10 Restaurants In Sydney To Check Out (As Approved By Chef Mathew Leighton) The Great Escape

Sydney is known for its great food, but if you’ve never been there, how do you know where to go?

Sydney is one of the largest cities in Australia, and is a vibrant cosmopolitan destination that boasts world-famous beaches, iconic architecture, and of course, fantastic food. We recently got Sydney native and executive chef of Salt grill & Sky Bar, Mathew Leighton to share with us the best dining spots in his city.

1. Glass Brasserie Sydney Hilton: 

“Whenever I’m back in Sydney, I love visiting the Glass Brasserie, where I worked for many years. I always have the degustation when I’m there so I can try all their new dishes. I love to come back to Glass as it reminds me of where I started in the kitchen.”

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Recommended Dish: “Kingfish Sashimi Ginger, Eschallot, Persian Feta. I love the freshness of the kingfish, which is enhanced by the finely chopped ginger and shallot dressing. Paired with soft feta cheese, it is simply divine.”

Level 2, 488 George Street,  Sydney, Australia 2000

2. Mojo by Luke Mangan

“Mojo is one of Luke’s restaurants – this place rocks! I love the warehouse ambience of this tapas bar and restaurant.”

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Recommended Dish: “Tempura Prawn Taco, Pineapple Salsa with Chipotle Aioli is an addictively delicious bar snack.”

8-10 Danks Street Waterloo, NSW 2017

3. Northies Cronulla Hotel

“Growing up near Cronulla, I have a soft spot for this place. It has a laidback resort-town vibe with its outdoor beer gardens and pool tables. I love starting off my Sundays with some beers and burgers with my mates; it makes for the most perfect Sunday. It’s located just across the road from the beach, so you’ll get to enjoy beautiful views and a fresh, cool breeze while you eat.”

Recommended dish: “The Chicken Schnitzel with Chips and Salad. The lightly crumbed chicken breast is crispy on the outside but juicy on the inside, and is great with an ice cold beer.”

Cnr. Kingsway & Elouera, Cronulla NSW 2230, Australia

4. Croydon Lane

“Croydon Lane Wine & Tapas Bar is a laid-back hangout just a minute from Cronulla Beach. This is a small-plate/tapas place where they encourage intimate and communal dining, but there are also larger dishes available for sharing with family and friends. I recommend coming here for a refreshing cocktail or sangria, both of which goes well with the wide selection of tapas.”

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Recommended dish: “The Pork Belly and Chili Chicken Popcorn is great for sharing; the chicken popcorn has a good kick of heat and zing that will keep you drinking all night long!”

Shop 8, 30 Kingsway

5.The Argyle in the Rocks

“The Argyle, a historic part of Sydney, is a perfect place to have a drink. They have a lovely beer garden, which to me, is a perfect spot to have an ice cold beer. If you’re visiting Sydney, this is definitely a place to check out, especially in the evenings.”

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Recommended dish: “The Halloumi sliders, which are soft buns with cheese, is best eaten piping hot. It also pairs beautifully with cold beer.”

18 Argyle St, The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia

6. China Doll 

“Located at Wooloomooloo Wharf, this place has elegant styling and serves generous portions of fine Modern Asian dishes. This is a must-go when in Sydney; it’s the perfect spot for dinner with a sunset view of Sydney.”

Recommended dish: “The Salt & Pepper Prawns with Wok Toasted Chilli & Garlic. The harmonious pairing of chilli and garlic is especially well executed in this dish – I love it!”

4/5 Cowper Wharf Roadway, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011, Australia

7. Bangor Tavern

“Growing up, Bangor Tavern was my local pub. It’s a great place to go for catching up with friends over beer and great grub. Every time I go back to Sydney, I’ll make sure to visit and have a pint with the boys.”

Recommended dish: “Beer-Battered Flathead and Chips. Crisp-coated flathead fish fillets served with a house made tartar sauce … what’s not to love?”

Menai Rd, Bangor NSW 2234, Australia

8. Mr Wong

“Mr. Wong pays homage to classic Chinese influences in a contemporary style. The Cantonese-inspired menu features over 60 dishes as well as an unrivalled dim sum selection.”

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Recommended dish: “Crispy Chicken Skin and Wok Fried Crab with Black Pepper are my favourites! The chicken is very crispy on the outside while the flesh remains tender and juicy.”

3 Bridge Ln, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

9. Golden Century

“Golden Century is a late-night Chinese restaurant that offers fresh seafood, and has been popular among Sydney-siders for a long time. And it’s still going strong!”

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Recommended dish: “The San Choy Bow (spiced mince meat wrapped in lettuce leaf) is a great way to start your dinner. Another one of my favourites is the Roasted Duck.”

393-399 Sussex St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

10. Chat Thai

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“Chat Thai is a Thai restaurant that I have been to a couple of times after work as it is open till late. I love my Thai food, and this is one place I often recommend to friends.”

Recommended dish: “Prawn Cakes and Pad Thai. The dishes may seem simple, but they’re well-executed and absolutely delicious. This is definitely my favourite Thai restaurant in Sydney.”

Campbell St. Haymarket

For as long as she can remember, Vanessa has always wanted to escape to a place where no one knows her. But because that’s not always possible, she often retreats into the world of books and pop culture. When she does get to travel, she prefers going off the beaten track and back to nature. Some of her best memories include napping in a treehouse in Laos and cycling across padi fields in Bali.

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