Decadent Degustation Menus in Sydney: Fine Dining You Won’t Forget
Theatrical fine dining degustations to be enjoyed over time (and with plenty of wine)
When it comes to fine dining, Sydney offers a smorgasbord of mouth-watering culinary delights. The city is awash with talented chefs well-versed in serving up the fanciest of hatted cuisine.
But when you're presented with a menu that's as captivating a read as the latest Miles Franklin winner, whittling down your final food choice (or getting the waiter to transcribe it) can be a difficult task, to say the least.
So, if like us, you find it impossible to choose between the seared scallops or the chargrilled Wagyu sirloin, then a degustation menu is the only way to go. That way, you get to try a little taster of the restaurant’s signature dishes, to be enjoyed over time (and with plenty of wine). To help with your decision making, we've compiled our pick of the most standout degustation menus from Sydney’s best fine dining restaurants. Bon appétit!
Set in a bunker-esque space in Sydney CBD, at this acclaimed eatery all you need to worry about is choosing what to drink – then, simply let Head Chef, Nelly Robinson, take care of the rest. The inventive, modern degustation menu ($135) with matching alcoholic beverages for an extra $105 changes every six weeks to showcase the best seasonal produce Australia has to offer. The menus are often themed from the ‘Great British’ menu to the ‘Land & Sea’ menu and menus inspired by all sorts of destinations. The wine list is extensive, but a visit to nel. would not be complete without a look in at the cocktail offerings. You won’t be disappointed!
75 Wentworth Avenue, Sydney
Firedoor serves up Australia’s first fully fire-powered menu. Every dish is cooked to order and harness the power of wood, choosing varieties that will bring out the best flavours, like native barks, chestnut, and cherry. The five-course chef’s menu ($140) changes everyday and showcases the best of the best. Think woodfired bread, Murray cod and margra lamb.
23-33 Mary Street, Surry Hills
Focussing on vegan cuisine, every plate at Yellow features produce grown by local suppliers. Set inside a converted 1950's art gallery, this achingly cool eatery is as hip as it is healthy. The two-hatted restaurant offers five and seven course vegan tasting menus. Save room for dessert as their vegan ice cream will convert even the most fervent dairy lover.
57 Macleay Street, Potts Point
This two-hatted stalwart delivers ‘haute cuisine’ with a gastronomic artistry rarely matched in Australia. Just steps away from the Opera House, Aria champions local produce, and in every dish, expect full flavour and impeccable presentation. While three and four-course options are available (for $150 and $180 respectively), the tasting menu ($220) is the sensible option for those looking for the full experience – think yellowfin tuna with spiced eggplant and white river veal with celeriac, pine nuts and salted grapes.
1 Macquarie Street, Sydney
Hatted waterside venue, The Gantry, provides endless drinking and dining options for those vying for an elegant degustation experience. Serving up a la carte delights as well as traditional, vegan and vegetarian four-course tasting menus ($199 or $99 for non-meat eaters). For meat and seafood lovers look forward to the likes of yellowfin tuna, roast chicken and Westholme wagyu tenderloin and the new high end take on the Cadbury crème egg. The vegan and vegetarian option comes laden with wholesome nourishment. Expect roast beetroot, charred cucumber and buffalo ricotta agnolotti.
11 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay
Voted one the world's top 50 restaurants, (it's secured a spot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants List every year dating back to 2009), this fine dining mainstay is situated in one of the city’s most impressive locations. Quay teams incredible vistas with exceptional cuisine, for an entirely indulgent experience. Helmed by local legend Peter Gilmore, the menu is inventive and nature-focussed, and the dishes that sail out of his kitchen are truly works of art.
To sample a taste of everything, the six or eight course tasting menus ($240 or $290) offer an exclusive insight into Gilmore's culinary world. Start off with hand-harvested seafood and finish with his signature dessert White Coral. Each course will work its magic to excite your taste buds and imagination.
Upper Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks
Waterfront views, a chic dining space and modern Italian cuisine, OTTO has it all. There’s no better way to linger over a leisurely eight-course degustation ($195) at their wharf-side terrace. Sample delicious morsels of Angus beef carpaccio with truffle dressing and then move onto raw Hervey bay scallops with Sturgeon Black river caviar, red claw yabbies and Wagyu sirloin. Their vegan and vegetarian degustation menus ($150) are all delicious, think zucchini flowers, risotto and linguine. Do it right and add the matching sommelier selected wine list for $85. You won't regret it!
Area 8, 6 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomoolooo
The two-hatted Monopole has gained a reputation for having one of the best well-priced degustation menus in the city – a seven-course sharing menu ($80) offering of elaborate flavours and plenty of meats. It would be a shame to miss out on the wine pairings, particularly when Monopole has 500 to choose from – a lengthy list that's won the venue more than a few awards (as has the food). They also have an a la carte lunch menu but the food at Monopole is so delicious that you’ll wish you had all seven courses!
71A Macleay Street, Potts Point
The fanciest of degustations along Kensington Street, Automata, in the Old Clare Hotel, offers an elaborate tasting menu. Each dish draws on local, seasonal produce, which encourages constant innovation in the kitchen. The restaurant’s fit-out is industrial and minimalist, leaving experimentation and colour for your plate. Their original tasting menu rings in at $165 per person and features such exquisite dishes as white sturgeon caviar and blackmore wagyu tri-tip, however, if you’re looking to take things a little bit further, check out their extended tasting menu ($195) which is available mid-week or during their late weekend seating.
5 Kensington Street, Chippendale
Italian with an elevated Japanese twist, LuMi overlooks the rippling waters of Pyrmont Bay. With only degustation menus available, commitment to the meal is mandatory – and honestly, this is a relationship anyone would be desperate to marry into. Each dish is nothing less than a work of art (yellowfin tuna is where it's at), and do we even need to remind you to add the wine pairings? Check out the decadent ten course menu ($195) or, if you’ve got a taste for truffle and caviar, upgrade to the premium menu for $275 per person.
56 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont
Like Beyoncé, Madonna and Prince, Tetsuya and his eponymous restaurant is so legendary that it only needs one name. Tetsuya arrived in Australia in 1982 with limited English and a limitless love for food and, over the last several decades, he has made a name for himself as one of the nation’s best loved chefs. Tetsuya’s serves either five course ($185) or eight course ($255) degustation menus. One of the finest Japanese restaurants in Sydney, expect sashimi, poached foie gras, wagyu sirloin and matched wines. You won’t want to miss out on this culinary masterpiece.
529 Kent Street, Sydney
Housed in a corner terrace near Stanmore station, Sixpenny oozes elegant dining with its a cosy venue and array of innovative dishes. The ever-changing menu ($195 or $320 with matching wine) plays on seasonal produce, with diners making their way through the degustation menu; delivering thoughtful and aesthetically pleasing dishes. Make the most of the experience and include the matching wines.
83 Percival Road, Stanmore
A true culinary experience by Chef and Restaurateur Luke Mangan. Housed in Hilton Sydney, Head Chef Luke Mangan has created a five course degustation menu ($120) that uses local and seasonal produce, prepared using classic French techniques. From the lamb loin and roast vegetables to the signature liquorice meringue roll, everything on this menu is utterly divine. Diners are asked to allow two and a half hours for the meal so you can expect a long and leisurely meal.
Level 2, 488 George Street, Sydney
A hatted restaurant serving up epic six course set menus for less than $100 is practically unheard of but, at Arthur that’s exactly what you'll find. For $95 per person you can get your hands on some of the best modern Australian cuisine in Sydney. The ambitious menu changes regularly and aims to tell a story with every dish. A smart and gutsy chef, Tristan Rosier trained at Biota and Est and revels om serving up produce driven fare – think Ester or Automata but at a fraction of the cost. For bright, rich, bold food at an unquestionably reasonable price, you can’t look past Arthur.
544 Bourke Street, Surry Hills
It’s widely accepted as one of the best restaurants in Paddington but, if you ask us, it might just be the best restaurant in Sydney. Between the interiors, which are to die for with art literally lining the walls from floor to ceiling and the to-die-for dishes, Buon Ricordo is a feast for all the senses. Their seven course tasting menu ($165) showcases the very best of their legendary dishes. Expect the famous fettuccine al tartufovo, Buon Ricordo’s must-try dish and one of the best pastas in Paddington as well as the delicious veal braciolette stuffed with spinach, nutmeg and parmesan.
108 Boundary Street, Paddington
One of Sydney’s best French eateries, Restaurant Hubert is a firm favourite with Sydney foodies. The bistro is a Parisian wonderland, and in typical French style, the wine list is illustrious and the food, exceptional. If you’re looking for a heavenly feed without the hefty price tag check out the pétit banquet at $98 per person. If you’re looking to treat yourself, and why wouldn’t you, then check out the grand banquet ($148). Starting, as all good meals do, with a warm baguette and oysters, eat your way through a cheese soufflé before you move onto a killer 1kg côte de boeuf with bearnaise sauce and finishing the night with a classic tarte au chocolat.
15 Bligh Street, Sydney
Loving our pick of the best degustations in Sydney and looking for more fine dining inspo? Be sure to check out our favourite contemporary Australian fine dining restaurants
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