Sydney dining for visitors: rooms with a view and seafood

Author: Maya Kerthyasa
Photography: Yianni Aspradakis and Rob Shaw

Rooms with a view

The polish of the room, service and sunny Italian eats (Sicilian lifeguard-style Spring Bay mussels, crab, zucchini and saffron risotto, or local prawns with lemon and aïoli, for example) at Icebergs are adequate drawcards themselves, but add that postcard-worthy view over the shining sands of Bondi beach and you've got a Sydney seaside lunch second to none. Icebergs, 1 Notts Ave, Bondi, (02) 9365 9000

Pilu at Freshwater

For breezy Italian eating on the other side of the bridge, head to Pilu. The light-filled room overlooks the shining cliff-lined coast of Freshwater beach - a view that makes a fine accompaniment to Giovanni Pilu's rustic yet refined Sardinian food. The standouts? His pasta offerings (spaghettoni with walnuts, calamari, crisp Sardinian flatbread and bottarga, yes please) and the ever-popular slow-roasted suckling pig for two. For something a little more laidback, the adjoining kiosk offers coffee and a pulled-pork sandwich worthy of a visit itself. Pilu at Freshwater, end of Moore Rd, Freshwater, (02) 9938 3331


There are plenty of ways to capture the glory of Sydney Harbour, but one of the finest (and tastiest, might we add) has got to be from a window-side table at Quay. Soak it up with a side of sunshine at lunch, where Peter Gilmore's elegant cooking shines through the likes of summer tomatoes with young almonds and garlic blossoms in a golden aromatic broth; pork belly cooked low and slow in salted cultured butter with milk curd, roasted koji, kombu, sesame and a smoked pork rib broth; and Jersey cream made sweet with prunes and paper-thin shards of dehydrated milk and salted caramel. Need we say any more? Quay, Upper Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal, 5 Hickson Rd, The Rocks, (02) 9251 5600

Papi Chulo

Would you like a side of beef brisket with those ocean views? Papi Chulo, an Americana-themed Manly eatery with a dash of Asian flair, will give you just that. Eats-wise it's all about the smoky, saucy ribs, finger-lickin' chicken wings, fresh summery salads and chart-topping burger, with interesting cocktails and a laidback bay-side vibe to top it all off. Papi Chulo, 22-23 Manly Wharf, Manly, (02) 9240 3000

Sean's Panaroma

It may be small, the room at Sean's, but the sunny ocean outlook and flavours coming from the kitchen are anything but. Go for Saturday or Sunday lunch, bring along a bottle or two (yep, they do BYO), dig in to a plate of roast free-range chook dressed up with a simple bread sauce or suckling Wessex saddleback pork from chef Sean Moran's farm and let the good times roll. Sean's Panaroma, 270 Campbell Pde, Bondi Beach, (02) 9365 4924

Fish Face

When it comes to fish, there's no beating the craft of Josh Niland and Stephen Hodges at Fish Face. Take it as fish and chips at the more casual counter service part of the room, or raw and jazzed up with mojama, white peach and purslane, say, in the fancier dining-room section out the back. Whichever route you choose, though, don't skip the chips, or the onion rings, or the potato scallops - they're Sydney's best. Fish Face, 346 New South Head Rd, Double Bay, (02) 9328 3599

The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay

The Boathouse has got it all: impeccable locally sourced fish, shellfish and crustaceans with front-on views of the water and fish markets beyond. Get stuck in to the snapper pie, the wok-fried Townsville mud crab or the blockbuster oyster list (seriously, they've got more than a dozen different types to choose from). The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay, 123 Ferry Rd, Glebe, (02) 9518 9011

Flying Fish

Flying Fish takes seafood sophistication to the next level with its white table cloths, industrial wharfside digs and chef Stephen Seckold's elegant food. He pretties up confit Petuna ocean trout with persimmon, quinoa and puffed skin, and gives depth to Western Australian marron with brown butter tamarind emulsion, charred lettuce and aged balsamic. The harbour views get a big tick from us, too. Flying Fish, Pier 21, Jones Bay Wharf, Pyrmont, (02) 9518 6677

The Fish Shop

It's all in the name. This jazzed-up fish and chipper is all about fun, fresh food in a buzzy, laidback environment. Get stuck into the fish burger, a platter of battered fish with a side of potato scallops, or a big bucket of prawns, with a glass from the carefully thought-out wine list to keep the good times flowing. The Fish Shop, 22 Challis Ave, Potts Point, (02) 9326 9000

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