No. 1 William
Look over Hyde Park and Sydney Harbour from the Australian Museum's terrace restaurant.
It's difficult for any eatery in Sydney to stay secret for long. But, until recently, the Australian Museum's rooftop restaurant was off many a radar, mostly on account of its tucked-away location and its unremarkable cafe fare.
However, with Create Consultants having revamped, reopened and renamed the venue in October last year, that's changed. The group has put Keith Jones at the helm, whose CV includes executive sous chef at the Hilton and head pastry chef at the Park Hyatt and Aqua Dining.
He's come up with breakfast and lunch menus that feature fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and quality cooking. So it's a bit fancy, yet still accessible and affordable. Think flathead battered with 4 Pines Kolsch beer, grilled Tasmanian salmon with a carrot, zucchini and sesame noodle salad, and roasted Queensland blue pumpkin with pine nuts, sheeps' feta and warrigal greens. To match, there's an all-Australian wine selection and a short beer list, combining mainstream drops with crafty ones, including a couple of 4 Pines options.
Contrary to what you might think, you don't have to pay a museum admission fee and wander through spider collections to dine. Enter the museum via its Crystal Hall entrance, catch the lift to level four, and boom — you'll be checking out cracking views of Hyde Park, William Street and Sydney Harbour in no time. On sunny days, claim a table on their outdoor terrace — a rare find in the CBD.
Images: Nikki Black.