From soon-to-open waterfront restaurants to new intimate bars tucked away in the Sydney CBD, it seems there is a new Sydney opening every week. Here, we've picked the most noteworthy venue openings to have on your radar.
Whether you're keen to know about the hotly anticipated Sydney restaurant from a leading hospitality group or looking for a new neighbourhood wine bar to visit, we have you covered.
A former Totti's chef is set to bring a slice of Mediterranean dining to Cronulla with the opening of Bobby's. Located right on the beach, the seafood-focused restaurant will draw upon executive chef Pablo Tordesillas' (ex-executive chef Otto and Tottis) vast Italian-leaning experience, joined in the kitchen by chef Shaun Baker (Pier, Yan Restaurant and Bills). Located at the southern end of Cronulla's Esplanade, Bobby's will have two parts — a restaurant-bar and a beach club — with 115-seats and panoramic views. Seafood will be showcased in a seaside array: prawns served in brioche rolls; imported Cantabrian anchovies; fresh slices of ocean trout crudo; and whole grilled snapper. Alongside seafood staples there will also be pasta and a 1kg rib-eye; all to be enjoyed it a bright and breezy room designed by Tom Mark Henry (who's also behind The Gidley, Bar Besuto and Hotel Morris).
Harper Rooftop Bar
Sydney loves a rooftop bar and the addition of a pool only makes it a hotter prospect. Enter Harper, which nails the oft-requested Sydney summer brief of open-air cocktails by the water, all without leaving the CBD. Located up on level 7 of Kimpton Margot Sydney, expect an urban take on beach club vibes with pastel furnishings, long dining tables and secluded pod seats, while DJs will soundtrack the evenings. Chef Luke Mangan calls upon light and bright Mediterranean to punctuate the menu, while a build-your-own Martini station will allow guests to customise the classic cocktail to their exact liking.
Parramatta has welcomed an elegant 120-seat Japanese restaurant inside Church Street's Heritage Precinct, with a kitchen led by ex-Nobu chef Harry Cho. Chef Cho interweaves traditional techniques, high skill and innovation at Oribu, as seen across both a la carte and $150 tasting menus. Dishes include popcorn prawns served with yuzu juice and a spicy, creamy sauce; salmon jalapeño tacos; maki rolls; mains such as tenderloin brochettes and toothfish with sweet miso; and a basil and lime tart for dessert. There's also the lavish Omakase Platter ($250) which comes with all manner of raw and cooked seafoods, from scallops to scampi.
A night out at Mexican cocktail and small plates favourite El Primo Sanchez is always a hit, and now the intimately-lit Paddington local has a little secret its dying to share: the opening of its new hidden speakeasy tucked behind a nondescript door at the back of the venue. With just 10 seats, La Prima can only be accessed by invitation, or by those in the know who know where to go. Set against ambient old-school Mexican music and walls adorned with agave, expect a rotating menu of cocktails specially curated by the Maybe Sammy team. Try the Encanto, perhaps, made with Patron Silver, dry vermouth and cherry soda; or the Perfume de Gardenias, with Patron Resposado, peach, citrus and jasmine soda.
Select snacks curated by El Primo Sanchez Head Chef Alejandro Huerta will also be on offer. Consider the Blackmore wagyu barbacca with salsa roja de miso; or a punchy guacamole updated with fermented green tomato and a hit of chilli crunch. With this not-so-secret new opening, you'll want your nights to go even longer.
House Made Hospitality is on a roll and is showing no signs of slowing down. Not long after announcing the imminent arrival of southern French restaurant Martinez (slated for opening mid-October), the team has opened new the Southeast Asian diner Easy Tiger in Bondi. Slotting into the ground floor of the Pacific Bondi Beach, just five minutes from sister venue Promenade, Easy Tiger takes over the space that was previously home to House Made's colourful summer pop-up Rancho Seltzo. Head chef Andy Wirya (ex-Queen Chow, Mr Wong) brings his Indonesian heritage to a tight, snack-focused menu, alongside influences from Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines. For $42 per person, diners can build their own banquet, choosing from classic dishes with creative modern twists; such as a crisp corn "larb", featuring pops of twice-fried corn in place of the traditional pork; and rich beef rendang wrapped in pastry, to create a hot take on a classic party pie.
In Surry Hills, the former Cafe Lounge site has had a tropical transformation with the opening of Tucano's. Think carozzas (fried mozzarella and anchovy sandwiches); kingfish-topped toast with yuzu aïoli and jalapeño salsa verde; and pork cutlet with pineapple and pepper agrodolce, all from chef Naomi Lowry (ex-Biota and Pilu). Drinks-wise tiki-inspired tipples are front and centre; and cocktails are also the source of inspiration for the dessert menu, with a Mai Tai rhum baba making an appearance.
House Made Hospitality's latest venture Martinez is bringing south of France flair and flavours to Quay Quarter Tower, led by executive chef Alex Wong – who will split the role across Martinez and Lana – alongside head chef Andrea Sonnante (ex-Sagra). With an express elevator ride set to deliver diners to the elevated dining room, which promises harbour views and al fresco terrace dining, Martinez will pull focus on the lighter side of French cuisine. "We want to take our diners on a colourful coastal escape," says Sonnante. The flavours from Provence, Nice and Saint-Tropez will be on show, all with a sharp focus on local seafood. "Australian seafood is incredible – Sydney rock oysters, marron and abalone." These will be showcased alongside mussels, scallops and poached king prawns on an elegant plateau de fruits de mer. A forward-thinking spin on a Niçoise salad will take raw slices of tuna, silky confit egg yolk and raw vegetables and dress it all with tuna mayonnaise and white soy; while scallops will be grilled and doused in a sea urchin sauce. While pasta doesn't feature prominently on traditional French menus, Martinez will look to France's Mediterranean neighbours for influence. "My background is Italian – and in the south of France they have a big influence from Liguria and use egg dough pastas – often long shapes that go well with seafood," says Sonnante. Taking this in, you'll find a saffron tagliatelle with red mullet, fennel pollen, salmon roe and a lobster butter sauce, which Sonnante is hoping will become a signature. The dining room and kitchen counter seats will both serve a full menu, while the outdoor terrace will focus on more casual bites.
Also in Circular Quay, Pearl is a glimmering new Cantonese restaurant and bar. The 84-seater will bring a slice of Hong Kong and beyond to Quay Quarter Tower with roast duck, char siu pork and live seafood tanks. The menu is a collaboration between Hong Kong native, chef Cheung Shui Yip and chef Steve Wu. Expect dim sum, soups, seafood barbecue and rice and noodle dishes with plenty of yum cha mainstays. You can also anticipate modern riffs including scallop tart with dried ginger and lemon with crispy rice cracker; crab and pork xiao long bao; and wagyu tri tip with tangerine peel sauce. A 200-strong wine list will include new and old world favourites, meaning you can enjoy an excellent gewürztraminer with some barbecued duck.
Now open in Sydney's CBD, Alfie's is the new high-octane steak spot from the duo behind Bistecca and The Gidley. Heroing sirloin steaks, Alfie's will focus on a faster service mode and a more approachable budget, so a steak lunch doesn't always mean pushing the boat out.
Ricos Tacos at The Norfolk
From a poky Chinatown basement food court to a pub kitchen kitted out with an al pastor to his current no venue is too big or small for Toby Wilson. But now the chef is bringing his cult-favourite Ricos Tacos to beloved Redfern pub The Norfolk. Opening on Saturday 23 September, the new Ricos Tacos will house a whopping 200-plus patrons across two levels of the pub. Downstairs will be the laidback and colourful taqueria spilling out into the sunny courtyard, while upstairs will be Club Ricos — part disco den, part '60s sports bar and complete with DJs, late-night quesadillas, moody red hues and cocktails by the team at El Primo Sanchez.
Former Firedoor talent Ahana Dutt is heading up the kitchen at newcomer Raja in Potts Point. It comes from the team behind the neighbouring Ezra, and you can expect a colourful and convivial take on Indian cuisine, specifically Maharashtrian cuisine. Drawing upon Dutt's time living and working in Mumbai, the menu takes Australian menu staples and adds Indian condiments, spice mixes and flair. Starters like oysters, stracciatella and fresh tuna get amped up with plum spiced sweet chutney, achaar (Indian lime pickles) and gunpowder spice (an essential South Indian condiment), respectively. Small plates include beef tartare and masala-spiced clams; while mains include butter, garlic, pepper crab; and a Goan take on a spicy sour curried fish, all ready to be mopped up with rice and naan. Romantic-yet-playful interors have called upon the extravagance of Bollywood as a reference point, and are joined by a PS40-curated cocktail list.
Smoky embers, hot flames and dry-ageing are at the forefront of Poetica, a new 120-seat bar and grill from the team behind Loulou Bistro. Head chef Connor Hartley-Simpson brings experience from working at a three-Michelin-star restaurant in San Francisco. The mains are divided into three sections: charcoal, wood and dry-aged, to represent the array of cooking techniques. Sydney rock oysters served with 'njuda, guindilla and sizzling beef fat; sugar loaf cabbage is wood-fired and comes with with smoky butter and fried garlic; and whole rainbow trout is butterflied and grilled over wood, then served with with fresh dill, lemon, shallots and brown butter. A dry-ageing cabinet will house T-bones and tomahawks; and there's also dry-aged flash-grilled swordfish; and slow-cooked pork jowl in black garlic and honey glaze. Wine-wise a hearty Australian list will focus on icons through to up-and-comers. An adjoining bar and terrace will look after North Sydney's after-work set with craft beers and bar snacks.
The Sydney Opera House has welcomed Midden by Mark Olive, a new dining experience within the Western foyer that puts native ingredients centre stage. Fronted by much-loved Bundjalung man and Indigenous Australian chef Mark Olive, Midden takes its name from the shell heaps that were historic gathering and cooking spaces for First Nation Australians. Snacks will show off Australia's access to quality ingredients. That means Sydney rock oysters with bush tomato, citrus and wattleseed vinaigrette; chicken liver parfait with Davidson's plum and port wine jelly; and regional Australian cheeses served with quandong paste and mountain pepper leaf flatbreads. Mains span barramundi, wallaby and black olive pappardelle. Plus, a native ingredients-focused high tea will also be on offer.
Jacksons on George
Circular Quay is ready for the long-awaited arrival of the reimagined Jacksons on George. Chef Steven Sinclair is coming over from Icebergs Dining Room and Bar to lead the three-level project. On the street level, Sinclair will oversee zhuzhed up counter classics and pub snacks, perhaps slow-cooked duck sausage rolls or battered Morton Bay bug buns with spiced Vadouvan mayonnaise. Above, Bistro George will see Australian produce merged with American and European retro restaurant standards, including buttery clams casino; salt and brandy cured New Zealand salmon gravlax served with blinis and cultured cream; salt crusted ribeye with sauce au poivre or béarnaise; and a banoffee sundae. Art will also be an important factor in Jacksons on George's interiors, with Sydney-based architecture and interiors studio Richards Stanisich working on the fit-out and an artist in residence, Kaylene Whiskey, who is best known for winning the Sir John Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Don't Tell Uncle
On the North Shore, Don't Tell Uncle has opened in Cammeray. The sibling restaurant to Surry Hills' Don't Tell Aunty, expect regional Indian dishes from Punjab, Goa and Kashmir. There will also be remixes on classics including cheese naan with blue cheese, mozzarella, cheddar and garam masala; cashew-flecked korma with beef rump; and tandoori prawns with pineapple chilli sauce, plus an extensive veggie and legume curry menu.
Crown Street has welcomed what is perhaps Sydney's first Sri Lankan wine bar with the opening of Kurumba. "We're taking Sri Lankan street food as inspiration and putting it into a contemporary wine bar concept," says says co-owner Travin De Hoedt. One dish they are working on is inspired by kottu, a curried rice and roti dish. There will also be roti; a soft serve that riffs on a dessert-drink with rosewater, milk, jelly, coconut and pistachio; and a dedicated hopper bar, where the steamed batter snacks will be made to order.
Good news for cocktail lovers, former Potts Point speakeasy Eau-de-Vie has emerged from two years of hibernation in the basement of the CBD's restored Beneficial House.
Eau-de-Vie is joined at street level by new restaurant The Sanderson. The restaurant will focus on local oysters, high-end meat cuts and seafood, while the cocktail bar calls upon drink-making theatrics and an extensive whisky collection.
The Saga team has been anything but idle since the much-loved Inner West café closed in late June. Owned by Sydney cake king Andy Bowdy and Maddison Howes, Saga saw many Sydneysiders line up to score an excellent toastie or impressive Saga baked good in the lead-up to its closure. Little did we know that a new iteration was less than a month away. Just weeks after closing shop, Bowdy and Howes have opened a new "food wonderland" in Rosebery along with Kepos Street Kitchen's Michael Rantissi and Kristy Frawley. The just-opened Salma's Canteen is named after Rantissi's mother and is "a one-stop shop that's part kitchen, part takeaway, part diner, and part shop," says Rantissi. Split into distinct sections, the sit-down canteen and the grab-and-go deli and shop, Salma's promises seasonal salads and daily-changing dishes, ready-made sandwiches and dips, plus Bowdy's famed sweet treats such as yuzu cheesecakes, salted honey tarts, and sweet and savoury shortcrust pastries.
The incredibly popular AP Bakery has just opened a new venue in Sydney's CBD. The talented All Purpose Bakery team - Mat Lindsay (Ester, Poly), Russell Beard (Paramount Coffee Project, Reuben Hills), Jin Ng (Paramount House Hotel) and head baker Dougal Muffet - have opened their newest AP instalment on Barrack Street, with an all-day menu of baked goods and lunch fare to boot. Menu highlights include cauliflower cheese toasties, salt beef bagels, salt and vinegar hash browns, and pizza slices topped with the likes of roasted red peppers and porchetta with bitter greens. As for the coffee, the beans come by way of Reuben Hills, naturally.
The Swillhouse group has swung open the doors to Le Foote, a Mediterranean-esque wine bar and restaurant in The Rocks. "When we saw this site, two and a bit years ago, we fell in love with the façade. It could be in Paris or London," says co-owner Anton Forte. The wood-panelled front now bears a glossy black paint job with gold lettering, and behind it is a veritable treasure map of drinking and dining nooks.
The intimate first section is anchored by the original Phillip's Foote bar and surrounded by art, vintage coasters and knick-knacks straight from the Forte bothers' personal collection. Up the narrow staircase you'll find plenty more tables for drinks (perhaps a two-sip Negroni or a big Italian red from the 300-strong wine list) and small plates, with charcoal portraits by artist Allie Webb. There's also a verandah and tree-dotted courtyard which leads to the restaurant, where a Roman mural-tiled semi-open room beholds pressed white tableclothes, ceramic carafes and suited waitstaff. The cobblestone laneway, which ups the total capacity to 425 guests, also offers the rare treat for Sydneysiders to be able to perch on the street with a drink in hand, channelling the great wine bars of Paris, Milan and Rome.
Fabbrica Bread Shop
From a lockdown pivot pop-up to a soon-to-open bakery, Fabbrica Bread Shop is back - and this time it's here to stay. From the brains behind Fabbrica Pasta Shop, Fabbrica Bread Shop is a tested success that will open in Rozzelle permanently this August. It promises sandwiches, pastries, and baked goods that gained cult status in the pop-up's previous short run in 2021 - think pork and fennel sausage rolls, chocolate-filled bomboloni and banoffee tarts. On the savoury side, there will also be golden Pithiviers, cross-laminated masla croissants stuffed with spiced potato and spicy vindaloo pies, plus loaded focaccia slices and stacked sandwiches for takeway lunches. For sweeter treats, it promises pillowy Roman cream buns, decadent chocolate tarts and neatly coiled morning buns. Naturally for a self-identified bread shop, the Rozelle iteration of Fabbrica will also peddle freshly baked loaves of sourdough.
South Eveleigh has been forging its name as a food precinct since it opened in late 2021, and now the arrival of Coyoacán Social will further embolden this status. The Mexican cantina is the latest venture from Plate It Forward, a social enterprise dedicated to creating equal opportunity across the table. Coyoacán Social is overseen by head chef and co-owner Roman Cortes, who - through his lived experience of addiction - is ready to help with Plate It Forward's giving ethos. Food is central to this, with Cortes bringing recipes from his family to the menu. Drawing upon his time growing up in Mexico City and his mother's birthplace of Coyoacán, the menu will explore how food fosters connection and how it helped Cortes on his own recovery journey. Think birria tacos, served with a rich accompanying beef dipping broth; cochinita pibil, which sees a corn tortilla topped with pickled onions and pineapple and habanero sauce; and flautas deep, where tortillas are stuffed with cheese, salsa verde and chipotle chicken then deep fried.