Where to spend Mother’s Day 2017 in Sydney

Lavish long lunches rule when it comes to Mother’s Day options around Sydney this year. If taking your leading lady out to experience some of the best food the city has to offer, while letting the restaurants add their own little touches to each menu, sounds like your idea of a perfect Sunday afternoon then we’ve got you. Here we’ve picked out some of our favourite Mother’s Day menus for those who’ve left their planning to the last minute, whether that be a genuine farm-to-table lunch in Paddington, a smorgasbord of smokehouse goodness in Barangaroo, or a generous Trukish feast in Balmain.

Fred’s (Paddington)

Merivale’s instant hit Fred’s is without a doubt one of the best choices for Mother’s Day this year, with the open-plan kitchen planning a special menu for Sunday lunch, featuring three-courses for $95pp. The menu will be offered from 11:30 to 3pm and includes canapes of wood fired fougasse (with butter and olive oil) and Clair de lune oysters (with coriander and white pepper mignonette); entrees of smoked ocean trout (with beetroot, meyer lemon and snap peas) and celery root caramelle (with brown butter, balsamic and walnuts); mains of lamb leg and rack (with potato & laver pommes anna and watecress) and wood oven fish (with artichokes, cipollini onions, broad beans and verdicchio). Sides include cauliflower (with brown butter, lemon and parmigiano), while dessert brings a choice between the likes of quince tart tatin (with rose geranium ice cream) and toffee custard pot (with caramelised apple and chocolate buckwheat crunch).

380 Oxford St, Paddington | 9240 3000 | merivale.com.au/freds

Jamie’s Italian (Parramatta, CBD)

Whether you’re out west for Mother’s Day or taking a chance on the bustling CBD, it’s worth heading along to Jamie’s Italian for the occasion because the entire restaurant brand has just seen a major refresh and refocus, courtesy of Jamie Oliver himself, who is in the country this week. Obviously showcasing this new-era for Jamie’s Italian is a big deal, so they’ll surely be putting their all into this special Sunday menu that’s budget-minded at $35pp for 2 courses.

A lass of fizz awaits each mum on arrival before the menu offers a comprehensive range of choices, including truffle tagliatelle (with black truffle butter), tomato bruschetta (with slow-roasted cherry tomatoes and whipped ricotta), pea & spinach risotto (finished with cottage cheese and smashed garden peas), Sicilian chicken (with eggplant and black olive sauce), and Venetian fish bake (with Gaeta olives, capers, heriloom tomatoes, pine nuts and steamed quinoa). A selection of desserts will be revealed on the day as well, offered for $5pp.

InterContinental Sydney (Circular Quay)

Hospitality stalwart InterContinental Sydney will be, as always, offering up several excellent options for Mother’s Day this year, most focusing on the grand tradition of high tea. There’ll be three different high tea experiences on offer, including a Champagne high tea buffet at The Cortile, a sky-high-tea inside the level 30 Harbour Room, and a high coffee inside the Glass Gallery.

If we had to pick one, we’re rocking with The Cortile, which will be decked out with a specially curated buffet that includes pastry chef Simon Veauvy showcasing his twisted lamington alongside creme brulee, traditional shortbread, homemade scones, and the hotel’s signature sandwich collection. Bar Manager John Toubia will also be getting in on the action with a Champagne Dome, offered to those upgrading to the “Endless Champagne” package. It’s an elaborate infusion of local flora smoke and seasonal fresh flower, presented in glass dome and saucer, topped up throughout your high tea session. That one is going at $95 per adult ($59 per child), with the Endless Champagne add-on priced at $25pp. Seatings are set for 1pm-3pm or 3:30pm-5:30pm.

For information on all of the InterContinental Sydney’s high tea packages head to the website listed below.

117 Macquarie St, Sydney | 9253 9000 | intercontinental.com/Sydney

Nola Smokehouse & Bar (Barangaroo)

Mother’s Day isn’t just a chance to celebrate the leading lady in your life, but in a city like Sydney where new, exciting restaurants are popping up almost every week, it’s a good chance to get across some of the year’s best openings. One such as Nola Smokehouse & Bar over on Barangaroo Avenue, giving the lush precinct its very own New Orleans-style smokehouse, so if your mother likes her BBQ beef briskets and spit roast pigs, this one is a must. They’ll be doing up a special menu at $65pp on the day, available for lunch from 11:45am to 5pm.

Level 1, Tower One, 100 Barangaroo Avenue | 9188 3039 | nolasydney.com

Efendy (Balmain)

One of this city’s most reliable Turkish restaurants, Efendy, will be hosting a five-course lunch this Sunday, offering up plenty of diversity from their current menu from 11am-4pm. The offering includes karides (artichoke, school prawns, broad beans and rose); incik (lamb shanks with eggplant, shishito peppers and tomato); and revani (semolina cake with orange, almond and kaymak cream). Guests can also choose to pair their dishes with matching Turkish wines, for $40pp extra in addition to the menu price, which is $79pp (or $25 per child).

79 Elliott Street, Balmain | 9810 5466 | efendy.com.au

Q Dining (Circular Quay)

If your mum insists on the quintessential Sydney Harbour view for her special day then take a look at Q Dining in the lavish Pullman Quay Grand. The restaurant, which features magnificent views and lots of natural light, will be offering a three-course lunch with a glass of Veuve Ambal sparkling on arrival, plus a gifted bottle of L’Occitane perfume at the end of the meal. the menu, which is priced at $99 per adult ($49 per child two-course lunch including non-alcoholic drinks) and is available from 12:30pm to 3pm, features the likes of confit pork cheek (with glaze chestnuts and apple kimchi), beef tenderloin (with sauteed shitake mushrooms and shiso emulsion) and yuzu cream (with pear and mandarin gel).

61 Macquarie St, Sydney | 9256 4044 | www.pullmanquaygrandsydneyharbour.com

Nour (Surry Hills)

No, the hype for this beautiful modern Lebanese restaurant isn’t simmering down anytime soon. The fine team behind this venue will be maintaining the already high level of acclaim when Mother’s Day rolls around, offering up a special lunch menu designed to share at $90pp. The kitchen is planning a feast with the likes of blue swimmer crab (with puffed rice, watermelon, Persian raisins and avocado mousse), snapper (with saffron and cuttle fish rich, confit leek and burnt lime) and a surprise dessert with a glass of sparkling.

3/490 Crown St, Surry Hills | 9331 3413 | noursydney.com

Alpha Restaurant (CBD)

Though plenty of fine Greek restaurants spoil Sydney with the best of the cuisine, Alpha remains one of our favourites. And for good reason; the beloved Modern Greek restaurant prove their worth time and time again, with Mother’s Day no exception. They’re planning a Sunday menu for $75pp ($37.50 per child) with the likes of meze with taromosalata, marinated olives and split pea dip with caramelised onions and truffle oil. Next, a selection of classic Alpha favourites such as spanakopita, crab and prawn saganaki filo cigars, and lamb souvlaki. Chocolate hazelnut baklava, chocolate metaxa sorbet and visino ice cream finish the feast.

238 Castlereagh St, Sydney | 9098 1111 | alpharestaurant.com.au

The Grounds of Alexandria (Alexandria)

This world famous dining and general hang-out destination is always a great pick no matter the occasion, but what they’ve got planned for this year’s Mother’s Day takes it to a whole new level. The Sydney icon will be transforming The Atrium and their various laneways to create an inspired ambiance not too dissimilar from their famed weddings, with opulent floral arrangements, intricate table settings, and a huge feasting menu that sits along with champagne or cocktails on arrival plus gifts for each mum.

Group Exec. Chef Paul McGrath has put together the food offering, which features a welcome plate and a three-course meal made up of signatures including a seafood entrée followed by a family roast and capped with a decadent surprise dessert.

A bunch of live musicians and actors will also be on hand to make this much more than a sit-down-and-eat kind of deal, putting on a show that should be a treat for mum while she wears a custom made floral crown crafted by The Grounds’ Florals by Silva.

The immersive experience won’t just be confined to one day either, as in addition to Sunday, families have the choice to opt for a Saturday sitting. Both sittings, priced at $175pp, kick off at 11:30am and involve a 2.5 hour sitting.

7A/2 Huntley Street, Alexandria NSW 2015 | 9699 2225 | thegrounds.com.au/mothersday

MakMak x Baileys

For the mum who loves her macaroons and creamy liqueurs this collaboration is absolutely essential. Sydney’s beloved MakMak recently teamed up with Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur to create an indulgent treat, combining the best of both brans for a Baileys MakMak macaroon. It’s a delicate, creamy creation with a Baileys infused nougat centre providing a hit of flavour, in either white Madagascan vanilla ganache macaroons or Belgian dark chocolate macaroons.

The limited edition macarons will be available at MakMak’s Newtown store and online from https://shop.makmak.com.au/. The macarons are sold individually for $4 or in boxes of six for $23.

Feature image: Q Dining


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.