1. Momofuku Seiobo Paul Carmichael's Barbadian roots are evident in a confident Caribbean-Australian mash-up that's far greater than the sum of its parts.
The Star, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont, seiobo.momofuku.com
It doesn't get more big-night-out than this, harbour and Opera House spread before you beyond richly clothed tables and plates composed by an army of staff.
Upper Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks, quay.com.au
Never let it be said that Ross Lusted marches to the beat of anyone else's drum. A combination of fierce native intelligence, wickedly honed skills and career spent travelling the globe gives him unusual reach.
44 Bridge St, Sydney, thebridgeroom.com.au
Peter Gilmore, renowned for his work across the water at Quay, deserves a standing ovation for food that complements rather than competes with the surrounds.
Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney, bennelong.com.au
You'll likely leave recounting the brilliance of pairing raw alfonsino with finger lime, yellow peppers and marigold, or the unfailingly dazzling snacks and desserts, thinking lovingly of the wine list and plotting your next visit.
27 O'Connell St, Sydney, thebentley.com.au
Rockpool Bar & Grill delivers the glamour via its thrilling Deco-era dining room, all soaring pillars, mood lighting and lofty ceilings, but its real strength is getting the basics right.
66 Hunter St, Sydney, rockpoolbarandgrill.com.au
Good things in small packages is a theme here. The restaurant is small and, from the suburban street, unprepossessing. Inside, though, the wonders start to unfold, as seductive as the finest diners in the city.
83 Percival Rd, Stanmore, sixpenny.com.au
One prevailing strategy for landing a chair at this hugely popular basement brasserie is going with a gang of six or more, so you can book a table by the stage in the swinging main room and make the most of the big dishes to share.
15 Bligh St, Sydney, restauranthubert.com
It's a rare trick, but Clayton Wells pulls it off time and time again: the creation of plates that are ephemeral in their beauty but emphatic in their flavour and depth.
5 Kensington St, Chippendale, automata.com.au
Fire and smoke touch every plate, but not with a campfire intensity. Don't come expecting to taste the nuance of woods (apple, grapevine, peach, orange) that they cook with. Be prepared, instead, for considered plates featuring a handful of seasonal ingredients.
23-33 Mary St, Surry Hills, firedoor.com.au
See all the winners of our 2018 Restaurant Guide Awards.