GoodFood guide to Sydney Festival 2020

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Feasts and feats of magic Where to dine out during Sydney Festival



Welcome Dancing shoes on and appetites ready, folks. Sydney Festival is back to thrill, inspire and feed in 2020. It’s a pleasure for Good Food to present this guide to restaurants on board for summer’s most exciting cultural event. All listed eateries are within a short distance of Festival venues, whether you’re toe-tapping to Colombian swing at the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent or in Parramatta for a night with Opera Australia. These are restaurants reflective of the diversity Sydney Festival has built its reputation on, bursting with global variety and colour. Certainly, Sydney’s dining scene has come a long way since the Festival began in 1977 when a crosscountry dish such as Babylon Rooftop’s hummus with wattleseed dukkah would have been inconceivable.

Fresh, light dumplings like Chefs Gallery’s siu mai would have been rarer than hen’s teeth, as would anything like the three-milk coffee cake with miso caramel at Botanic House, fusing Vietnamese, Latin American and Japanese cuisines. Keen for cutting-edge dance in 2020, followed by hand-pulled Chinese noodles? No problem, come on down. Archie Roach after a lunch of grilled Australian seafood? Cafe Sydney has you covered. A Carriageworks video installation before local cheeses in Redfern? Absolutely, and by all means try a special edition Festival cocktail at Misfits bar, too. Whether you’re in the market for a hatted fine-dining experience or a quick meal, there are top-notch restaurants here to suit all occasions.

COVER: Scott Silven, Scottish mentalist, brings his mysterious, candle-lit magic show, At The Illusionist’s Table, to Sydney Festival. Restricted to ages 18+. QT Sydney, January 8–26, $349 + booking fee

Sydney’s celebration of the arts demands cracking food and wine, and the 2020 Festival Feasts line-up is the best smorgasbord yet.

Callan Boys Good Food National Writer

Where to eat near the festival venues Barangaroo Reserve The Squire’s Landing The Dining Room, Park Hyatt Sydney The Gantry Restaurant

Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent 6 7 7

Carriageworks; Seymour Centre Misfits Rubyos Restaurant

6 6

Babylon Rooftop Restaurant & Bar Chefs Gallery Town Hall Duck & Rice Esquire Drink + Dine Gowings Bar & Grill INDU Kittyhawk La Rosa The Strand Madame Shanghai

Sydney Opera House 3 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 6

City Recital Hall Babylon Rooftop Restaurant & Bar Cafe Sydney Duck & Rice Esquire Drink + Dine Gowings Bar & Grill INDU Kittyhawk La Rosa The Strand

3 3 4 4 5 5 5 5

Darling Harbour Chefs Gallery Town Hall Esquire Drink + Dine The Gardens by Lotus

QT Sydney Gowings Bar & Grill


Prince Alfred Square; Riverside Theatres; The Crescent Chefs Gallery Parramatta Chophouse Parramatta

3 4

Botanic House Cafe Sydney Kittyhawk The Squire’s Landing Terrace on the Domain The Dining Room, Park Hyatt Sydney

Sydney Town Hall Babylon Rooftop Restaurant & Bar Chefs Gallery Town Hall Duck & Rice Esquire Drink + Dine Gowings Bar & Grill INDU La Rosa The Strand The Gardens by Lotus

Roslyn Packer Theatre 4 4 7

The Squire’s Landing 6 The Dining Room, Park Hyatt Sydney 7 The Gantry Restaurant 7

COVER PHOTO Simon Schluter ART DIRECTOR Georgia Willis COVER IMAGE Illusionist Scott Silven

3 3 5 6 7 7



$30 or $55 meal deal

3 4 4 4 5 5 5 7

3 Babylon Rooftop Restaurant & Bar

Botanic House Address Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney. 1300 558 980

Address Level 7 Rooftop, Westfield Pitt Street Mall, (Enter via express escalator from the mall or use Westfield escalators). 02 8014 5663.

At a stunning space atop Westfield Sydney, Babylon Rooftop’s kitchen team create a menu rich with dishes inspired by childhood memories of Turkey and traditional Levantine food. All doors lead to the terrace from dining spaces which invite a fun, social style of eating and drinking, with fresh produce and sharing at the forefront of the Babylon philosophy.


The Deal: Enjoy seven different menu items from the extensive menu for $55 per person.

Cafe Sydney

Nestled in the heart of Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Botanic House offers a world-class dining experience with a menu designed by Ambassador Chef Luke Nguyen. Open for lunch during the week and lunch and brunch at weekends, the modern Asian menu marries South East Asian flavours with native Australian ingredients.


The Deal: Enjoy a six-course, shared tasting menu for $55pp (minimum 2 people). Conditions apply.

Chefs Gallery Parramatta Address Customs House, Level 5, 31 Alfred Street, Circular Quay. 02 9251 8683

Overlooking the majesty of Sydney Harbour and hypnotic industry of Circular Quay and The Rocks, Cafe Sydney is a landmark of city dining. The kitchen’s focus is proudly local and seasonal, whether it’s quality cuts of meat or seafood, including oysters, Morton Bay Bugs, Coffin Bay octopus, grilled ocean fish or barramundi.

The Deal: A daily selection of a la carte specials, with a focus on quality cuts of meat, fresh and exotic seafood.

Address Shop 2184, 159–175 Church Street, Parramatta. 02 8810 8881

Chefs Gallery is a multi-award winning Chinese restaurant and culinary experience meticulously combining pan-Asian influences with contemporary flair. Dishes range from the mesmerising theatre of watching handmade noodles and dumplings stretched or rolled in the glass-walled kitchen to each artfully created dish from a sumptuous menu.


The Deal: A small sharing dish, plus a serve of noodle or rice and a glass of house wine.



Festival Feasts

January 8 – 26

Chefs Gallery Town Hall

Chophouse Parramatta

Address Shop 12, Regent Place Shopping Centre, 501 George Street, Sydney. 02 9267 8877

Gourmet masterpieces draw on influences from across China, tapping into local cuisines and meticulously combining traditional and pan-Asian influences with contemporary flair to create the best Chinese dining experience in Sydney. We make it simple for diners to be treated with the warmth, bustle and deliciousness of contemporary Chinese and Asian cuisine.


The Deal: A small sharing dish, plus a serve of noodle or rice and a glass of house wine.

Duck & Rice

Address 83 Macquarie Street, Parramatta. 02 8855 3400

With a premium selection of Australian beef, bold cuts and deep red wines, at Chophouse Parramatta we’re proud to bring a new definition of ‘feast’ to Sydney’s west. We are fanatical about our produce and bring you a perfect steak every time, expertly cooked on our Montague broiler by head chef Ethan Phan and a passionate, knowledgeable team.


Esquire Drink + Dine Address Level 7 Rooftop, Westfield Pitt Street Mall, 188 Pitt Street, Sydney. 02 8014 5663

Duck & Rice’s moody, art-deco-style restaurant and bar reflects the history of Shanghai and Hong Kong and development of modern China. Duck & Rice has found perfect harmony among traditional Chinese and modern Asian food. The result is a whirlwind mix of flavours and textures designed to ignite the senses.


The Deal: A three-course meal at the home of the perfectly cooked steak.

The Deal: Enjoy sharing seven different menu items for $55 per person.

Address Level 2, Queen Victoria Building, 455 George Street, Sydney. (Market Street entrance) 02 8023 7609

On level two of the Queen Victoria Building, entering Esquire feels like stepping into a New York supper club, complete with reimagined modern Australian cuisine alongside an array of the world’s best spirits, wines and hand-crafted cocktails. A haven for business or pleasure, dine with gusto and drink into the night.


The Deal: Enjoy two courses from Esquire’s seasonal a la carte menu for $55. Conditions apply.

5 Gowings Bar & Grill


Address 1/49 Market Street. (Enter via Level 1 of QT Sydney). 02 8262 0062

Gowings Bar & Grill, QT Sydney’s signature restaurant, is a bustling dining room featuring a market-type alley for the freshest of Australian ingredients mixed in with hand-picked artisan producers. Rotisserie ovens and grills feature strongly on the menu, which is a go-to for the best power breakfast in town, working lunches and dinners..


The Deal: Feast on two bespoke courses at Gowings Bar & Grill accompanied by a glass of wine.


Address 350 George Street, Sydney. (Entry via Angel Place). 02 9223 0158

INDU is a celebration of southern Indian and Sri Lankan village culture, flavours and hospitality. Discover a place where Eastern mysticism meets Western curiosity, at Angel Place in the historic heart of Sydney. The inspiration is both coastal and community inspired, with a modern menu taking guests on a journey of the subcontinent. Vegan options available.


La Rosa The Strand Address 16 Phillip Lane, Sydney. au

At Kittyhawk, every day is Liberation Day. Our chefs have created a menu that puts a fresh spin on traditional French fare, without sacrificing any of the deliciousness you’d expect from Parisian cuisine. Combine this with world-class cocktails, a varied wine list and, of course, extensive champagne selection, and you’ll be celebrating like it’s 1944.


The Deal: Experience a $55 Sydney Festival Feast, sampling something from each section of the menu.

The Deal: A three-course Frenchinspired feast with a glass of wine or beer for $55 per person.

Address Shop 133, Level 2 The Strand Arcade, 193 Pitt Street, Sydney. 02 9223 1674

La Rosa The Strand is an elegant Roman-style wine bar and osteria in Sydney’s historic Strand Arcade. Premium, boutique Italian wines are hand-picked annually by owner and executive chef Nino Zoccali and group sommelier Cristian Casarin. The restaurant celebrates high-quality local ingredients and shines a spotlight on artisanal, authentic Italian dining.


The Deal:Two courses and a glass of wine, from a menu that includes some of our most popular dishes.



Festival Feasts

January 8 – 26

Madame Shanghai


Address 18 College Street, Darlinghurst. 02 8318 8618

Madame Shanghai eatery and bar serves contemporary Chinese. Much of the menu is made to share and cooked Shaokao style. The open kitchen creates a heady scent of spice and meat caramelising on the grill. Expect old-school elegance and Chinoiserie décor combined with a playful colour palette emulating 1930s Shanghai.


The Deal: Six courses of delicious Shanghai street food designed to share and accompanied by a beverage.

Rubyos Restaurant

Address 106 George Street, Redfern. 02 9318 1497

Welcome to Misfits, an eclectic, buzzing bar and dining space in Redfern. Follow the neon lights, Twiggy mural, and groovy soundtrack up the stairs to discover a melting pot of locals and visitors up for a good time. Nibble on tasty bar snacks or fill up on something more sophisticated and substantial from the casual yet creative bar and dining menu.


The Squire’s Landing

Address 18–20 King Street, Newtown. 02 9557 2669

Rubyos is Newtown’s best place to celebrate, featuring an eclectic grazing menu of modern Australian cuisine with a fusion of international flavours designed to be shared by everyone from the middle of the table. From vegans and vegetarians to seafood and meat lovers, Rubyos has a little something to cater to anyone and everyone.

The Deal: Enjoy a Festival Feast with some of Rubyos signature dishes, accompanied by a glass of prosecco.

The Deal: Enjoy our cured meats and salami, pickles and toast, with two glasses of wine.

Address Circular Quay West, The Rocks. (Northern end of the Overseas Passenger Terminal). 02 8014 5663

James Squire’s flagship brewhouse, The Squire’s Landing boasts 270-degree views of Sydney Harbour, Bridge and Opera House. Multiple decks and terraces boast an open-air dining experience where customers can also enjoy a glass of James Squire beer, coupled with a first floor restaurant that delivers a collection of uniquely modern Australian flavours,


The Deal: Enjoy two courses for $55. Vegetarian and vegan items available on request.

7 Terrace on the Domain

The Dining Room, Park Hyatt Sydney

Address 1 Art Gallery Road, Sydney. 1300 300 278

A leafy oasis surrounded by rolling green lawns and views of the Sydney skyline, Terrace on the Domain, on the edge of Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden, serves honest Italian classics using the best Australian produce. Dine à la carte on your favourite Italian classics in the restaurant or enjoy casual dining in the Terrace Bar and Eatery.


The Deal: Charcuterie platter to share plus two course lunch for $55pp (min 2 people). Conditions apply.

The Gantry Restaurant

Address 7 Hickson Road, The Rocks. 02 9256 1661

At The Dining Room, Park Hyatt Sydney, a fine-produce driven menu complements unrivalled harbour views. Inspired by his European heritage, executive chef Etienne Karner’s menu sees diners enjoying the freshest of modern Australian cuisine made with seasonal ingredients and artisan produce, combined with renowned Park Hyatt service.


The Gardens by Lotus

Address 11 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay, Sydney. 02 8298 9910

This hatted restaurant located within the waterside Pier One Sydney Harbour hotel offers modern Australian al fresco dining and stunning views of Walsh Bay. The Gantry showcases effortless craftsmanship in a sensory destination; its culinary team sourcing the best local, sustainable ingredients and championing Australian suppliers and providores.


The Deal: Enjoy a delicious two-course menu with stunning waterside views overlooking Walsh Bay.

The Deal: Enjoy a $55, two-course choice menu by chefs Etienne Karner and James Richardson. Conditions apply.

Address Chinese Garden of Friendship, Pier Street, Darling Harbour. 02 8311 5156

The Gardens by Lotus is an exciting ‘teahouse’-style dining and events space. The venue draws from both aspects of its location with a modern interpretation of Chinese high tea during the day and modern Sichuan dining in the evenings. The beverage list features a rich mixture of local and imported wines, hand-picked to match the cuisine.


The Deal: Six courses of authentic, modern Chinese food to share, plus a complimentary beverage.

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