Sydney Festival is back for their huge 40th year anniversary, once again propping up their central hub in the leafy surrounds of Hyde Park, this year presenting a re-brand of sorts as what was once known as Sydney Festival Village now becomes Meriton Festival Village. Not much has changed aside from the name though, and thankfully last year's spacious layout is recreating almost exactly, with a few changes here and there, and an even bigger focus on providing families with a tempting all-day pop-up bursting with entertainment and hospitality.
The various branches of Taste of Shanghai around Sydney are consistently sticking to the standard of inexpensive, good quality Shanghai cuisine, but also bringing in influences from various other Chinese cuisines to offer a comprehensive, share-focused dining experience. Their newest outlet is on the ground floor of World Square, adding greatly to the improved dining options at the central Sydney hub, and bringing the brand its first CBD location.
Sydney loves a good food trend. That’s why the focus on tradition at Le Pub is so refreshing. From its sultry Paris bistro basement setting to its dishes that are some of the mainstays of French cuisine the restaurant offers enjoyment in the tried and tested prepared with excellence.
With a new art gallery concept and a new menu, Chefs Gallery is celebrating the art of Chinese cuisine. All venues have been decked out with collectable Chinese contemporary art, including paintings, sculptures, and ceramics. All the art is for sale.
One of the The Rock's newest and most exciting cafe openings this year has been Kansas City Shuffle, a venue that occupies the space formerly home to the Cadbury Chocolate factory, and is just a stone's throw from Wynyard station. The very conveniently located cafe has already racked up a solid fan-base, thanks to those involved in KCS, including Benny Sweeten (ex-Joe Black, Rose Bay Diner) and Chef Kayne Mordini (of Melbourne cafe Proud Mary), and has thus far proved a necessary addition to the area's casual dining scene.
Before he helps man the kitchen at Enmore's forthcoming Queen Victoria Hotel, Merivale Dumpling Master Eric Koh has a few more weeks left running his dim sum pop-up, @EricKoh, at CBD bar Work in Progress. The pop-up was originally intended to last for six weeks through September, but an unsurprisingly high level of demand has forced Merivale to extend the residency until 23rd December this year.
Popular CBD Japanese restaurant Yayoi Sydney is now Yayoi Garden, and while the interior has the same casual elegance, the menu has slightly changed, with set tasting menus introduced to reflect the spring-summer season, while the sake list is even more extensive than before. My previous visit was a pleasant experience, delivering a Japanese dining experience which would rather stick to authenticity than water themselves down for the sake of accessibility; I was expecting no less when I walked through those big doors off Bridge St, greeted by the same meticulous service all good Japanese restaurants deliver.
This Thursday saw the launch party for HackFood, Australia’s first food-themed hackathon. A hackathon is a weekend-long business building competition and start-up boot camp that aims to encourage its participants to uncover unique digital technology solutions to combat some of the biggest challenges faced in traditional industries Despite the connotations associated with the term ‘hackathon’, HackFood is an all-inclusive event encouraging not just tech developers but passionate entrepreneurs, foodies and chefs to collaborate on ideas and of course, eat delicious food.
New Shanghai's CBD restaurant on the lower ground of Westfield Sydney has only been open for less than a fortnight, and it's already pumping out dumplings with a vengeance.
As if the promise of Gelato Messina and Mr Bao weren’t reason enough to head on down to the Noodle Night Market, there’s a bar serving whisky and cookies that will knock your socks off. Grabbed your attention yet?
Beyond an unassuming door and down the stairs on Bent Street, Contrabando is injecting a bit of Latin flavour into the Sydney CBD. The basement restaurant pumps out lively food with a Latin take on Australian produce.
Such a big focus on Tequila and Mezcal isn't often seen in the very centre of the city, often confined to the the more specifically hipster suburbs like Darlinghurst, Potts Point and Surry Hills, or breezy Bondi and Double Bay. That all changed when the team behind King Cross staple Barrio Chino decided to move into the just-off-Martin-Place space that was once occupied by late-night party champs Spice Cellar. The resulting bar, titled Barrio Cellar, is the underground hub of rowdy, spirited Mexican culture that the CBD has always been begging for and, in a year of great change for Sydney's dining scene, it's still one of the most exciting venue openings (whole precincts aside) in the past few years.
Photo Credit: Chloe Paul
Lotus Dining - Chris Yan's modern take on Chinese - has been bringing customers their second location in The Galeries for less than two months, but they've already become one of the most popular destinations in the building, which is celebrating their "Spring Social" this weekend. And Lotus are joining in on the festivities, offering a special, one weekend only $49 degustation menu. We got a taste of it last night and here's what you can expect from the menu:
For tapas, a cheeky sangria, and a good time, it's hard to beat Barrafina in the heart of the Sydney CBD. The eatery brings Spanish share plates to life. The vibe is casual and playful. A wall is painted with a pertinent expression in Spanish: 'una comida sin vino se llama desayuno' which translates to 'a meal without wine is called breakfast'.
After years of being one of the most celebrated dumpling-centric restaurants in Sydney, Lotus Dining have expanded to a second, much bigger venue in the middle of the city, taking up a big chunk of real estate at the ever-growing The Galeries. Driving a new evolution for the popular dining and retail precinct, Lotus Dining have taken one giant step up from their intimate 48-seater Walsh Bay venue with an enourmous 270-seater restaurant that is just as much about DS17's sleek design as it is about the high quality food and drink.