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Jun 25, 2006 10:02 PM

Syndey Restaurants-advice please

My husband & I will be in Sydney in a few months, and are hoping to sample some outstanding food. We are already set on Tetsuya's, Salior Thai and Guilliaume at Bennelong. We are trying to decide between a few places for our last booking, and would love some advice. We like basically all food types, and expense is not an issue. Here are the few we are trying to decide between:
1. Quay
2. Est.
3. Pier
3. The Boathouse
4. Rockpool

Any thoughts or other suggestions? Thanks.

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  1. As you have had no replies I will try to help, but I am only quoting from Gourmet Traveller 2006 Restuarant Guide. Note that you can now buy this wonderful guide online - try
    Apart from The Boathouse, which is not mentioned, all others are rated 3 Stars, and both Quay and Pier should have wonderful views. Prices are all up there, so I would say either Quay or Pier.
    Sorry I cannot help any more.

    1. Pier went downhill a few years ago. If you want to eat in that area (Rose Bay) and want better views, head to Catalina - the food isn't my favorite in Sydney but it has a real 'scene'.
      Do not bother with Rockpool. That's just my opinion but for the money I think you can have better and I find Neil Perry an arrogant twit.
      Stunning views and fab food at Bather's Pavillion at Balmoral Beach, north of the Harbour Bridge.
      For my mind, Longgrain as opposed to Sailors Thai is better for Thai food.
      Hope this has been of use.
      For outstanding Italian, either Otto at Woolomooloo Wharf which is very funky or Buon Ricordo in Paddington for more traditional but no less fantastic food.
      For great Chinese, Golden Century in Chinatown - it's a huge 300 seater. Be sure to order only seafood - pippies with xo chilli sauce, steamed prawns, lobster with spring onions and ginger, which they fish out of the tanks and present to you before slaughtering.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Tango

        I actually enjoyed Pier a lot and is one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney. My boyfriend and I went in August 2005 for a special occassion. The place was simply but elegantly decorated. I found the service to be superb; once our waiter made some recommendations and took our order, the plates, glasses, dishes came and went seamlessly.

        I had oysters as a starter (I don't remember it being out of this world) and the red curry of bass groper as my main course, which I do highly recommend! The bass groper was sweet and not overcooked, and its texture resembles the texture of crab meat. We also had Pier's wine concierge pick a different wine to accompany each course, which I believe enhanced our dining experience quite a bit. We probably paid about $165AUD with gratuity, but we thought it was well worth it. [As comparision, we had a dinner in New York's (my home town) Brooklyn River Cafe and our bill came out to $280USD with wine and gratuity and the service was not that great (and the wine was way overpriced), so I thought Pier was well worth it.]

      2. Rockpool was a disaster when we were there so please skip that.
        For a fairly formal venue I recommend B├ęcasse (in Surry Hills) - we actually preferred it to Tetsuya - especially for value. It's a formal bistro serving a small menu of fresh items.

        A little funkier is Sean's Panaroma (note spelling) in Bondi. Well worth the trip out there (the bus runs all night long too so no worries about getting back). The wagyu beef there was more enjoyable than at Tetsuya (and a bigger portion). Also, all the wines at Sean's are available by the glass (and reservations are essential).

        1. From that list I'd choose Boathouse for sure - doesn't have the typical Sydney harbour views but is on the water and is open and breezy (and less of a "scene". Avoid Rockpool - overrated.

          1. Your list is sound, and you'll eat very well, though it's a little top-heavy to get a real picture of Sydney. Rockpool, despite some glitchy service, does outstanding food, so ignore the naysayers.

            If you'd like to eat somewhere that will give you a sense of place, hit Sean's Panaroma. The food, though simple, is executed with great love and care and the produce is exemplary. The other places you might want to look at are Billy Kwong (funked-up, yet respectful and intelligent Cantonese in a neo-teahouse setting) and Fish Face, a low-key no bookings fish place that nonetheless buys whole ike jime-spiked fish and does great chips.

            Sailors Thai does much more authentic than anywhere else in Sydney. Longrain does great food, but it's unashamedly "modern Asian cuisine", mostly Thai tweaked for the cocktail set. Do both if you can, but if you only have time for one, make it Sailors (or Spice I Am, but that's a different story).