9 of the best new restaurants to try in Sydney this summer

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The newly opened Coogee Wine Room features a marble bar.

Food. It’s everyone’s constant preoccupation and the reason we all want to be on . But some nights you just don’t want to cook. Some nights you want to swan into the city with a friend (ideally someone known for their wonderful conversation) and experience the best and brightest dishes Australia’s biggest city has to offer. Sorry homemade spaghetti bolognaise, but you’re going in the freezer. Now with the warmer weather in full swing, these nine new restaurants have been bumped right to the top of the to-do list.

The Coogee Wine Room scores high on European style.

Coogee Wine Room, Coogee
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Owned by locals Tom Hardwick and Michelle Morales, the Coogee Wine Room is bringing a touch of European style to this beloved, laid-back beach ‘burb. The wine list has over 400 bottles, with more than 25 of them offered by the glass or half-bottle, Euro style. Food is Mediterranean and the menu changes with the seasons.

An image from Totti’s Bondi – a new Totti’s will open in Rozelle in December.

Totti’s, Rozelle
Justin Hemmes, king of the Merivale hospitality group, has just signed the paperwork to acquire 3 Weeds – a landmark pub in Rozelle that’s been in business since 1884. He plans to turn the back section of the building into a new Totti’s Italian restaurant, modeled on the success of Totti’s Bondi (which opened in 2018). All things going to plan, fresh pasta will be on the new tables by December.

A selection of desserts at Kitchens on Kent.

Kitchens on Kent, Millers Point
Yes, it’s a hotel buffet, but not as you know it. Housed in the five-star Langham hotel, Kitchens on Kent is overseen by executive chef Dave Whitting – who has called on his experience in Michelin-star restaurants to deliver an exceptional dining experience. The display of fresh seafood is a study in luxurious excess.

CicciaBella in Bondi.

CicciaBella, Bondi
When talented chef Mitch Orr closed Acme earlier this year, restaurateur Maurice Terzini wasted no time installing him at the helm of his newest project. CicciaBella (on the former site of Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta) will soon open, offering moody lighting and the delicious pasta Orr is famous for. But do not fret, lovers of the Da Orazio pizza – the 2.7-tonne brick pizza oven imported from Naples will be staying on to keep the thin-crust, wood-fired deliciousness coming.

Ester in Chippendale, the award-winning restaurant owned and operated by chef Mat Lindsay, who has just opened Shwarmama in Surry Hills.

Shwarmama, Surry Hills
Just 10 seats are available in Mat Lindsay’s latest project, a Middle Eastern eatery open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night snacks. The twist? There are only four (no doubt very yummy) things on the menu: lamb shawarma (as the restaurant’s name would suggest), pita with falafel, an Israeli breakfast sandwich and Lindsay’s version of the halal snack pack.

The new Bathers’ Pavilion restaurant in Balmoral.

Bathers’ Pavilion, Balmoral
While certainly not a new building – the art deco Bathers’ Pavilion was constructed in the ‘20s – the restaurant within this architectural jewel has had a revamp. The new Bathers’ will open its outdoor terrace to diners for the first time ever, with head chef Kumiko Endo (formerly of Attica and Testuya’s) in charge of the French-fusion cuisine.

Pippies in XO sauce from Golden Century, the dish that inspired the new restaurant.

XOPP by Golden Century, Haymarket
Pippies in XO sauce from Chinatown’s Golden Century restaurant has been called “the best dish in the world” by none other than David Chang (the American restaurateur behind Momofuku), so it stands to reason that the Golden Century group would name its latest restaurant after the dish that put them on the map. XOPP has a menu that is fresh and modern – with pippies in XO sauce right at the top.

Spinach tortelli from I Maccheroni. Photograph by Will Hartl.

I Maccheroni, Woollahra
If authentic, unpretentious Italian is your style, a visit to I Maccheroni’s new venue in Woollahra is a must. Chef-owner Marcello Farioli (formerly of Otto and Pendolino) makes sure that every piece of pasta on the menu is handmade and teamed with fresh, seasonal produce – just like the dishes in his northern Italian hometown.

A dish from Ragazzi restaurant, located in the financial district.

Ragazzi, Sydney CDB
If you’re into the fine food, wine and atmosphere at Love, Tilly Devine and Dear Saint Eloise, Ragazzi is going to be right up your alley. Operated by the same team behind these beloved small bars, Ragazzi is an Italian restaurant that will serve five or six different pasta dishes, with a menu that changes from day to day.

Share plates at Nomad.

Nomad Up The Road, Surry Hills
After a fire devastated Nomad’s original Foster Street venue, the team has decided to move up the road to 85 Commonwealth Street (Longrain’s old digs) for a three-month residence. Under head chef Jacqui Challinor, the interim venue will seat 140 and serve share plates including signature hummus, ceviche and duck mortadella dishes.

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