Beachside bustle: A busy night at Yalla Sawa restaurant in Cronulla. Photo: Getty Images/Cole Bennetts
Several new foodie suburbs have emerged in the latest edition of The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide launched on Monday. Chatswood, Cammeray and Cronulla have had a string of new restaurant openings and Lindfield is turning diners' heads too. Fifty-two new restaurants were included in the Guide.
It's a battle between north and south for the title of Sydney's hottest new food hub.
The northside stretch from Chatswood to Cammeray is hotter than the Issan-style steak tartare served at Khao Pla, a new Guide entry perched at the top end of Chatswood's Victoria Avenue. The hip Thai restaurant is one of five new entries in a zone that was in need of fresh dining options.
Falafel with pickled turnips, chillies, mint, tahini on saj bread. Photo: Getty Images/Cole Bennetts
Other new restaurants include Shanghai Stories 1938, serving xiao long bao (soupy pork dumplings) to rival Din Tai Fung (which also opened an outlet in Chatswood this year), and neighbourhood trattoria Via Alta a short hop away in Willoughby. With Ormeggio at the Spit's Alessandro Pavoni and Alex Keene at the helm, Via Alta focuses on northern Italian cuisine like spiedo bresciano – a traditional Brescian spit roast of pork neck, chicken and pork ribs basted with butter and topped with crisp sage.
Located in an almost 100-year-old butchery, Wilcox in Cammeray is also sating locals with Italian fare, albeit with a contemporary Australian twist.
Not be outdone, Cronulla has its own new Italian job in Giro Osteria where on any given day you might find chef Ruben Martinez returning from the beach with a bucket of seawater to be simmered with tomato and fennel for a full bodied, fish-poaching broth.
Giro Osteria joins Yalla Sawa and The Duck Republic as welcome additions to the Sutherland Shire. Since it opened mid-year, Yalla Sawa has been serving up soft lighting, sea breezes and Arabic/Lebanese cuisine such as whole baked snapper with chilli and preserved lemon, slow-cooked lamb tagine, and pumpkin kibbeh with chickpeas and spinach. The Duck Republic is a handsome, relaxed beachside diner that always offers duck in some form on its menu.
Cronulla also scored in the speakeasy stakes this year by way of The Blind Bear opening and mixing well-crafted, whisky-heavy, hair-on-your-chest cocktails.
The 2015 edition of The Good Food Guide still points to the city as the epicentre of Sydney dining. Five new entries, plus the relocation of Guide favourites Rockpool and Bentley, took the total of city restaurants listed to 43.
Surry Hills continues to provide no shortage of top-notch spots with 22 entries, three of which were new additions (although in display of the impermanence of Sydney's dining scene it was announced this week that one of these, Chow Bar & Eating House, will soon cease trading). Other hot foodie suburbs include Woollahra, Potts Point and Bondi.
Taste makers: Hot spots' new arrivals
- A Tavola, 75-79 Hall St
- China Diner, 75-79 Hall St
- Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta, 3/75-79 Hall St
- Infuzions, 439 MIller St
- Wilcox, 463 Miller St
- Khao Pla, 370 Victoria Ave
- Shanghai Stories, 409 Victoria Ave
- Alpha, 238 Castlereagh St
- Caysorn Thai Restaurant, 8 Quay St
- China Republic, 680 George St
- Danjee, 1-7 Albion Place
- Swine & Co, 16 O'Connell St
- The Duck Republic, 59-65 Gerrale St
- Giro Osteria, 1 McDonald St
- Yalla Sawa, 138-142 Cronulla St
- Cafe Lyon, 366 Pacific Hwy
- Marciano's, 310-312 Pacific Hwy
- Cho Cho San, 73 Macleay St
- Kim, 24-30 Springfield Ave
- Yellow, 57 Macleay St
- Chow Bar & Eating House, 320 Crown St
- Devon Cafe, 76 Devonshire St
- Nomad, 16 Foster St
- Hotel Centennial, 88 Oxford St
- Pinbone, 3 Jersey Rd
- Vincent, 14 Queen St
- Via Alta, 197 High St
The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2015 is available for purchase with today's Herald for the discounted price of $10 from participating newsagents, while stocks last. Token on page 2. It can also be purchased in selected bookshops and online at smhshop.com.au for $24.99.