Sydney / Australia

Sydney – Best places to eat and drink

Sydney – Introduction

There is no doubt that Sydney is one of the great places on this planet for great food, wine, coffee and sake experiences.

In this story about Sydney we provide a summary of the places we head to when we pay a visit to this sprawling city.


Nothing speaks of Sydney better than Quay. We mention this restaurant first, because it is one of the few high-end restaurants in the world that we always look forward to revisiting.

The food is overseen by one of our favourite chefs, namely Peter Gilmore.


No visit to Sydney would be complete for us without a meal at Ester. We have been visiting this restaurant ever since it opened under the watchful eye of Mat Lindsay.

The food is always excellent and the selection of natural wines perfect for our taste. On a recent visit a pure tomato dish was exceptional!

The Bentley Group

When we talk about the Bentley Group in Sydney we also mention the other restaurants in this group such as Bentley Restaurant + Bar, Yellow, Cirrus, Monopole and Brasserie 1930.

We got to know part-owner and head sommelier of this group, Nick Hildebrandt, many years ago when we started importing natural wines and he owned the Bentley in Surry Hills well before he moved it to the current location. He was a key figure in helping us understand the market for these wines and for being encouraging in what we were doing. We are forever grateful!


Of all the restaurants listed here in Sydney, this is one of the newer establishments and one we have been hanging out to visit ever since it opened.

Run by Matt Young and Jemma Whiteman this gem of a place gets everything right. The food is beautiful, the sake selection is stunning, the service is perfect and the music is just what we would expect from Matt who we have known for a long time.

Over the time we have been importing natural wines he has been importing some of the most interesting sakes created in Japan and he has often joined in when we (natural wine importers) have held tastings throughout Australia.

Cafe Paci

It was wonderful to once again dine at Cafe Paci in Newtown, Sydney recently in order to enjoy Pasi Petänen’s amazing food. After an enforced absence from Sydney due to illness and the COVID confinement we have been delighted to, once again, revisit some of our favourite establishments. We thoroughly enjoyed the food and wine here including a beautiful scallop dish hidden in a potato darphin, another potato dish served with XO sauce and a tomato tart topped with ribbons of comté cream and Olasagasti anchovies from the Basque region. Very satisfying.

10 William Street

This Paddington institution is where we always head on every visit (and so does everyone else!).

The alumni of this place reads like a who’s who of Australian chefs and wine professionals. We will not mention anyone because there are just too many and we don’t want to offend by missing anyone out. Nevertheless, every time we have visited this gem in Paddington, we have left totally satisfied by the quality of the food and the wine.

We are also very frequent diners at their Potts Point establishment, Fratelli Paradiso (see below), where the food is always amazing and the wine list full of interesting Italian (and other) wines.


Porcine is a relative newcomer for us in the Sydney dining scene, and a very welcome one. We thoroughly enjoyed our long, lazy lunches here. The wine selection is also excellent as it sits above the P&V outlet in Paddington. The chefs here are the talented duo of Harry Levy and Nicholas Hill both of whom have strong experience behind them.

Every dish we have tried here has been cooked with precision and skill. On our second visit with some friends we ordered the pressed duck and everything about it, including the theatre of the pressing, was very satisfying. This is a great venue and the wine selection from downstairs is enough to satisfy even the most discerning natural wine lover.

Lankan Filling Station

Well-situated in East Sydney only a few steps from William Street this is a venue we return to in order to enjoy the delights of truly authentic Sri Lankan food, masterminded by all round clever chef O Tama Carey.


We have been following the career of Maurice Terzini ever since he opened the insanely popular Caffe e Cucina on Chapel Street in Melbourne. He then moved to Sydney to open Icebergs Dining Room and Bar where he has been ever since, keeping a watchful eye on one of the most beautiful restaurants in the world in one of the most beautiful locations. Unlike many other restaurants in beautiful locations, the food and service here has always been exemplary.

Paski Vineria Popolare

Anything associated with Australia’s most energetic wine importer is bound to be exciting and this place is no exception. Our friend, Giorgio de Maria is the owner of the eponymous canine, Paski and fills in his spare time racing around Europe expanding his wine importing empire. Paski’s credentials are amplified by having Mattia Dicati on the floor (he is also a wine importer with a fine collection of Italian wines in his portfolio) and Enrico Tomelleri who previously toiled in the 10 William St kitchens as the chef.

Bar Copains

Bar Copains in Sydney is described as a wine bar, but that is underestimating what is coming out of the kitchen. With internationally experienced chefs Nathan Sasi and Morgan McGlone manning the stoves it is no wonder that the food and wine package we experienced here was so satisfying.

Fratelli Paradiso

After a three year break from visiting Sydney due to illness and Covid exclusions, one of the first places we turned our minds to was our old favourite, Fratelli Paradiso. And we were not disappointed. We ate many of our old favourite dishes and they were as good as ever. And a bottle of wine from our importer friend Giorgio de Maria was a great accompaniment.

Chat Thai

As we write this small paragraph as a harbinger of a story to come, we have just returned from a lunch at the Circular Quay venue of Chat Thai where the food is exceptional. There is a great story to be told here as many of the vegetables are sourced from Palisa Anderson’s Boon Luck Farm in the Byron Bay hinterland.

P&V Merchants and P&V Paddington Wine + Liquor Merchants

The P&V story is a great one to write about because it has become one of the most interesting places to shop and to be educated about wine in Australia. We will certainly add a story about these venues very soon.

Breakfast – AP House

Located on the rooftop of the Paramount House Hotel at 80 Commonwealth St, this extremely popular venue offers a great range of baked goods from AP Bakery, savoury dishes such as congee and much, much more. The coffee here is supplied by Reuben Hills which is very good as well.

Breakfast – PIÑA Potts Point

PIÑA Potts Point is a real machine! The queue on a Saturday morning when we arrived in the pouring rain was extensive with everyone waiting patiently for their turn. The coffee beans are sourced from Mecca (we enjoyed both the espresso and the filter), the kitchen turns out choices from the extensive menu with professionalism and care and the staff are there with a smile. We love this venue.

Breakfast – Pa.ra.mi

This tiny venue tucked away in Alberta St, serves lovely food (it styles itself as an onigiri restaurant) and drinks, with a smile!


We didn’t get a chance to visit many coffee places due to other work commitments on our recent trip to Sydney, however we did manage to get to two places.

The first was an old favourite namely Reuben Hills in Albion St (quite close to Bar Copains, in fact). The coffee here is always reliable and we thoroughly enjoyed our espresso.

The other venue was one we hadn’t visited before but we had heard good things about the quality and the clarity of the coffee here. It is Artificer Coffee (also in Surry Hills) and they certainly lived up to their reputation for fine, clean coffees!


While we were in Surry Hills, we dropped into Lode Pies and Pastries to try some of their famous goods. We were very impressed and will try them again on our next visit to Sydney.

We were also very impressed with the pastries at Home Croissanterie in Balmain where the complex Chocolate Pain Suisse and the Almond Vanilla Cream were both sensational. Their coffee is good too!

Lots more to come!

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