You really have to go pull out all the stops when creating a new waterfront precinct in geographically blessed Sydney.
The NSW capital is world famous for its stunning Harbour – and rightly so. With sparkling blue waters, the iconic Sydney Opera House, and the Harbour Bridge linking the glittering high-rise buildings of the CBD with smaller – but thriving – North Sydney, planning and building another ‘destination’ district might have seemed risky.
However, what was once an ugly disused container terminal is now a glamorous culture, dining and leisure precinct. Ideally situated to the north-west of the CBD with water on one side and the drama of the city on the other, Barangaroo is an expansive 22 hectare playground.
And, of course, a fabulous spot to dine.
So whether you want fine dining, a breakfast with a view or a simple burger, let us recommend some of the best restaurants in Barangaroo. We’re sure there’s something for everyone in this exciting development.
Location: 23 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 9220 0111
We’re kicking off our look at the top restaurants in Barangaroo with a beauty – in every sense of the word – Cirrus Dining.
Boasting an enviable waterfront location, Cirrus Dining has million dollar ‘Harbour views. The restaurant itself is light and open with a boat and stalactites of wooden rods suspended from the ceiling. Lucky customers can choose from sitting in the chic, airy interior or outside on the terrace. And honestly, on a sunny Spring day, there can’t be many finer places on the planet to enjoy Sydney Rock Oysters ($7) than this sheltered terrace.
Cirrus Dining is a seafood restaurant with an impressive pedigree. It’s the latest venture from Chef Brent Savage and Sommelier Nick Hildebrandt, who helm the Bentley Group. And if you’ve ever eaten at one of their other establishments – Bentley Restaurant + Bar, Yellow or Monopole – you’ll know you’re in very good hands.
Just thinking about the Raw Hiramasa Kingfish with Salted Strawberry and Shiso ($32) makes me salivate. The addition of the Salted Strawberry is typical of a menu that surprises and delights. Similarly, the Murray Cod with Confit Tomato is elevated with a daring Rosemary Dashi and Kelp ($58).
For the indecisive, there’s a $125pp (plus $90 for matching Wines) sharing menu. Roaming from Charcoal Grilled Bread with Taramasalata, to Grilled King Prawns, to Black Onyx Rangers Valley Rump Cap via BBQ Barramundi, it’s both comprehensive and enticing.
Better still, if you prefer a plant-based diet, the kitchen also offer a vegan menu.
Add to this a stellar wine list, and you’ve got a fabulous meal ahead of you.
Finally, the staff get consistently strong reviews online, with many commenting on their knowledge and friendliness.
Cirrus Dining really does appear to be the whole package.
Location: Crown Sydney, Level 1/1 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 8871 7171
Woodcut at Crown Sydney is impressive on a number of levels.
To open, it’s part of the sumptuous Crown Sydney Hotel Resort, which is the first 6 Star hotel in Australia. And as you can probably imagine, is looks like a million dollars with ‘Harbour views, light fittings that wouldn’t look out of place in an art gallery and not one, but four kitchens.
Then there are the people behind the Woodcut Restaurant. Namely, Sunny Lusted and her acclaimed chef husband Ross Lusted. This is the pair who brought Sydney the much-missed The Bridge Room – so their expertise in fine dining it well-known.
And finally, there’s the whole scale of the concept of Woodcut. Let me say again, this restaurants has four – FOUR! – kitchens on the go. And all of them gloriously open plan. Meaning that diners get to witness all the theatre and excitement of a dinner (or lunch) service as it happens.
Oh. And then there’s the food. Whilst Modern Australian is the umbrella, each of the open kitchens focuses on a different cooking method – fire, smoke, steam and ice (the later being a raw bar).
If you’re into the current trend of cooking over flame, check out this range of easy-to-use Grills – from Hibachi to Korean-style Hot Pot.
The menu is extensive and not the easiest document to navigate – but oh the delicious fun of trying!
So flex the credit card and kick off with Caviar with Potato Crisps, Lemon Cream & Maple. From there, why not try the Veal Tongue Skewer, Caper Sauce & Nasturtium ($24 ea)? Perhaps the Portarlington Mussels, Aromats, Bottarga Cream & Wood Fired Bread ($43) from the steam section appeals next? Or maybe you’d prefer the soft bliss of the John Dory, Soft Herbs, Green Olives and Lemon ($85) from the wood oven?
Add in impeccable service and an extensive Wine List and you’ve got destination dining on a plate. But then, that’s exactly what Barangaroo is all about.
For the finest places to grab a meal across the ‘Harbour, see our guide to the Best Restaurants in North Sydney.
Location: Crown Sydney, Level 1/1 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 8871 7171
Currently enjoying One Chef Hat from the highly-regarded Good Food Guide Awards, a’Mare at the Crown Sydney serves Italian fare that matches its stunning waterfront location.
But then, this is the latest venture from the renowned Alessandro Pavoni, whose Ormeggio at The Spit has been one of the hottest Italian restaurants in Sydney since it opened in 2009.
Pavoni is clearly a man who understands that a fabulous outlook can only enhance the delights on the plate. A’Mare Crown is another beautifully designed, expansive dining room with a striking ceiling of criss-crossed beams. And of course, those to-die-for ‘Harbour vistas.
More than that, he’s also someone who gets that few diners can resist a little bit of theatre with their food. It says a lot that the a’Mare Trofie al Pesto ($42) is already one of the most coveted dishes in Barangaroo. Why? Firstly, it’s a spin on an Italian classic, done very well. However, thrillingly, the fragrant Basil, Macadamia Nuts & Pine Nuts Pesto is pounded into life that the table in a Herculean pestle and mortar.
That aside, the menu overall should appeal to those craving traditional Italian cuisine, created from the finest ingredients that Sydney has to offer. From the Capasanta Gratinata ($12 ea) – Scallop Gratin with Sundried Tomato & Breadcrumbs to the Agnello Alla Piemontese ($59) – Roast Rack of Lamb, Piemontese Salsa Verde, Horseradish & Lamb Jus – the quality and technique shine through.
As is often the case, a’Mare has 2 set menus for those wishing to cede control to the kitchen. Both are available with a Wine Pairing.
Which brings us neatly to the Drinks Menu. Although both French and Australian wines are represented, the true heroes of the Wine List are Italian bottles. With page upon page of options, there’s a truly impressive cellar at the Sommelier’s finger tips. Many of them, with quite a price tag.
Incidentally, the cheapest Cocktail comes in at $28. And hold on to your pearls, as the dearest is the $90 (!) Premium Sazerac (Hennessy XO, Taylor Straight Rye, Bitters, Absinthe & Simple Syrup).
Yes. A’Mare restaurant is a in a totally different class to you local pasta and pizza joint. But then dinner here is really rather special.
If you find yourself taking a trip up the NSW coast, see our recommendations for the Best Restaurants in Newcastle.
Location: Exchange Place, 3 Sussex St, Barangaroo, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 9299 9087
Of course, Barangaroo isn’t all fine dining and prices to match. It also has a huge selection of more casual eateries and cafes. And Wild Sage is one of the best.
Like its older sister in Cammeray, this is the perfect place to start your day with a rich, strong Coffee and something appetising to eat.
Their Scrambled Achar ($23.5) is an exciting spin on the classic Egg dish. At Wild Sage, fluffy Eggs come with Merguez Sausage & Goats Cheese, Nepalese Tomato Chutney & Coriander. In contrast, if you thrive after a sugar hit first thing, their Chocolate Chai Custard French Toast ($22.0) has your name all over it. This stunner includes Crunchy Cornflakes, Fresh Berries, Crushed Almonds & a Blueberry Sauce. And if that isn’t enough, you can add Vanilla Ice Cream for another $3.
That addictive Nepalese Tomato Chutney makes an appearance later in the day with their Jerk Chicken ($31). Matched with Crispy Crushed Potatoes & a Tomato + Fennel Salsa, it’s a filling – and delicious – lunch.
Lastly, what could be nicer that settling in at Wild Sage Barangaroo for their Bottomless Brunch? Choose a place outside in the sun where the people watching it at it’s finest and kick back with a Bellini, Aperol Spritz or a Sparkling Wine. All unlimited, naturally. Then enjoy their succulent Lobster Tacos with their spicy Grilled Pineapple Chilli Salsa and a side of Truffle Fries.
Honestly, doesn’t that sound like the ideal Sunday?
Incidentally, Wild Sage is also related to Alegre Bar & Dining down in King Street Wharf – so you know you’re in experienced hands.
On the hunt for more of the Best Coffee Shops in Sydney? Click here.
Location: Ground Level, International Tower One, 100 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 8629 8888
Now admittedly, the Meat and Wine Co is hardly exclusive to Barangaroo. In fact, the last time we looked, the steakhouse chain also had a presence in Canberra, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne. But it’s fair to say that few of their other steak restaurants have the views of Sydney Harbour that this one has.
If you haven’t been to a Meat and Wine Co before, here’s the lowdown. The steakhouse has built its reputation with a unique spin on Afro-centric dining, spliced with more familiar aspects of Modern Australian food.
There is a genuine opulence to the interiors of very venue, and the Barangaroo restaurant is no exception. Here, rich chocolate browns predominate – from the soft leather banquettes to the feature tiles. Any heaviness is lifted by a smartly designed lighting scheme which casts even the darkest, most intimate corner in a golden glow. And then there’s huge windows looking out over some of the most famous waterfronts in the world.
Food-wise, red meat is the focus, though there’s also a smattering of seafood dishes. It’s worth nothing that vegetarians will struggle. But then it is called the Meat And Wine Co for a reason.
The steaks come from Aussie sources, but the African influence pops up in flavourings and more. We love the Boerewors Skewers as an Entree ($29). It a spicy plate of Coriander & Cumin spiked South African Beef Sausages with a Chakalaka Sauce & Onion Rings. And if you’re a fan of Biltong ($18/100g), you really should give their version a go.
The Meat And Wine Co is rightly extremely concerned with the provenance of their beef and this shows in the quality of the Steaks. The eatery also has its own special basting, drawn from a 50 year old recipe.
At the time of writing this, the group is promoting their AGED Program of ‘perfect steak’. The pick of the bunch is their Butter AGED Southern Range Rib-Eye ($225/kg). This incredible hunk of protein is Grass Fed and then allowed to mature in a Beef Dripping Butter infused with Smoked Jameson Irish Whiskey. Amazing.
Finally, let’s not forgot the grape-led section of the menu. There is a red-leaning Wine List centred around Australian and South African bottles. There’s also a good array of Wines by the Glass. Incidentally, the Meat And Wine Co Barangaroo is a cool place to come for a relaxing Cocktail at the bar – especially given the stunning location.
Location: Shop 8/9 Wulugul Walk, Barangaroo, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 7227 0050
With outposts already in the CBD and Double Bay, plus a sideline in the Lotus Dumpling Bar chain, it’s no surprise that this classy Chinese eatery has added a branch on Wulugul Walk.
Lotus Barangaroo delivers Modern Chinese with the odd Asian Fusion and Australiana twist. The restaurant itself embraces its million dollar location to the full with an expansive covered terrace where customers can sit and watch the sun dip over the water. Combine this with a chilled vibe and knowledgeable, efficient staff and you have the ideal spot for a lazy lunch with friends.
Dumplings and Seafood are the big attractions here. The Lobster, Scallop, Prawns & Squid Ink Dumplings ($24) are a stand-out. Dramatically black from the Squid Ink, they are packed with juicy, bouncy seafood. Follow those with an elevated version of the mundane Spring Roll – Lotus’ Chicken, Leek & Truffle ($18) ones.
Should you wish to indulge in the Lobster, Snow Crab or Mud Crab, you need to give the kitchen 24 hours notice. If you manage to get yourself organised enough to do so, the Salt & Native Pepper is a great choice, though we are always fans of XO Sauce. For the carnivores, the Grilled Beef Short Ribs with Sweet Soy Sauce, Sambal Mattah and more ($68) has plenty of heat and umami punch.
Disappointingly, Lotus Barangaroo currently doesn’t have a huge selection for vegan and vegetarians. That said, the ‘Strange Flavour’ Eggplant, Yogurt, Roasted Chilli & Sichuan sounds interesting.
Drinks-wise, you are spoilt for choice. The Wine List is surprisingly varied with bottles local wineries vying for your attention with ones from France, Italy, Germany and Spain. And of course, there is a page of Signature Cocktails and Mocktails for those who like that sort of thing. And we definitely do!
Yes, you’ll certainly find cheaper Chinese food in Chinatown and the suburbs, but at Lotus Barangaroo everything comes with that little bit of extra love. And honestly, it’s worth paying for the waterside vistas alone.
Location: 35 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 8587 5400
You’ve got to give it to Matt Moran and co – in a precinct with some interesting architecture, this place definitely stands out.
Barangaroo House is not simply one eatery, but a multi-level destination in a groovy building that resembles 3 wide-rimmed hats, piled on top of one another. Take a closer look and you’ll find that each floor offers a different drinking and dining experience. So, let’s walk you through them.
Firstly, there’s the House Bar at Ground Level. The vibe here is cool and relaxed. The waterfront position is killer and with a fabulous terrace to kick back on whilst you sip a drink, this is the perfect place to watch those who aren’t lucky enough to be chilling with you rush past. Food-wise, we’re talking Bar Snacks, Burgers & Rice Bowls, all with a Japanese edge. Think Hot Chips with Nori Salt ($12) and Salt & Pepper Calamari with Togarashi ($22).
The Japanese-influence continues as you head up a floor. Here you’ll find Rekodo Restaurant & Vinyl Bar. Emulating the cool ‘listening rooms’ of Tokyo, this is the spot to come for food, drink and tunes. Of course, musical taste is a personal thing and whatever is spinning on the decks might not be to your liking – so check and see if anyone in particular is DJing.
We all have that one friend or family member that is a terror to buy presents for. Well, take a look at our Gift Ideas to see if help you out.
If you come for the food, rather than the music, the Quail Karaage with Nanban Sauce (4pc $28) is a good place to start, but is also a reminder that quails are dinky little beings. Under the Kushiyaki section, the Beef Tongue & Pineapple ($12 ea) might sound alarming, but tastes delicious.
Lastly, ascend to the top floor and you’ll find Smoke. The blurb claims that this venue aims to echo the allure of New York & LAs rooftop bars. All I know is that the view is world-class if you get there for sunset.
And when you’ve got a vista this stunning, surely a Cocktail is the only option? In a town with a great Cocktail List or 3, the Night Shift ($25) has Eatability’s name all over it. A dynamic blend of 42 Below, Caramel, Vanilla, Coffee, Cacao & Wattleseed it’s rich and has a great mouth-feel. But we do have a minor quibble. Why does it come with an 8% ‘Service Charge’? Just hit me with an honest price point, please.
With so many options in the one building, you can spend a great night at Barangaroo House roaming from floor to floor. No wonder it’s rapidly becoming one of the top restaurants in Barangaroo.
You can read about more of the Best Japanese Restaurants in Sydney, here.
Location: Crown Sydney, Level 5/1 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 8871 7171
Next up we have a slightly different dining experience from the usual Crown restaurants. Epicurean is a buffet restaurant, centred around an open kitchen. In fact, that’s not strictly true. This place actually has 9 kitchens. Just imagine the food that this venue can produce!
As you might expect, with so many brigades at work, Epicurean is a master of a number of cuisines. And this is part of the fun, as what is on offer changes constantly.
Having said that, the Seafood Bar is a not-to-be-missed attraction with everything from plump Oysters, to huge Crab Legs, perfectly poached Lobster, juicy Prawns and more, plucked from the oceans daily.
If you’re the kind of diner who likes to graze their way around the world – all in one meal – this is the place to come. Japanese, Chinese, Italian – the variety is impressive. Hop from the Seafood Bar to the Sushi Station and then get your dairy-fix with one of the most exciting Cheese sections we’ve had the pleasure of negotiating in some time. The choice is mind-boggling.
And whatever you choose for your savoury courses, make sure you leave room for the colourful, exquisite delights of the Dessert station.
The cost of eating here various on the time of day and which day you visit. However, the broad range varies from tucking into the Breakfast Buffet for $65 pp to going all out for Dinner on Friday or Saturday night for $155 pp. Drinks are, of course, an extra charge.
If you love a stellar buffet – and honestly, who doesn’t? – Epicurean at Crown is the place for you. And that’s why i’ve included it amongst our top restaurants in Barangaroo.
Looking for authentic Chinese food in Sydney? Here are our Best Chinese Restaurants in the NSW capital.
Location: 5/23 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo, NSW 2000 Ph: (02) 9188 1581
When Anason first opened in 2016, it was the first permanent restaurant in the shiny new Barangaroo development. And a lot has changed since then. Now, this relaxed Turkish eatery is surrounded by a multitude of bars and dining spots, but this is still the place to come for an authentic taste of the Meyhanes of Istanbul
Chef Somer Sivrioglu of the much-loved Efendy in Balmain overseas a kitchen adroit at giving customers of guided tour through the best of modern Turkish cuisine. The Bosphorus Blue colour-scheme is as soothing as the waterside location with its expansive terrace, and the dishes are fresh and a riot of flavours.
The menu flexes with the seasons and is split into 3 sections.
From the Flora section, the Grilled Green Beans, Muhammara, Chilli & Walnut ($24) is as striking as it is tasty, whilst the Beetroot Falafel, Smoked Tahini, Cucumber & Pickles ($28) packs a range of earthy, smoky notes. Over on the Ocean page, the Oysters, Tarama, Squid Ink Cracker & Beach Succulents ($26) plays with delicate ozone-rich flavours, whilst the Pomegranate Roasted 1/2 Chicken, Freekah & Pickles ($46) from the Fauna offerings is sweet-sour and more-ish.
If this all seems too much, there’s a Feast for $120pp (plus $49 for Wines).
Which brings us neatly to the Drinks List. Happily, the Ottoman influence continues into the Cocktails. The pick, for us, is the Spice Market Negroni ($24) with Spiced Gin, Ginger & Rhubarb Liqueur, Campari & Vermouth.
Apart from the Cocktails, there’s also a range of Raki and a number of Turkish Wines scattered across the Beverages.
Editor’s Note: We are currently in the process of updating this piece on the Best restaurants in Barangaroo. Please return for further reviews in the coming weeks.