It’s summertime in Australia, and the food scene is hot. Here are my four favorite restaurants in Sydney.
Kable’s: Pork belly w escargot ravioli; chef Jeffrey De Rome; John Dory; creme caramel
THE BUZZ Chef Jeffrey De Rome came up through the ranks of Neil Perry’s world-renowned Rockpool just down the street and has quickly established himself as one of Sydney’s brightest young talents. Perched on the second floor of the Four Seasons Hotel, the restaurant is an oasis of calm overlooking the bustle of George Street at the base of the Harbour Bridge.
EAT THIS The sublime pork belly has a crisp, cracklin-like outer skin and is topped with a plump raviolo filled with escargot. Underneath is a bright green sauce of garlic and parsley. 119 George St., +61.2.9250.3100
Rockpool Bar & Grill
Rockpool Bar & Grill
THE BUZZ Celebrity chef Neil Perry converted a historic insurance building’s three-story atrium into the city’s grandest and most glamorous steakhouse with an expansive open kitchen where an army of chefs flips massive steaks on a wood-burning grill. The wine list is spectacular, with a natural emphasis on big, beefy Australian reds.
EAT THIS The dinosaur-sized rib eye is excellent, as are the oysters (plucked from local waters) and charcoal-grilled prawns. 66 Hunter St., +61.2.8078.1900
Betel leaf wraps at Sailors Thai
THE BUZZ David Thompson, co-owner of this spiffy Thai restaurant, is the world’s most celebrated chef of Thai cuisine. He operates equally posh Thai restaurants in London and Bangkok, and his just-released Thai Street Food is the most beautiful cookbook ever published on the subject. Sailors Thai overlooks the Opera House from a prestigious perch in The Rocks, and Thompson’s menu prices are on par with those of the city’s most expensive French restaurants.
EAT THIS Try the twice-marinated grilled chicken served in authentically spiced, gloriously aromatic red curry. Also, don’t miss the jungle curry of barramundi, green peppercorn and wild ginger. 106 George St., +61.2.9251.2466
Spice Temple: Fish w heaven-facing chillies; stirfried greens w garlic; the dining room
THE BUZZ The past couple of years have been bonkers for Neil Perry. The city’s most famous chef recently launched this glitzy Chinese restaurant that draws inspiration from the provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Guangxi and Xinjiang for its stylish execution of regional Chinese cuisine—pretty much every major region of China except Canton/Hong Kong, of which Sydney already has plenty.
EAT THIS Fire breathers should dive straight for the whitefish drowned in red chiles and Sichuan peppercorns. For everyone else, there’s a stir-fried live lobster with whole five spices. 10 Bligh St., +61.2.8078.1888