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FOOD & DRINK

Where to Take Out-of-Towners to Eat When You Want to Show Off Your City

Show off Sydney's best and brightest side of the city.
By Yelena Bidé
April 11, 2018
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Where to Take Out-of-Towners to Eat When You Want to Show Off Your City

Show off Sydney's best and brightest side of the city.
By Yelena Bidé
April 11, 2018
  shares

WHERE TO TAKE OUT-OF-TOWNERS TO EAT WHEN YOU WANT TO SHOW OFF YOUR CITY

in partnership with

Show off Sydney's best and brightest side of the city.

It's easy to take Sydney for granted as a local. Although you might have worshipped the endless beaches, glorious weather and great leisure opportunities at one point, chances are that infatuation has faded a little with time. If an out-of-towner comes to visit, though, you're going to want to show them all this city has to offer, reminding yourself of the city's many treasures in the process. Sydney is full of restaurants — ranging from total-splurge to pleasantly affordable joints — that are guaranteed to have you and your visitors picking your jaws off the floor. Whether its sweeping ocean views, impeccable cuisine or an award-winning wine list you're after, you'll find it at one of the city's gustatory havens.

To steer you in the right direction, we've enlisted help from our mates at American Express to pick out the best places to go when you've got guests in town. Perfect for leisurely lunches or glamorous sundowners, these Amex-accepting avenues all boast gorgeous interiors, stunning views and excellent menus that showcase the very best local cuisine. Not only is your guest's satisfaction and awe guaranteed, you're likely to fall back in love with the city yourself. Double win.

Got yourself in another dining situation and need some guidance? Whatever it is, we know a place. Visit The Shortlist and we'll sort you out.

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    At panoramic sky bar Henry Deane on top of the Hotel Palisade, you’ll remember why you first fell head over heels with Sydney, while your visitors will likely feel something akin to love at first sight. While the 1920s Hollywood fit-out — pink leather couches and opulent copper furnishings aplenty — is gorgeous, there’s no competing with the multi-million dollar view over the city’s magnificent waterfront. From the glass-walled salon, you’ll spot boats cruising down below, twinkling city lights and tear-inducingly beautiful sunsets. This is the place to pull out all the stops and pop those Champagne bottles like there’s no tomorrow, order another round of rock oysters and take all the panning Instagram stories from the Anzac Bridge to Sydney Harbour Bridge you please.

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  • 9

    Navigating the massive Barangaroo House is no easy feat. This stunning three-tiered venue boasts a public bar, fine dining restaurant and a rooftop bar overlooking the harbour. The latter, Smoke, is where you want to be when unashamedly showing off to out-of-towners. The curved timber deck, overflowing with greenery, affords ideal water views no matter where you manage to nab a seat for a few sundowners and snacks. The food menu is a selection of small share-style plates and despite what the name may suggest, there is restraint in the inclusion of smoked flavours. But the ambition is there and if your guests are up for experimentation, they will be impressed by Moreton Bay bug skewers, fried brisket doughnuts and sea urchin and orange jam toastie. The cocktail menu is no different with riffs on classics as an overall theme – think a sake martini or a G&T with lemon oil and nashi pear.

    Image: Cole Bennetts.

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  • 8

    At Chiswick, the grass truly is always greener on the other side. At the glasshouse-inspired venue, you’ve got artfully manicured gardens on one side and a picturesque little kitchen garden on the other. Whatever side of the grass you’re looking at, though, the true stars of the show are the gustatory delights happening on your plate. Opt for the Collective Menu ($78 per person) for nine-courses of guest-impressing seasonal fare. The autumn menu includes a quail, chicken and pork terrine to start followed by whole-roasted snapper and massive wood-roasted lamb shoulder served with a cucumber, dill and mint sauce. And don’t forget to mention that the sides come straight from the garden outside. With its large windows overlooking the green lawn out front and light, airy fit-out, this elegant spot is ideal for a Sunday lunch of the very leisurely variety — perfect for that overdue catch-up with your visiting chums.

    Image: Samantha Hawker.

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  • 7

    Want to treat your visitors to a mini beach holiday? Hop over to Coogee Pavilion for what feels like an instant summer vacay, no matter the season. At this buzzing beach hang-out, there’s truly something for everyone. Coffee aficionados can get their fix at the Will & Co stand, health junkies can sip superfood smoothies, and kids and the young-at-heart will love the nostalgia-inducing games area. Food-wise, the wood-fired pizza is perfect for larger groups while the seafood offerings — from sashimi to fresh oysters — make for a more sophisticated affair. Afterwards, wind your way up the stairs to the Coogee Pavilion Rooftop. Up top in the conservatory-inspired space, you can take in spectacular beach views with a cocktail, fruit punch or glass of wine in hand.

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  • 6

    From any table on Ripples’ breezy waterside deck, spectacular views extend as far as the eye can see. Watsons Bay and Nielsen Park decorate one horizon, while the northern headlands cradle the harbour on the other. As an appetiser for the senses, the magnificent view is a hard act to follow. But Ripples accepts the challenge gracefully, offering a well-priced feast that matches the vista. With hearty Italian-style food — the cheese-heavy gnocchi and vegetarian wholemeal linguine are clear standouts — and an excellent wine list, it’s easy to while away a day here without noticing. This is the kind of place that reminds us why we’re so lucky to live in this glorious city — and your out-of-towners are sure to take note.

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  • 5

    Compared to two-hatted sister restaurant Ormeggio, Chiosco (Italian for kiosk) is a decidedly casual affair. But when you’re looking to impress out-of-towners with an unmatched outdoor dining experience, head to this open-air, nautical-themed eatery with Italian-inspired eats and stunning marina views to boot. This is the kind of place you can show up all salt-sprayed and wind-tousled for an excellent feed post-swim or -bushwalk — it’s here where the Spit to Manly walk begins/ends. Choose between Italian classics like fried calamari, tuna tartare and creamy burrata. If you’d rather eat picnic-style, you can also grab a panini or fish and chips from the charming takeaway counter. Whatever you do, don’t miss the hot Nutella-filled doughnut balls.

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    Got some beach-loving epicures in town? Add North Bondi Fish to your tour around town. At this casual-chic spot, you can show up all salty and sandy and no one will bat an eyelash. With a relaxed interior, evocative of what you’d find in Mediterranean climes, this spot is all about communal wooden benches and playful dashes of colour. The menu sees quality produce transformed into light, tasty meals like the grilled snapper with asparagus and avocado, sweet potato scallops and an incredible yellow-fin tuna ceviche. Try your best to nab a seat on the verandah, order a few glasses from the 20-strong wine list and dig into the freshly-cooked seafood while taking in those stunning ocean views.

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  • 3

    Dinner at the Sydney Opera House, overlooking the harbour, has to be the epitome of luxury in our city. And the stunning fit-out of the cathedral-like Bennelong — copper fixtures, warm gold lighting and the like — means you’ll have to make a herculean effort to pull your attention away from the views and fix it on what’s coming out of the kitchen. First, though, you’ll have to pick from one of the five different dining options. The Cured and Cultured chef’s tasting menu ($65) is our pick for an accessible albeit action-packed meal. Settle in on a stool at the counter to watch the chefs at work shucking oysters and adding the final tweezed-touches to each of your seven courses. Alternatively, you can set up in The Circle dining room to make the most of those postcard-worthy views. Either way, you’re guaranteed some of the best modern Australian fare in the city. Out-of-towners successfully impressed.

    Image: Brett Stevens.

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  • 2

    At two-hatted Pilu, you can indulge in some of the city’s best Sardinian cuisine with a hearty side of beautiful ocean views. Located in a heritage-listed beach house and surrounded by a perfectly manicured garden, this is the kind of place to take visitors you’re really keen to impress — the kind you’re hoping will potentially move to our fair city. Depending on how hungry your guests are, the weekday menu has a few different dining options: you can go a la carte with two courses for $75 or three for $95. Or take a tour of the menu highlights with the five or seven-course sharing menus. Whatever you decide, you’d be remiss for going past the legendary roast suckling pig. Order a bottle off the award-winning wine list (or two if you’re really looking to splurge) and make sure to save space for the ultra-decadent desserts — we’re suckers for the coffee parfait with dark chocolate gelato, Kahlua and mascarpone.

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    With its wholesome fare and sweeping water views, the Boathouse at Palm Beach is a foolproof option when you want to introduce visitors to everything that makes Sydney so glorious in one fell swoop. Outdoor dining? Check. Ocean views? Check. Modern Aussie dishes that showcase the best local produce? Check. The very definition of casual chic, the waterside eatery is the perfect place to impress your visitors without too much fanfare. Get there early or else you’ll have to fight the locals for one of the wooden picnic tables on the deck overlooking Station Beach. And since you’re by the sea, it would only make sense to go for those prawn buckets washed down with a chilled glass of pinot grigio.

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As you drink and dine with your American Express, reap all the sweet rewards of being a Card Member. Explore the many ways American Express has your back here.

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