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Sunrise Asian - Elizabeth Bay (Sydney)

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Widely referred to as a "Chef's Secret", Sunrise Asian is a name well known amongst the A-list of Australia's kitchen-heads; from Neil Perry to Peter Gilmore, some of the country's finest have been regulars to Fiat Malaniyom's business for years, relying on him and his team to source hard-to-find produce and rare native ingredients from around Australia, many of which have been used to create some stand-out dishes at restaurants like Quay and Rockpool. It then comes to no surprise that Sunrise Asian's brand new stand-alone restaurant in Elizabeth Bay is attracting all kinds of attention from food lovers across Sydney, doubling as a store for fresh Asian groceries, pastries, and various other produce.

Miss Peaches (New Menu, Summer 2015) - Newtown (Sydney)

Through a narrow door and up some stairs nearby The Marlborough Hotel is the passage through to Miss Peaches. There is a cool breeze blowing in and sitting high above one of Newtown’s busiest streets has afforded me the perfect view to people watch. The night my guest and I dined was a Thursday night which means the crowd pouring in are here for one thing, Roadhouse Rockabilly Night.

Pilgrim Bar - Federation Wharf (Melbourne)

Hidden to the side of Federation Square away from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne CBD is Pilgrim Bar – one of the city’s best-kept afternoon-session secrets. Its entrance is located on Federation Wharf, just off the well-trodden path of Flinders Street. Situated just next to the Yarra River, this bar and eatery attracts both locals and travelers alike with its beautiful, all-weather section the perfect vantage point for watching all of the action below.

Mach2 - Sydney International Airport T1

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Long-established as an Italian dining institution, Sydney's Machiavelli now enjoys an extended reach throughout the city, with their second sister restaurant, another incarnation of Mach2, propped up right before customs at Sydney International Airport T1. It's part of the re-focused dining options at airports around Australia, bringing in more reliable and popular outlets to up the standard of airport dining. Turning to a brand such as Machiavelli and giving them a platform to showcase their Italian food to inbound and outbound travelers was a smart move by Airport Retail Enterprises, who have been rolling out a bunch of new food options lately and were responsible in bringing MoVida to Sydney Domestic T2 a few years ago.

Popolo - Rushcutters Bay (Sydney)

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Much has changed at popular Italian restaurant Popolo, but thankfully not in it's infectiously laid-back atmosphere; it's still got that same piazza-style cool about it, offering an incredibly relaxing dining experience that flows throughout the outdoor and indoor dining areas. Established as one of the most popular restaurants in the area, now three years into business, Popolo has switched things up with a little refurbishment, assisted by developments at the Advanx Precinct - in which Popolo stands - which have doubled the size of the courtyard that overlooks the restaurant; the biggest change has been in the kitchen, appointing ex-Pilu At Freshwater and Biota Dining chef Naomi Lowry to lead the food offerings.

Taste of Shanghai - World Square (Sydney)

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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.

The Tilbury Hotel - Woolloomooloo (Sydney)

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As far as Gastropubs go, few venues can match up to the perfectly positioned Tilbury Hotel in Woolloomooloo, which doesn't just have location on its side, but a reputation as one of the best dining options outside of the suburb's iconic wharf; one which has just received a refreshed and refocused makeover, slightly switching up the interior for the first time in 12 years, while also the menu on offer, which has been designed by the venue's new Michelin-accredited Head Chef James Wallis.

Sydney Pop-Up: Wulugul Pop Up - The Streets of Barangaroo

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By the end of 2016 there are expected to be around 80 permanent food, drink, and retail options at the site of Barangaroo, one of the biggest developments Sydney has ever seen. To give us a taste of what a day and/or night out at the precinct would be like we currently have the Wulugul Pop Up, a temporary (but thankfully long-lasting) waterfront food and drink hub designed to showcase the unique location and it's dedication to curated, top quality hospitality, as part of the continual changes dubbed The Street of Barangaroo.

Bennelong to open up private balcony for an alfresco pop-up bar (Sydney)

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Peter Gilmore's stunning new Bennelong has been the biggest of big deals as far as restaurants go in Sydney this year, settling into it's nice, spacious nook in Sydney Opera House and becoming one of the most sought after culinary experiences in the city. The team behind the restaurant are planning a bit of a special treat to bring in the new year, and one that will likely come with a bit of a smaller price tag than the full restaurant.

Textbook Boulangerie Patisserie - Alexandria (Sydney)

Tucked away on the corner of Botany Road and Mandible Street Alexandria unassuming Textbook Boulangerie Patisserie has been a long term goal of John Ralley and Steve Anderson, realised when they opened for business a mere five months ago. The duo, having met over a decade ago during their apprenticeship in the Southern Highlands, have reconvened with a stack of experience under their belts both locally and abroad, having worked with a multitude of the industry’s best.

On the Shelf: Cadbury Dairy Milk Gift Box

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Just in time for Christmas, Cadbury have upped their gift offerings, introducing the Cadbury Dairy Milk Gift Box. The brand has been pretty fond of experimenting this year, and this has been met with mixed results (we all remember the Vegemite Chocolate, right?). This new gift box takes a more straight-forward approach, arguably a box Cadbury are at their best in, focusing on providing a "light-hearted gifting option" of seven uniquely shaped chocolate pieces that bring in some of the brand's most famous flavours like Caramello, Strawberry, Pineapple, Peppermint, and Roast Almond.

Passiontree - Chatswood (Sydney)

Gigantic melon bingsoos, honey bread, and hot chocolate? Yes, please! Dessert-lovers will certainly get a kick out of Passiontree’s summer menu. Located conveniently at Chatswood Interchange, the dessert bar satisfies all sugar cravings.

Lady Carolina's Latin Street Kitchen - Brunswick East (Melbourne)

The fun starts as soon as you arrive at Lady Carolina and step through the large turquoise wooden doors that open onto the moody dining area. Complete with neon signs illuminating walls of exposed brick, the casual eatery exudes an air of cool that almost understates the clever, innovative food that is on offer. With warmer weather gracing our city, what you’ll really want to do is pass through the indoor seating to the outside, where you will find Lady Carolina’s Latin Street Kitchen – a vibrant courtyard dedicated to the celebration of Latin street food in all its boldness and glory.

Donny’s Bar - Manly (Sydney)

Manly continues its march into Sydney’s top food destinations in no small part due to venues like Donny’s Bar. Executive chef Carlos Guzman (ex-Porteño) has crafted a smart and creative menu with deft nudges in both the food and drink to test (and reward) palates.

Eating with the AU: Le Pub's new menu - CBD (Sydney)

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.