Sydney’s known for its culinary and cocktail prowess, but the buildings that house our award-winning restaurants and bars oft get overlooked.
Next time you’re out to dinner or drinks, take a minute to appreciate the design and décor of your surroundings, and if there’s nothing to appreciate, go to one of these spots instead.
245 metres above street level sits Bar 83, a recently transformed events space inside Sydney Tower. Paying homage to the era the tower was designed, Bar 83 is decked out in sci-fi 70s splendour. Having a cocktail here feels like you’ve just travelled through space and time and landed in the Jetson’s loungeroom, surrounded by plush red pod armchairs and mushroom lamps. Designed by Sydney studio Loopcreative, it’s unlike any other bar on earth.
Walking down the stairs to Restaurant Hubert, it’s easy to forget you’re in Sydney’s CBD and not some dimly lit speakeasy in Paris. The place oozes old-world European luxury, with red velvet curtains, vintage fringe lamps and brass accents scattered throughout. The main dining room is a sight to behold, but wait till you see the wood panelled underground ‘Theatre Royale’, a secret cinema currently hosting ‘Magnum and Movies’ night, where you can feast on wine, cocktails, canapes, popcorn, a full buffet dinner and dessert while watching a retro film. Check it out here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/restaurant-hubert-19802482803
If ‘no expense spared’ was a restaurant, what would it look like? The answer is Nobu, the highly anticipated, ultra-luxe new Japanese eatery on level two of Packer’s Crown Towers. Designed by Studio PCH architect Severine Tatangelo, the main dining room features floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto breathtaking views of the harbour, with a striking origami-inspired bar taking centre stage, while the private circular dining room comes adorned with origami chandeliers and bespoke wood finishes. Apparently the food’s not too shabby, either.
Talk about a glow up. This Japanese BBQ restaurant has been loved by locals and tourists alike since it opened in North Sydney back in 1993, but its new digs up the road really elevates the dining experience. Designed by Giant Design, the space is super modern with a first-class open kitchen (with front row counter seats to catch the action), Japanese-style timber panelled booths, and a huge light installation that mimics a curtain of shooting stars.
There’s striking, and then there’s Bennelong. Enjoying a meal in this iconic restaurant that opened in 2015 feels like a real privilege. Incorporating Sydney Opera House’s architect Jørn Utzon’s design principals into the project, Sydney based architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer allowed the iconic building to inform the geography of the restaurant, and the result is pretty otherworldly. Floor to ceiling glass walls offer a window to an unbeatable view of the harbour, with custom wood joinery and extraordinary Tom Dixon ‘Melt’ glass lamps creating an opulent opera house experience. Oh and the food’s not too shabby here, either.
Ranked number 28 in last year’s 50 best bars in the world, this tiny bar set inside a garage down the end of an alleyway off Clarence Street in the CBD might not seem like much, but take a closer look. The attention to detail here is amazing. Not only is it stocked with Mexico’s finest Mezcal (with bottles displayed everywhere), this 20-person bar is fitted with an ornate Nepalese ice-carving machine, reflective mirrors on the front bar to create dazzling reflections at night, unique ceramics by a Mexican artist, and handmade custom wood joinery all made from one tree. Salud!