1. Pilu at Freshwater, Freshwater: Pilu offers the best of both worlds: vibrant, thrilling, sunshiny flavours from chef Giovanni Pilu’s Sardinian homeland, combined with some irresistible Sydney sand and surf. At this award winning Italian restaurant set on Freshwater Beach you’re in the very capable hands of Pilu himself, with his years of expertise and modern flair making its way into each and every dish.
2. Public Dining Room, Balmoral Beach: Sit in this bright, contemporary room with floor-to-ceiling windows and spirits are instantly raised. The focus is on casual fine food – supporting Australian ingredients, suppliers and sustainable seafood. It’s good for the soul type food served in a picture perfect setting - the kind of dining experience that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
3. Claire's Kitchen at Le Salon, Darlinghurst: Step through the doors from Oxford Street, and enter a world of glamour, decadence and French chic at its best. Charming French waiters warmly welcome patrons and the brasserie classics are done with contemporary finesse. The double baked three cheese soufflé should be ordered immediately upon arrival, followed by a fine French wine or Claire de Lune cocktail from the mezzanine bar.
4. Lotus Restaurant Galeries, CBD: Lotus is Chinese comfort food at its finest. The restaurant is downright beautiful, featuring Fibonacci stone surfaces, raw textural elements and earthy ceramics. Head chef Chris Yan's fervour for food is inspired by his grandmother’s cooking. Enjoy high tea or dumplings alongside share dishes which celebrate ingredients from the land and sea.
5. Via Alta, Willoughby: This friendly, welcoming spot absolutely nails boisterous, memorable Italian cuisine. Via Alta is the first bambino of Alessandr Pavoni (of the two hatted Oremeggio at the Spit) and Bill Drakopoulous (of Sydney’s Restaurant Group and Aqua Restaurant Group) who joined forces to bring much needed Italiano life to the north shore dining scene.
6. SEFA Kitchen, Bondi: SEFA's menu, designed by head chef Simon Zallou (previously of Rockpool and Embers Mezze Bar) takes traditional Middle Eastern fare and peppers it with modern sensibilities - it’s simply divine. Top picks include the haloumi drenched in honey and za’atar and the beef short rib fasoullia.
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