Sydney’s Best New Restaurants To Try (Updated 2023)

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10 min Nov 7th, 2022
5 pieces of nigiri sushi on rectangular black stone plate

Sydney has never been short of excellent restaurants. The quality and diversity of the city’s food scene is often breathtaking. From lavish European brasseries to Japanese listening bars, award-winning designs to world-renowned chefs, this year has been a very exciting time for Sydney foodies. With this in mind, we have put together a list of the best new restaurants in Sydney to try in 2022. Whether you are in town to visit or a regular local, you are going to love the harbour city’s latest offerings. Your favourite new restaurant awaits!

The Charles Grand Brasserie & Bar

Lobster Dish on white plate next to mFrench mustard sauce in silver dishWith an opulent art deco dining room situated in the heart of Sydney, the Charles Grand Brasserie & Bar has brought a new level of luxe dining to the Sydney food scene. The restaurant oozes old world charm, extravagance, and elegance, with European flavours and hospitality that sets a new bar.

Executive chef Billy Hannigan cut his teeth in the kitchen of London’s esteemed restaurant The Ledbury for eight years and has brought with him a menu he describes as European dining that utilises classical French techniques. With classic dishes such as steak tartare, schnitzel and sweetbreads cooked to perfection, Hannigan’s vision comes to life, using premium Australian produce to create the rich flavours you would see in the finest Parisian brasseries.

The classic brasserie service is well and truly on show here as sauces and caviar are served at the table, and a dessert trolley with chocolates and cakes from master pastry chef Rhiann Mead of Quay and Bennelong. Nothing gets a dining room buzzing more than service like this.

A separate bar sits next door to the brasserie, which offers decadent breakfasts. Tiva, the downstairs basement lounge will have live music daily.

Address: 66 King St, Sydney NSW 2000
Website: http://www.thecharles.sydney
Price Range: $$$-$$$$

RAFI

Close up of ceviche fish dishRAFI is the latest addition to North Sydney’s dining scene, with a fresh seasonal menu inspired by the coastal elements of Sydney and the region’s best seasonal produce. With two large indoor spaces, a greenhouse dining area, and alfresco dining in the Sydney sun, RAFI is the perfect dining spot all year round.

RAFI prides itself on using high quality, sustainably sourced produce cooked over charcoal. The menu consists of small dishes, encouraging guests to mix, match, and share plates. Sydney Rock oysters with Granny Smith apple mignonette, Murray River cod fillets grilled with rocket and pepita pesto, and crispy lamb ribs with honey and pickled green tomato are just some of the wonderful flavour combinations on offer at RAFI. The South Coast tuna with tomato, tahini and fragrant chilli oil is quickly becoming one of Sydney’s favourite dishes.

Fun and colourful cocktails, handpicked beers and a carefully curated wine list by AppleJack Group’s head sommelier Amandine Rouviere make for an eclectic drinks menu. With over 200 local and international wines, even the most savvy diner will be kept busy. The bar has an inventive cocktail concept, with seasonal DIY cocktails, giving the diner the opportunity to choose the alcohol and how it is served, using whichever shrubs and fruits are in supply at the time. Currently it’s blood orange and lemon myrtle.

Address: 99 Mount St, North Sydney NSW 2060
Website: http://rafisydney.com.au
Price Range: $$-$$$

Rekodo

Close up black sesame coated seared tunaHoused on level one of the eclectic Barangaroo House, Rekodo Restaurant & Vinyl Bar pays tribute to fabled Japanese listening rooms. With a mash up of food, drink and music, Rekodo creates a sensory sound and taste experience.

A taste-making selection of top DJs and guest artists keeps the tunes going all day. There’s no surprise that the food here is heavily Japanese influenced. Head Chef and vinyl lover, Patrick McDermitt has created a menu designed to share. Whisky cured ocean trout with mandarin and tobiko, octopus with takoyaki sauce and bonito, and spatchcock yakitori with miso corn are all dishes already on the greatest hits list.

With its selection of small Japanese influenced share plates and a variety of cocktail and sake choices, Rekodo is where to be this summer. Chilled vibes with good tunes and watching the sun set over Darling Harbour is what this place is all about.

Address: Level 1/35 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo NSW 2000
Website: https://www.barangaroohouse.com.au/rekodo
Price Range: $$-$$$

Gildas

Swewer with olive, anchovy and chilliAfter the success of local favourite Firedoor, head chef and owner Lennox Hastie is paying tribute to his time in the foothills of Spain’s Basque region with the opening of his new venture Gildas. Named after the popular three-ingredient Basque pintxo consisting simply of skewered olives, peppers, and anchovies, Gildas name represents the restaurant’s vision; quality ingredients done simply. Hastie’s fascination with cooking over charcoal, made famous at Firebird, continues at Gildas, and is on show here at its very best.

The constantly changing menu is an exploration of Spanish and Australian produce. There’s nothing better than starting with a bar’s signature gilda, of course, followed by a selection of cured Spanish hams to get things going. Quick bites with wine are encouraged, as is the Basques tradition, with full-length dinners also available for diners who want to take their time and savour the food. Escalavida, a mix of smokey vegetables with aged sheeps milk cheese, grilled squid with ajo negro and fennel, and charred leeks with romesco and lardo are some of the kitchens most popular dishes.

The space is cosy, with an intimate setting, with local and imported wines adorning shelves along the white stone walls. The bar boasts some of the best martinis in town, and you won’t stop ordering the white sangria. Gildas is a place you can feel at home.

Address: 46-48 Albion St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Website: https://gildas.com.au
Price Range: $-$$$

Kazan

Plate of assorted nigiri sushi on stone rectangular plateLocated in the busy corporate precinct of Martin Place, Kazan brings high quality Japanese fare to Sydney’s CBD. Lured from Melbourne’s highly touted Kisume restaurant, head Chef Shinya Nakano leads the kitchen through the delights of his native home. Nakano garnered his culinary education under the gaze of fifth generation sushi masters in Kyoto, and you can tell he knows what he is doing.

The kitchen offers a modern take on traditional and classic Japanese recipes utilising the best of Australia’s premium produce. The menu takes advantage of the robata grill, creating smoky flavours, then pairs things back with inventive sushi flavour pairings. Miso eggplant with green chilli and mixed nuts, wagyu beef tataki with passionfruit onzu, confit salmon with jalapeno dressing show examples of the kitchen’s flair for creating new and exciting combinations. The sake steamed red snapper with ginger and shimeji soy and Black Angus tenderloin with French foie gras and honey garlic soy are already local favourites.

Offering contemporary Japanese in an intimate space, Kazan sets the ideal scene for date nights, impressing clients, or after work dining with colleagues. The bar and open kitchen sit elevated from the dining room to create a theatre-like atmosphere as the chefs prepare dishes.There is also a two-course pre theatre and weekday lunch menu for a quick, but still high quality, meal.

Address: Shop 8.01/25 Martin Pl, Sydney NSW 2000
Website: http://kazandining.au
Price Range: $$-$$$

AALIA

Close up of seared scallop on asparagus in its shellAALIA is Martin Place precinct’s latest restaurant to impress the theatre crowd and corporate clientele that frequent the area. Quickly making a name for itself amongst Sydney’s foodies, the space offers an intimate setting for dates and special occasions. AALIA’s kitchen is led by executive Chef Paul Farag, exploring dishes and techniques from the shores of the Middle East and North Africa.

Combining tradition with modern techniques, AALIA uses little-known ingredients and takes inspiration from Arabic recipes from the tenth century, making for a refreshing dining experience. The menu lends itself to sharing, with elegant dishes presented with simplicity and precision. Think bone marrow with fresh herb chermoula, prawn with kabsa spice glaze and quail skewers with green molokhia and burberries. The duck, with crispy skin, tender pink meat and served with fesenjan stew has already become a fan favourite. For a quick weekday lunch or pre theatre bite, the kitchen offers a convenient express menu so you can still enjoy high quality food, even on the go.

Shortlisted for this year’s Restaurant & Bar Design Awards, AALIA’s design takes its inspiration from renowned architect Seidler’s work at 25 Martin Place. The space features wooden finishes and organic lines, creating an intimate and relaxed space.

Address: Shop 7.07-7.08/25 Martin Pl, Sydney NSW 2000
Website: http://aaliarestaurant.com
Price Range: $$-$$$

Dixson & Sons at Porter House

Chef's hand adding garnish to piece of steakAmidst the stunning architecture of the once abandoned Porter House, Dixson & Sons is bringing elegance back with a contemporary interpretation of a European Brasserie. Six metre long marble bar and leather furnishings with brass finishes throughout create a lavish scene. The restaurant takes its name from the merchant family that originally worked out of the building.

Having worked in Michelin starred restaurants across Europe as well as the luxury Qualia resorts and Josh Nyland’s Fish Butchery, Head Chef Emrys Jones brings classical European techniques with a contemporary approach. The menu pairs Asian influences with Australian native ingredients, with a focus on sustainability and sourcing local and quality seasonal produce from within New South Wales.

Smaller dishes such as the Vanella burrata with spring vegetables, green almond and mandarin vinegar, or the beef tartare with smoked soy, cured yolk and ori on a rice cracker serve as great pallet starters ahead of the main courses. Mains include the John Dory with wilted greens, mustard and roe veloute and dessert lime, hay-aged duck breast with hoisin, beetroot and purple daikon.

Dixson & Sons boasts a sophisticated wine list, with carefully curated wines from Australian, New Zealand and European regions, along with signature and classic cocktails that embody the restaurant’s class.

Address: Porter House Level 1/203 Castlereagh St, Sydney NSW 2000
Website: https://theporterhouse.com.au/dixson-and-sons
Price Range: $$$-$$$$

Viand

Asian meat dish on gold rimmed plateSitting unassumingly along Wooloomooloo’s Crown Street is the city’s latest Thai star Viand. Owner and head Chef Anita Potter, a protege of renowned international Chef David Thompson, has worked in world class kitchen’s around the globe, launching Thompson’s flagship Long Chim Sydney and Long Chim Hong Kong. For Potter, getting this restaurant to where it is now has been a labour of love. With Viand dishes tested over the 20/21 summer in a pop-up space, followed by pandemic-related delays, the restaurant has been a long time coming.

No sitting is the same at Viand, with dishes that change almost daily based around a chef’s tasting menu. When it comes to the food, the aged pork belly with sweet salted radish, toasted peanuts and pickled ginger melts in your mouth. While the monkfish dumplings in a clear broth with green onions and young ginger highlight Potter’s mastery of Asian flavours. There is also a vegan tasting menu available that doesn’t disappoint. Along with a list of quality wines, there is a carefully-curated tea and tisane menu that adds depth to the sensory dining experience.

According to Potter, Viand is an archaic word for an assortment of food, a perfect description for what she believes Thai food is. The kitchen is cleverly placed at the centre of the dining area so guests can watch the magic unfold as their meals come together. The building also houses a contemporary art space upstairs called Ellipsis gallery, managed and run by Potter’s partner Mark Wotherspoon. So you can enjoy world-class dining and art all under the one roof.

Address: 41 Crown St, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
Website: http://viand.club
Price Range: $$$-$$$$

Luna Lu

Set on CampFancy cured fish dish on white plate and round tablebell’s Cove in The Rocks, Luna Lu brings a fresh take on contemporary Asian dining to Sydney. This restaurant is very close to head chef Lucas Duon’s heart. Formerly of Mr Wong’s, Duon brings his Chinese and Vietnamese heritage to the table, blending the technical culinary skills of Chinese cooking with the flagrant flavours of Vietnamese cuisine to create a rare dining experience.

The menu is designed to entice and excite, with premium locally-sourced produce used to create modern dishes of the highest order. Think small dishes such as prawns wrapped in kataifi with yuzu avocado, sweet and spiced mayo and fresh starfruit, or the cured kingfish served with a wasabi emulsion and fresh kiwi salsa served with crunchy lotus chips. The larger dishes include a delicious Moreton Bay bug salad, thinly sliced, tempura battered with taro on a bed of mixed greens with a black vinegar and icimi garlic dressing, and fresh lobster XO noodles with fresh Eastern Rock lobsters from the tank.

With the Opera House at its backdrop, there isn’t a more refined place in Sydney to experience the refined tastes at Luna Lu.

Address: Campbells Cove Ground Level, Bays 4 and 5, 7-27 Circular Quay W, The Rocks NSW 2000
Website: https://lunalu.com.au
Price Range: $$$-$$$$

Chi Chi

Seared scallop on fancy crispPart of the historic Grosvenor Place building on George Street, Chi Chi is a pan-Asian diner that offers exceptional food, amazing drinks and an exciting atmosphere. Head Chef Bremmy Setiyoko runs the kitchen, and brings his experience from stints working Sepia, Rockpool Dining and The Spice At Chi Chi the dishes are meticulously crafted with unique Asian flavours that can be enjoyed all day long.

By morning, Chi Chi is a cafe serving coffee, iced tea and Japanese-style breakfast dishes such as eggs benedict with a yuzu hollandaise and confit mushrooms, or the egg and bacon roll with miso BBQ sauce. By afternoon Chi Chi transforms into an energetic bar and restaurant with inventive cocktails, bar snacks and a banquet menu that includes king prawns with sambal butter and belacan, chicken salad with lemongrass and tamarind and DIY pork belly bao.
Don’t miss the Chi Chi cocktail list, utilising grape vodkas, lychee liqueurs, mango infused pisco and rokun gin to create exciting and inventive cocktails. You won’t know which one to try first!

Address: Shop 3/225 George St, Sydney NSW 2000
Website: https://www.chichidining.com.au
Price Range: $$-$$$

This new group of fantastic restaurant openings has shown that Sydney is still one of the best food destinations in the country. If you’re checking out any of these restaurants and need somewhere to stay nearby, why not check out our hotel options at Veriu Central and Veriu Broadway. All that’s left now is to get ready and book your new favourite restaurant!