Time is running out to use your NSW Dine and Discover vouchers.
The state government spending scheme encouraged the community to support local restaurants and recreation businesses in the wake of COVID lockdowns, but each of the six $25 vouchers will expire on June 30.
For those who left their vouchers to languish in the Service NSW app, it's the perfect opportunity to plan a last-minute date night that won't break the bank. To make the process easier, here are 10 romantic restaurants in suburban Sydney taking part in the scheme.
Note: While each of these businesses have registered with Service NSW to accept Dine and Discover vouchers, its best practice to call and confirm prior to arrival.
The famous pisco sours at Pepito's. Photo: Edwina Pickles
The seductive party vibe of Peruvian taberna, Pepito's, will warm things up with a selection of seafood dishes, such as the $21 leche de tigre (a vibrant ceviche with kingfish,prawns and fried calamari) or the $13 pan con pescado (a crispy fish sandwich with spicy pickles). Make sure to try their signature pisco sour, it's one of the best in town.
Bonus 'Discover' experience: Indoor climbing gym Blochaus in Marrickville offers a date-night activity for those 'boulder than most'. A day pass costs just $21.
Neko Neko, Newtown
This intimate Newtown restaurant serves steaming bowls of plant-based ramen from just $22. The signature Neko Neko ramen features crispy fried tofu pockets stuffed with mixed rice, kikurage mushrooms and pickles in a soy-based broth, making it the perfect winter warmer. instagram.com/nekoneko_newtown
Bonus 'Discover' experience: Dendy Cinemas in Newtown is currently showing blockbusters Elvis, Top Gun: Maverick and Jurassic World: Dominion. The adult ticket price is $18, so your Discover voucher can be stretched to include some much-needed movie snacks.
'Taco' 'bout your future together at Mexican restaurant Taqiza. Their extensive taco menu features fillings such as fish of the day (with zarandeado sauce, lettuce and crispy sweet potato) and davidson plum chicken mole (with radicchio, scallion cream and sesame seeds).
Bonus 'Discover' experience: Re-enact THAT scene from'80s movie Ghost by signing up to a date night class at Bondi Clay. Tickets cost $180 per couple.
The rotisserie Murray cod and gravy roll from Charcoal Fish. Photo: Supplied
Charcoal fish, Rose Bay
Takeaway fish is at its finest at Charcoal Fish in Rose Bay, where seafood savante Josh Niland applies his fine-dining expertise to fuss-free charcoal Murray cod. The menu currently features Murray cod wings with a side of tamarind sauce for $20, or rotisserie Murray cod on a gravy roll with crispy skin and stuffing for $24.
Bonus 'Discover' experience: Bring your meal along on an intimate stargazing tour hosted by Southern Sky Tours. For $250 per couple, they'll set you up with a picnic rug, seating, blankets, cushions and hot chocolate for an unforgettable experience under the stars.
Love, Tilly Devine brings the date vibes. Photo: Nikki To
Love, Tilly Devine
Dine vouchers can't be spent on sampling Love, Tilly Devine's extensive list of natural, minimal intervention wines, but they can purchase a few snacks for a perfect pairing. Current menu standouts include the scallop ceviche with cauliflower, furikake and pickled potato ($23) and the rigatoni with roasted peppers and fried capers ($25).
Bonus 'Discover' experience: Word has it that adrenaline-inducing activities can increase attraction on dates. If you want to put that to the test, why not try a true crime walking tour through the scenes of Sydney murders with Murders Most Foul? A two-hour tour will set you back $40.
Ezra Restaurant in Potts Point is a popular date-night destination. Photo: Brook Mitchell
Ezra, Potts Point
Sample the cosmopolitan food of Tel Aviv at Ezra at Potts Point. The intimate restaurant is a popular date-night destination, with a menu that features spiced roast cauliflower with za'atar and pumpkin seeds ($24) and potato kugel with creme fraiche and salmon roe ($24).
Bonus 'Discover' experience: Shake things up with a cocktail masterclass at Dulcie's at King's Cross. From $75 per person you can learn how to make martinis, Golden Miles or a selection of prohibition classics using all Australian spirits and produce.
The Botanist, Kirribilli
Your vouchers will score you a couple of share plates at Kirribilli favourite The Botanist, such as king salmon crudo with green tomato and smoked Avruga caviar ($24) and the local burrata with marinated peppers ($22). While you're there, make sure to sample their extensive selection of Australian gin.
Bonus 'Discover' experience: Dinner and a movie may be a cliche, but there's nothing quite like seeing a movie at the Orpheum, one of the most beautiful art deco theatres in Sydney. Standard adult tickets are $24.50.
The Herring Room in Manly is a top spot for seafood lovers. Photo: Dallas Kilponen
The Herring Room, Manly
Cosy up by the fireplace at seafood restaurant The Herring Room at Manly. The family-owned venue showcases seafood from sustainable and environmentally sensitive fisheries in dishes such as king salmon ceviche with kaffir lime dressing, green papaya and pineapple ($24) and seared WA scallops with verjus burnt butter and pine nuts ($26).
Bonus 'Discover' experience: Hard launch your relationship on Instagram with a photoshoot at Selfie HQ. It may be silly, but who doesn't appreciate a person who can laugh at themselves? One hour with more than 20 eye-catching backdrops will set you back $30.
1915 Lanzhou Beef Noodles, Burwood
There are plenty of delicious dining options to choose from at Burwood, but there's just something special about the freshly thrown noodles at 1915 Lanzhou. Settle into one of the booths and try the warming, traditional beef noodles. At just $12.90, there'll be change leftover for some Lanzhou rubsen cakes, little balls of fried dough served with condensed milk.
Bonus 'Discover' experience: Serenade your date at K Galaxy Karaoke, where you can select from more than 250,000 songs. The small room, fitted out with plush seating and neon lights, starts from just $5 per hour per person.
Chatkazz in Harris Park features dishes starting from just $4. Photo: Fiona Morris
Chatkazz, Harris Park
Chatkazz serves up fuss-free and fast authentic Indian street food in Harris Park. With prices starting from just $4, your voucher will allow you to sample a large selection of curries, daal and sandwiches. But don't forget the sweets: Chatkazz' second store boasts a dazzling array of vibrantly-coloured desserts such as mango and rose coconut barfi (a dense, milk-based sweet).
Bonus 'Discover' experience: Scram Escape Rooms in neighbouring Parramatta will put your teamwork to the test with its selection of challenging escape rooms. The experience takes about 90 minutes all up and costs $100 for two adults.