In Food + Drink

Sydney’s Hottest Bars And Restaurants To Check Out This Winter

Earlier this year, we brought you the best of Sydney’s newest bars and restaurants to check out. And while you’ve been busy working your way through that list, it’s likely you might’ve missed the slew of new venues that’ve opened since.

A super-discrete Vietnamese tucked under a busy bar. A swanky hotel restaurant with a Scottish Highland twist. And a Middle Eastern eatery serving the city’s best roast cauliflower. All of it should make for some very eclectic dining this winter.

Forty Licks, CBD

If you weren’t looking for Forty Licks, there’s a good chance you’d miss it. The Vietnamese bar and restaurant is tucked under the busy Bavarian Bier Café on York Street and housed in a cosy basement.

Here, exposed heritage sandstone, beautiful timber, and a stunning bamboo piece hanging over the bar, set the scene. And wine-infused after-work chatter, the soundtrack.

The menu showcases traditional Vietnamese street food – think crispy pancakes, dumplings and BBQ – all made with French cooking flair. Cocktail highlights include the tequila-based Lick Me Forty and the Sesamum, made with Bacardi.

24 York Street, CBD

The Stables Bar & Grill, Glebe

Seven months of renovation make for one very anticipated opening. After the long wait, The Glebe Hotel (formerly the Australian Youth Hotel) and its eatery The Stables Bar & Grill finally opened its doors in March of this year.

Inside, the décor doesn’t veer too far from the building’s days as a Victorian terrace in 1862 – exposed brick walls, a fireplace, and a mezzanine loft that once served as stables, to give you an idea ­– but was given a fresh update with white licks of paint and a beautiful mural by Sydney artist Indigo Jo.

The menu? It’s all about putting a fancy twist on classic pub fare. Expect melt-in-your-mouth gnocchi, steaks, burgers and a Sunday roast of course.

63 Bay Street, Glebe

6HEAD, Campbells Cove

The strip of restaurants along the Harbour in The Rocks, Campbells Cove, used to be known as a tourist trap and then as a vacant area. Which makes the opening of 6HEAD a very refreshing change – not to mention easily one of the most anticipated among Sydney’s newest bars and restaurants.

The first of a string of venues to open there, it’s on the pricier end (a burrata starter will set you back $25, two-person share steaks, $165), but in terms of service, food and view, the steakhouse restaurant more than delivers.

Steak here is sourced from the best quality beef in the country and, as a result, is easily some of the best in town. And they don’t skimp on the sauce either. A choice of perfectly complementary sauces are on offer too.

Surprisingly, between a mushroom and leek pie and an off-the-menu large salad, vegos have options to choose from too.

7-27 Circular Quay W, The Rocks

Platform 818, Central

The stereotype goes that restaurants inside hotels are only ever frequented by hotel guests. But newly-opened Platform 818 inside Mercure Sydney, opposite Central Station, is very much a destination in its own right.

The atmosphere is cosy industrial with exposed brick walls, wooden tables, and a dimly lit dining room. The menu is modern Australian (order the honey haloumi, which comes out in a skillet, and the snapper), but it’s the highball cocktails here that really shine – particular the Glenfiddich terrarium experience.

One for the whisky lovers, it showcases the world’s most awarded single malt, paired with handmade truffles. With the shot glass served in an actual terrarium, it’s not to be missed.

818-820 George Street, Chippendale

Jounieh, Walsh Bay

If you’ve been hanging out to hear where to find Sydney’s best roast cauliflower, it’s at Jounieh in Walsh Bay. The Middle Eastern eatery from the team behind El-Phoenician serves a whole head of it, cooked in buttermilk, toasted in chickpea flour, fried, and topped with lemon vinaigrette, pomegranate, mint and roasted almonds. Suffice to say, you won’t find any in the city better.

Also on the menu are the usual mezze suspects, hummos, baba ganoush, and labne, all meant to be shared. Even the mains are meant to be split – divided into small plates, large and king.

Catering to its clientele, the restaurant also offers light lunches with a quick turnaround time for nearby office workers, as well as a pre-theatre menu.

Shop 2/17 Hickson Road, Dawes Point

Jackalberry, CBD

CBD workers have a new watering hole to add to their roster in Jackalberry, which opened in May and sits next to the Hyatt Regency. The cocktail bar aims to transport patrons from the hustle and bustle of Sussex Street into a distinguished, worldly, well, world. Housed in a heritage-listed building, it’s decorated with emerald greens, worn leather, and pops of greenery.

Gin is a big feature on the cocktail list. As is rum. Should you be feeling peckish, there’s a food menu too. In keeping with the wanderer theme, dishes and cocktails take inspiration from all over – Europe and Asia to the Americas.

161 Sussex Street, CBD

Babylon Rooftop & Garden Bar and Duck & Rice, Pitt Street

This month, Westfield Sydney will see two new restaurants opening on its level seven rooftop. First, there’s Babylon, the brainchild of Mantle Group Hospitality (MHG), the same folks behind The Squire’s Landing in The Rocks.

There, you’ll find a Middle Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean mix on the menu, and a design that takes its cues from the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

sydney's newest bars and restaurants

Image: Duck & Rice / supplied

Then there’s Duck & Rice. There, surrounded by a whopping 399 other patrons (full capacity is 400) and under 300 handmade iron lanterns, dine on traditional Cantonese fare.

Level 7, Westfield Pitt Street, CBD

(Lead image: The Stables Bar & Grill / supplied)

Published 19 June, 2019