New South Wales (NSW)is home to a diverse legacy of food and wine, and offers a rich range of gastronomic experiences. Thriving culinary hotspots across the region showcase quality produce, talented winemakers and some of Australia's best restaurants.
One of the reasons NSW is a heaven for food lovers is thanks to its diverse cultural influences. It is a melting pot of cultures from around the world and this is reflected in the authentic flavours you will taste throughout cafes and restaurants, many with splendid waterfront or idyllic rural views.
NSW's dedicated food and wine trails offer the perfect combination of travel and taste, providing an opportunity to explore the region's gourmet highlights and meet local producers. Some of the must try explorations include Hunter Valley wine, engaging in a cooking class in Kangaroo Valley, buying local farm fresh produce from farmers market.
Variety of style and quality of boutique, farmhouse cheese - largely sold through local networks of farmers and restaurants must be tasted.
While Sydney has the reputation of creating exquisite food using the freshest produce and ingredients, one must explore the 14 wine regions of NSW offering its visitors a world of delicious food and beautiful wineries in the most astonishing locales. Whilst exploring the wine regions of NSW, be sure to taste world-class, award winning Semillon in the Hunter Valley, Rhone-style shiraz in the Canberra District, try the cool climate whites in Orange and sip on Mudgee's renowned red variants.
What better way to start the culinary exposure of Sydney than to visit Ester Restaurant. A street-side restaurant in Chippendale, with a back-to-basics approach, Ester has been recognised at many platforms for its culinary bravado. The popular restaurant has won praises for its contemporary menu, smoky flavour and innovative use of the venue's wood-fire oven, set in a former loading dock and garage.
Ester is home to contemporary dining trends and will intoxicate you with its arched concrete features, open kitchen and laid-back but chic vibes. MasterChef Kunal Kapur places king prawns which are split, roasted in the wood-fired oven and slathered in burnt butter and capers on visitors must try list.
46-52 Meagher st Chippendale
Tel: (02) 8068 8279
Located just a few blocks away from Ester, Brickfields is a delightful bakery and cafe located in Chippendale, inner Sydney. Brickfields is a wholesale and retail bakery/cafe that also serves Mecca coffee. It has a delicious assortment of sourdough breads and French style pastries cooked to perfection using artisan methods with the finest ingredients.
The cafe's daily menus are based on the ingredients sourced locally with passion and attention for details, making it a genuine neighbourhood bakery. The Brickfield range of handcrafted breads, cakes and pastries are available at various local stores across the city. According to MasterChef Renae Smith, one must try the croissant, which arguably is the best in Sydney.
206 Cleveland St, Chippendale, NSW, 2008
Tel: (02) 9698 7880
The Carriageworks Farmers Market, held every Saturday in the heart of Sydney City from 8 am to 1 pm, is an award-winning authentic Farmers' Market which was previously known as Eveleigh Farmers Market. Renae Smith took MasterChef Kunal Kapur to explore the market that promotes local produce and creates an internationally acclaimed food and arts precinct in Sydney's Redfern. Carriageworks is the largest and most significant contemporary multi-arts centre of its kind in Australia. A restored old railway building, which houses the Farmers Market, is dynamic and eclectic with great food offerings.
Located close to the Redfern Train Station, The Carriageworks Farmers Market is an architectural dream (a world-renowned Arts Centre) and an epicentre for great, local and sustainable food. The market is a gourmet heaven where every seller shows passion for their food and is really popular. Its charter outlines five core values of product authenticity, origin, knowledge, sustainability and excellence and it is a meeting place for local producers and the local community. The Market's mission is to become a destination for the community of Sydney and national and international visitors to engage with diverse fresh seasonal produce and handmade foods. Fresh food stalls dotted along the staple market provide some of the most delectable offerings.
This all weather marketplace showcases over 70 farmers and artisan food producers who pack their trucks with the fresh, seasonal, and homemade produce they grow, rear or make and bring it to the market. The interactive platform provides an ideal opportunity to join in the community spirit as this bustling market embraces all food lovers with produce picked, packed, and made that week especially for the Carriagework Farmers Market shopper who can learn more about the origin of their food.
245 Wilson St, Eveleigh NSW
Tel: +61 2 8571 9099
The award-winning restaurant at Jonah's, one of Australia's most spectacular ocean retreats, offers contemporary Australian cuisine with a strong emphasis on seafood and subtle Italian influences, including signature pasta dishes. Showcasing some exceptional Australian and International cuisine, the menu at the restaurant gets updated seasonally. With a list of over 1,500 wines, the restaurant entices and rewards its guests from its cellar containing over 6,000 bottles of vintage Australian and International wines. Jonah's intimate, cozy and relaxed bar is the perfect environment to unwind.
Guests can enjoy a relaxed dining experience at the stunning Terrace Balcony, perched on the cliffs of Whale Beach overlooking the Tasman Sea. Guests looking for the ultimate Sydney dining experience should take a Sydney Seaplane package, to enjoy a spectacular scenic flight around Sydney Harbour's icons before landing into Jonah's Whale Beach - from where transfers are provided to the restaurant to enjoy a sumptuous 3-course a la carte meal. Jonah's is recommended for anyone who loves seafood, breathtaking views and exceptional service.
69 Bynya Road, Whale Beach, Sydney, NSW 2107
Tel : 02 9974 5599
Mr Wong, featuring a Cantonese-style menu with over 60 dishes as well as an unrivalled dim sum selection, pays homage to classic Chinese influences in a contemporary style. The 240-seater restaurant, one of the largest in the northern end of the Sydney CBD, offers a range of dining options varying from large group tables, through to intimate tables for two and seating at the open kitchen. Showcasing the old-world charm, Mr Wong displays timeless colonial furnishings including timber floors with tiled inlay, bamboo framed French woven chairs and slow turning ceiling fans, giving a 1930s Shanghai teahouse vibe.
Dan Hong, the Executive Chef at Mr Wong, renowned for incorporating myriad flavours to his cooking, has cemented himself as one of Sydney's most creative and fastest rising talents and his influence on the menu of Mr Wong is delightfully apparent. The Chinese Roast Duck, comparable to the best available anywhere, is a must try.
3 Bridge Lane sydney 2000
Tel: +61 2 9240 3000
Chez Pok - an award-winning restaurant in Peppers Guest House is where you could taste fine wine and dine gourmet style. Ensuring a delightful experience, the rustic French influence blends beautifully with its fresh, seasonal menu. A meal here would be an ideal way to understand why it is one of the favourite restaurants for locals and visitors to Hunter Valley.
Besides other meals, High Tea at Peppers Guest House - with its classic line-up of warm scones with fresh cream, macaroons, delicious teas and savoury finger sandwiches, is perfect for special celebrations.
Ekerts Rd, Pokolbin NSW
Tel: +61 7 5665 4426
Recognised as one of the oldest wineries in the Hunter Valley wine region, Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard and Cellar Door, named after one of Australia's early wine pioneers, is spread across 270 acres. This family-run winery produces award-winning Semillon, Verdelho, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Merlot, Malbec, Tempranillo, Cabernet, Muscat. Master class and premium tasting is conducted in the Trophy room. It's Semillon, has been highly rated by wine critics and recognised among the top wineries to visit in Australia. The winery offers various experiences like - Behind the scenes premium experience, behind the scenes winery tour, picnic among the vines, stay among the vines.
Some of these experiences, besides providing a detailed explanation of the grapes journey to the bottle, also offers a helicopter ride to one of Hunter's finest restaurants accompanies by a chef. Delicious seafood, prepared with lots of style, and Semillon tasting is recommended. One can enjoy a picnic among the vines with a bottle of handpicked wine along with a gourmet cheese picnic hamper from the Hunter Valley's famous 'Smelly Cheese Shop' and select a scenic spot within the expansive property.
DeBeyers Road, Pokolbin (Hunter Valley) NSW 2320
Tel: (02) 4998 1866
Binnorie Dairy, located in the middle of the Hunter Valley's Pokolbin vineyard district, specialises in producing soft cheese based on carefully chosen recipes from around the world. The dairy, founded by Simon Gough, produces a range of cheeses with distinctive characters which are not available outside the region. The uniqueness of the cheese is achieved and maintained as the producers only use locally sourced milk.
Cheeses from the dairy, like its flagship Marinated Fetta (rich and creamy, marinated in the blend of canola and olive oil with selected herbs), Labna (yoghurt cheese made from cow's milk, marinated in chilli, rosemary, garlic and olive oil), etc., which have won top awards around the world, are offered for tasting to its visitors for free at the shop located within the dairy.
Tuscany Wine Estate Resort Corner of Hermitage Road and Mistletoe Lane, Pokolbin 2320
Tel: +61 2 4998 6660
Located at the entrance to Pokolbin in the iconic Hungerford Hill Winery, Muse Restaurant provides a wonderful dining experience with its excellent combination of service, ambiance, mood lighting and food. Creation of husband and wife team Troy and Megan Rhoades-Brown, the open kitchen format at the restaurant is very interesting to observe as all chefs combine their talent to create each special dish.
Opened with an aim to offer a complete dining experience, the restaurant offers food that is fresh and exciting without overcomplicating the ingredients. The acclaimed restaurant offers season driven contemporary Australian menus using quality produce sourced locally. Troy and his team of chefs are also keen gardeners and they plant, run and maintain their own home vegetable patches. These gardens successfully produce heirloom vegetables, edible flowers and herbs for their menus. Muse has been renowned for not only its food but also for its professional and friendly service. Troy applies his creativity in the kitchen with his team while Megan uses her expertise in leading the front of the house.
Divided into three separate areas to suit their guest's requirements, their private dining room, ideal for catering to 10 to 20 guests, offers a unique, impressive and unforgettable experience. Muse Coconut, the signature dessert of the restaurant is a must try. Eating at Muse is an enchanting experience from start to finish and a must do when in Hunter Valley.
2450 Broke Rd, Pokolbin NSW 2320
Tel: +61 2 4998 6777
Anderson Farm, a wonderful orchard set on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, is popular for its oranges. Open every year from May to December, some of the varieties available at the farm include Imperial Mandarins, Washington Naval Oranges and Seville Oranges.
A visit to the farm creates the perfect ambience for outings with family and friends, providing an excellent experience of plucking your own sweet and fresh oranges. One can enjoy a picnic at the farm, under the orange trees, by bringing in their own food.
The Hydro Majestic Blue Mountains, one of the rare hotels that truly is a global icon and offers culinary delight, has kept its old charm and elegance with its Art Deco interiors. The crackling of the fireplace, with the classical music playing in the background, makes for a perfect setting to sit down, relax, order a coffee at the Casino Lobby and look out of the floor to ceiling windows overlooking Megalong Valley. The restaurants and bars at the Hydro Majestic bestow their guest with unique offerings.
With its ornate grandeur and its open fire place furnishings, Wintergarden offers a premier afternoon high tea experience and gourmet dinner. Showcasing unique ambience with a casual setting, The Salon du The and Cat's Alley provides an opportunity to rediscover Asian-inspired snack menu and a range of teas, regional and imported wines and other beverages. The Boiler House Cafe offers a casual all-day dining menu featuring traditional pizza, pasta and Australian cuisine. The stylish Delmont conference and dining rooms are ideal for large functions.
The grand traditional High Tea at the Wintergarden, served on a three-tiered silver stand, is beautifully arranged with a selection of scones, French pastries, gourmet sandwiches along with freshly brewed speciality teas and coffees. To add to the first-rate experience, one can combine a decadent afternoon high tea in the Wintergarden with a 20-minute personal tea leaf reading or tarot card reading session in the famous Cat's Alley.
The Hydro Majestic Hotel
52- 88 Great Western Hwy, Medlow Bath NSW 2780
Tel: +61 2 4782 6885