courses.

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  • Restaurants
  • Modern Australian
  • Sydney
  • price 3 of 4

This might just be one of Sydney’s best-kept secrets. Think of O Bar and Dining’s ‘Salon Privé’ as a lazy Susan that spins to offer up 360-degree views of our fair city, at the service of 28 of your nearest and dearest. Whether you’re here for lunch, dinner, or canapés, you’ll be dazzled by Sydney’s beauty in this super-luxe, silver-walled enclave that’s ready for its close-up. The team here understand that this is special-event territory and will make you feel entirely VIP from the minute you walk in by handing you a glass of complimentary Louis Roederer Champagne. Sometimes it pays to feel like a well-heeled tourist in your very own town.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Potts Point
  • price 2 of 4

Step into the sexily lit and unashamedly sassy Roosevelt, and you can’t help but slip into an alter ego. This is New York circa 1950, and perhaps you’ve assumed the character of a sultry pin-up or a devious movie mogul? Whatever fantasy you’ve conjured, you can play it out in the hidden Poker Room, which seats an entourage of up to 12. You can really play poker in this private dining den, all the while being unobtrusively served a finger food menu. Otherwise, you can do your own thing either in the Poker Room or the larger Monroe (of course) Room, and choose from a selection of appropriately named set menus: the Bardot, the Elvis, the John Wayne, and the Bogart.

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  • Restaurants
  • Enmore
  • price 2 of 4

This is the neighbourhood Italian eatery every suburb wishes for, but Enmore was lucky enough to nab it first. It’s the kind of place you want to lock in with a few of your favourites and indulge in never-ending bottles of Chianti. Thankfully, you and anywhere from 15 friends can do that in the upstairs dining room.

  • Restaurants
  • Indian
  • Sydney
  • price 2 of 4

Put a subterranean spin on your party at Indu, the modern Indian and Sri Lankan hotspot beneath the hustle of George Street. Two dining alcoves come off the main dining area, each fitting up to 15 people. Carved into the side of the heritage-listed building, the tunnel-like rooms feature exposed brick walls and intricate floor tiling. The long table set-up encourages you to play musical chairs throughout your meal, and a curtain can be draped across the entrance for more privacy if you want it.

Now that you've blown out that minimum spend...

  • Restaurants

Dining out on a dime is one of this city's great thrills. Here are our picks for Sydney's best eats on a budget. We've tasted everything from banh mi to tonkotsu ramen, biang biang noodles and vegan burgers without breaking the bank. 

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