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Sydney restaurants for honeymooners

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Hi all,
I'm a food/travel writer based in Tucson (originally from NYC) who's new to Chowhound and, first off, I've got to say how impressed I am by the level of discussion on these boards. I tend to be wary of internet opinion sites because they're often uninformed but what I've read on this one has blown me away with its expertise.

So -- to business. I'm updating the Sydney restaurant section of a website geared to honeymooners and would love a list of the 10 top places to dine, both for views, atmosphere, and of course food -- if possible in a variety of price ranges. I didn't write the original section and only visited Sydney once a few years back, where I ate at the amazing Tetsuya and the old incarnation of Rockpool, which I thought was pretty darn good. So those two are definitely on my list (the updated Rockpool of course) plus, from the original listings, Quay and Bathers' Pavilion. But that's only four. The others in the old reviews are Bills Surry Hill, Mu Shu, Prime, and Wildfire, none of which I've read anything about on the various food/travel sites I've consulted.

Based on other posts on this board I'm thinking of adding est and Marque. I also noticed Sailor's Thai (and other low key Thai places, but assume that these honeymooners, though hip, will likely stay mostly in the prime tourist areas) and am thinking of that as a possibilty.From other sites, I read that Bentley's Restaurant and Bar has won several awards. And Iceberg's has come up on a lot of lists; ditto Guilliame at Bennelongs.

If anyone has thoughts about another six restaurants to add to my current list of Tetsuya, Quay, Rockpool and Bathers' Pavilion they would be most welcome.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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  1. You're getting paid for this right?
    gourmettraveller.com.au probably has what you are looking for.
    As you say, your others are very outdated recommendations.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kmh

      I was initially hesitant to post because it was an assignment but, having carefully read the rules of etiquette which said it was okay if I disclosed my purpose, I went ahead. The pay -- well, that's a subject for a writer's board because it's so out of line with the amount of work this turned out to be. But that's no reason I should do less than a top notch job for newlyweds, who are looking for expert advice -- thus my decision to come here. I tried gourmettraveller.com.au on your suggestion but couldn't figure out how to search for romantic spots. Am I missing something?

      1. re: azwriter

        well, I just felt it was another case of professional journalism sucking off the public for profit. One would have thought that your publisher would be sending you to Australia in order to have any authority on the subject matter.

        ANyhow, casting that aside, because you are probably in the same boat as the rest of us, my list is very similar to PhilD. I've tried to think of the "newlywed" out of town factor.

        1. Icebergs - cool (in every sense of the word). Bondi views, food, etc.
        2. Pier - seafood restaurant on a pier. currently AGT restaurant of the year.
        3. Longrain - smart sassy thai food and an excellent cocktail bar.
        4. Rock Restaurant (firestick cafe by day) - No honeymoon to Sydney is complete without a visit to the Hunter Valley (winemaking region)
        5. On the way back from the HV divert into Patonga for fish and chips on Brisbane Waters
        6. & 7. any of a number of classy city restaurants and circular quay establishments - quay, est, aria, becasse, marque, etc.
        8 . Pie float at Harry's Cafe de Wheels, Woolloomooloo (for a laugh)
        9 . Berowra Waters Inn (sprung to mind as an ultimate adventure meal)
        10. Bathers Pavillion - breakfast or lunch on a beautiful sunny day.

        1. re: kmh

          Understood -- and much appreciated. Hardly anyone's sending writers anywhere these days (except of course the big names who can afford to pay).

    2. Not cheap but a classy top 10. Memorable meals at good "destination" restaurants. Sydney has lots of other great restaurants, but these have wow factor for the special meal.

      1. Icebergs - cool and funky, full of beautiful people and a view to die for.
      2. Guillaume at Bennelong - in the Opera House, you are in the view.
      3. The Pier - over the water, cool and classy with tons of style.
      4. Berowra Waters Inn - an old classic that is back, out of town on the water in the bush, get there by seaplane.
      5. Becasse - fantastic French food in a very classy atmosphere.
      6. Aqua Dining - across the harbour from the Opera House, amazing view, book the terrace.
      7. est - glamerous dining in the city.
      9. Longrain - great thai food, with a funky, clubby feel (Sailors Thai is good but staid).
      10. Bathers Pavilion - an old favorite almost on the beach, you can taste the sea.

      2 Replies
      1. re: PhilD

        Thanks very much, PhilD. I love the idea of the seaplane excursion, and I'd read about Longrain elsewhere and was thinking about it as a possibility. Great to have it confirmed.

        1. re: azwriter

          Went to Berowra Waters last week for a (very) long lunch. It is the ultimate honeymoon lunch destination because of the adventure side of it and the romantic isolation of being there. We got a van and driver to take a group of us there and it is very quaint to get dropped off at the wharf and have to wait for a little boat to chugg along to drop you right at the rstaurant way over the other side of the river...but the seaplane option is much more exciting as it lands up the river and plants you right outside. Beautiful Australian scenery, gorgeous restaurant. Very exciting beginning to a meal. Started off well with a perfect little sourdough roll each and a whole round of Echire butter (so yum). We were all getting excited now...The degustation-style menu set our expectation really high...every item sounds tantalising with suggested wines to match each selection...and we imagined we were about to receive course after course of Tetsuya-esque food.Unfortunately the food was average and the service gave us a laugh. e.g. "What is the crazy water that the ocean trout is cooked in ?" (this was an item on the menu), answer "I don't know i have come from the other restaurant. i think it's just water". Hmmm. Unfortunately the food was all just ok! But despite the av food and interesting (!!) service, we had a fantastic day and would still recommend it highly for a one-off experience. We were happily at the table for 5.5 hours! The wine list is great although v. expensive. Dietmar really needs to get his act together with the food and service and then it will be REALLY great.