Over the years Surry Hills has developed into one of the best places to find a satisfying feed or fine-dine experience within Sydney's city district. New players seem to open every few months, challenging the established restaurants and giving customers a plethora of venues to choose from. Here are 10 must try's in the area.
Mark + Vinny's
This new Surry Hills gem features a mixture of hearty, traditional pasta dishes and more modern, playful takes on Italian classics. The instagram worthy Blue Spirulina Tagliatelle (the pasta is actually a deep blue) and the Beetroot Spaghettini (also in a deep red) are must try dishes. They also serve over 50 different spritz's, and their Vegan No-tella Ravioli dessert is a great way to top off the night. The low-key, friendly open vibe is also great for first date couples looking for a refreshing take on Italian cuisine.
This intimate little spot situated in Surry Hills is the perfect place to have a casual cocktail, sake or wine while enjoying a relaxed, casual first date. The unique Japanese and Chinese themed share plates on offer are superb, blending local fresh ingredients with modern twists on old recipes. The charred duck breast with truffle confit mushrooms in teriyaki sauce was the highlight of our visit. For the indecisive, there is also a set menu, which lets you both sit back and enjoy each others company while plates of food are brought your way.
Gogyo is from the same people behind Ippudo's presence in Sydney, and should be on every ramen lovers list. While the menu features traditional fare (such as their delicious Tonkotsu Ramen), for those wanting something a little more unique, you must try the 'Kogashi Miso' ramen, created by Gogyo's founder Shigemi Kawahara. The dish features a burnt miso flavour with a technique hailing from Hakata, a region famous for its ramen. The interior is also nicely fitted out, with a modern twist on traditional Japanese architecture.
Where: 52-54 Albion St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
When: Lunch - Mon-Sat: 12:00 ~ 14:30, Sun: 11:30 ~ 14:30,
Dinner - Mon-Thu: 17:30 ~ 21:30, Fri-Sat: 17:30 ~ 22:00, Sun: 17:00 ~ 20:00
The romantically lit interior creates a warm yet sophisticated atmosphere. The Argentinian-inspired menu features beefy grills and smoky parilla flavours with our favourites being the Cordero, a lusciously grilled lamb rump, and the Bife De Bistro, a succulent grilled sirloin. The wine list is also extensive, with a large contingent of Argentinian and Australian tipple featuring on the menu. A definite recommendation for foodies out there.
The welcoming interior, with it's open bar and ornate wooden furnishings, has a very homely, warehouse-loft feel to it. Celebrity chef Colin Fassnidge has created a wonderful dining experience here, with a relaxed atmosphere and attentive staff who make every effort to take care of you. The menu features a delicious array of grills and roasts, with the highlight being the Roast Pork with Napa Cabbage. For those looking to share, the Seed Crusted Lamb Shoulder with Onion Mustard is an indulgent, but absolutely worth it, treat. A vast selection of wines and a mixture of original and classic cocktails compliment the sumptuous offerings.
The highly curated wines featured here are all-Australian, with a rotating list of reds and whites selected to match the seasonal fare from the kitchen. Chefs here also create a delectable array of breads, cheeses and cured meats in house. We recommend ordering their famous charcuterie platter and grabbing a bar stool by the kitchen so you can watch these masters at work.
From head chef Lennox Hastie, Firedoor is Sydney’s only fully wood fuelled restaurant, offering a dining experience like no other in town. The ingredients here are cooked using coals from two specially built ovens, with a selection of ten woods used to add different flavours into the mix. The menu is always evolving as the chef only sources fresh seasonal ingredients, with the highlight stalwart being the 161-day Dry Aged Rib of Beef. Coming in at a hefty $167, it is only for those with deep pockets, but once tried it will leave you wanting more.
Part of the Porteno group of fine-dining restaurants, Bodega offers inventive modern tapas inspired by Latin cuisines, prepared right before your eyes in an open kitchen. Large floor to ceiling murals accentuate the colourful, fun atmosphere which extends to the menu, featuring signature dishes like their playful take on fish fingers and more traditional fare, such as the moreish Empanadas. For dessert, another signature, an indulgent update on a banana-split, is a must-try.
This cosy, intimately lit restaurant on Crown Street features a European influenced menu that changes regularly, dictated by seasons and available produce. For the adventurous foodie, the the 5 Course Chef’s Menu offers a broad, indulgent insight into their food philosophy and technique. (For those cautious about splashing out, the course menu is also available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at a cheaper rate. ) They also run monthly specialty food & wine events, with different focuses each month. Events include the extremely popular I (heart) Duck & Pinot dinners, I Dream of Pork dinners and Black Diamond Truffle Dinners. The efficient staff here are also extremely knowledgeable, and can recommend you the perfect wine to accompany your meal.
Giving can be more rewarding than receiving. This is the philosophy behind Folonomo, an abbreviation of 'For Love, Not Money', where one hundred percent of profits (yes, you read that right) are given to charity. The rustic interior and warm lighting help create an intimate mood, and the vibrant menu, taking from various cultures and cooking techniques, features some of the best fine-dining Surry Hills has to offer. The spatchcock and the dry aged sirloin were highlights for us, and as proceeds are going to a good cause, indulging in their chocolate ganache for dessert makes you feel a lot less guilty.
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