The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2015: Where to eat now

Comfort in a bowl ... the pasta at The Restaurant Pendolino in The Strand Arcade.
Comfort in a bowl ... the pasta at The Restaurant Pendolino in The Strand Arcade. Photo: JENNIFER SOO

Most exciting desserts

● Black sesame, coconut, puffed rice, black sugar, piel de sapo - the Bridge Room, City

● Blueberry granita with white pepper parfait and pinenut brittle - Pinbone, Woollahra

Duo of Azuma's seared tuna salad and seared salmon belly nigiri at Azuma, city.
Duo of Azuma's seared tuna salad and seared salmon belly nigiri at Azuma, city. Photo: Quentin Jones

● Banana ice-cream sandwich, macadamia and blueberries - Yellow, Potts Point

● Pumpkin pie with Jack Daniel's ice-cream - Hartsyard, Enmore

● Chocolate, honeycomb and vanilla sphere - Gastro Park, Kings Cross

Bistrode's CBD dining room.
Bistrode's CBD dining room. Photo: Marco Del Grande

● Chocolate naan - Aki, Woolloomooloo

● Golden egg - Sepia, City

● Vanilla panna cotta with fresh pomegranate, pomegranate molasses and lavender honey - Roberts Circa 1876, Hunter Valley

Pork ribs at Khao Pla, Chatswood.
Pork ribs at Khao Pla, Chatswood. 


● Sushi from Naoki Fukizawa, at Fish Face, Double Bay

● 'Unique nigiri' at Azuma, City

● Seared nigiri, At Restaurant, Crows Nest

● Fresh snapper sashimi with citrus and slender nigirizushi at sushi e, City


● Wholemeal tagliatelle with rabbit - Baccomatto, Surry Hills

● Truffled egg pasta - Buon Ricordo, Paddington


● Anything from Nino Zoccali - Restaurant Pendolino

● Stefano Manfredi's pappardelle with venison ragu - Manfredi at Bells, Killcare

Meaty moments

● Pork ribs with tamarind sauce - Khao Pla, Chatswood

● Seared venison, parsnip puree, parsnip fondant, roasted beetroot with dark chocolate jus, toasted walnut crumbs - Ashcrofts, Blackheath

● Amazing angus from the restaurant's own farm - Graze, Willow Tree

Best business lunches

● Bistrode CBD; Gowings Bar & Grill; Rockpool Bar & Grill; the Bridge Room; Rockpool

Best value dining

● Friday set menu ($35) at the Devonshire

● Dinner at the Fish Shop

● Cafe Paci's $85 tasting menu, East Sydney

● Yia Yia's table ($55) at Alpha, City

● Khao Pla for authentic Thai in Chatswood

● Roti canai at Mamak, Haymarket

● Kepos St Kitchen's group menu - masses of food, BYO, always gorgeous, Redfern

● Alfie and Hetty's dishes for two, Glebe

Best playlists

● Marque; Momofuku

● Cafe Sopra - compiled by Birdland

● Vasco's, Cleveland Street: crazy Italian rockers behind the bar joining in on percussion, punchy cocktails

● Anywhere with Miles and Coltrane: that's everywhere

Best bread and butter

● Kitchen by Mike's house-baked bread with Pepe Saya butter

● Loaves from Arras (Too)

● Sourdough at Restaurant Botanica, which uses a 150-year-old starter recipe

● Cafe Paci and Rockpool Bar & Grill (as above)

Local heroes

● Giro Osteria, Cronulla

● Da Mario, Rosebery

● Niji, Kingsford

● Yalla Sawa, Cronulla

Best private dining rooms

● Aria; Buon Ricordo; Mr Wong; Pendolino; Sake

● The Sydney Suite (Penthouse 4th floor) at Park Hyatt, Sydney - used by arrangement as a private dining room when Beyonce and others are not in town.

The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2015 will be available for $10 with The ​Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday, September 6 from participating newsagents, while stocks last. It can also be purchased in selected bookshops and online at  for $24.99.