THE TOP FIVE
1. If you can’t score a beach-view table at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, hit nearby Swell for plump Sydney rock oysters and crispy skinned salmon (61-2-9386-5001).
2. For four-star fare to rival Eric Ripert’s, there’s only one option: Tetsuya’s. A confit of trout served with daikon and fennel is chef Tetsuya Wakuda’s signature dish (61-2-9267-2900).
3. At Glass Brasserie, demand a table close to the open kitchen to watch (if you’re lucky) chef Luke Mangan prepare your line-caught barramundi, served whole (61-2-9265-6068).
4. Foodies hang out at Flying Fish, in inner-city Pyrmont. Ask for a table on the outside deck and try chef Peter Kuruvita’s spicy Sri Lankan snapper curry with basmati rice (61-2-9518-6677).
5. Golden Century is as crowded, noisy—and delicious—as
Joe’s Shanghai. Fish and crabs are brought wriggling to your table before being dispatched to the kitchen (61-2-9212-3901).
“Dirty old man pubs” are making a comeback—especially those that haven’t been renovated and therefore still have charming features like spittoons underneath the bar. Try the Darlo in Darlinghurst, the historic Cooper’s Arms in Newtown, the Nelson in Bondi Junction, the Shakespeare (a.k.a. “the Shakey”) in Surry Hills, or the Beauchamp, which just reopened in Paddington.
Former Nobu London chef Ryan Crawford is at the just- opened Libertine (pictured), a French-Vietnamese hot spot (61-2-9368-7507). Bondi Trattoria got a makeover and reopened in December with the same menu, an Italian-Australian fusion (swordfish carpaccio, passion-fruit pavlova with mascarpone) and modern Australian (61-2-9365-4303). Chef Peter Doyle caters to a glam seafood crowd at Est., a new city spot done up in chocolate-and-cream tones and a pressed-tin ceiling. Order the Moreton Bay Bugs (like lobster, but sweeter) with champagne emulsion (61-2-9240-3010).
Next: A Walking Tour of Sydney's Antique Row