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

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

● 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

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

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

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

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

● Chocolate naan - Aki, Woolloomooloo

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

● Golden egg - Sepia, City

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

Sushi

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● 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

Pasta

● 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 smhshop.com.au  for $24.99.