Despite last year’s best efforts, Sydney’s hospitality scene continues to thrive—as do Sydneysiders. We mourned the casualties of lockdown and while we hoped for new beginnings this year, it hasn’t turned out quite as we expected. Nevertheless, we march on and this list of new restaurants and bars opening is the bright light we inch toward as we approach to exit this tunnel someday.
So, what’s on the horizon for Sydney’s dining scene? Kylie Kwong is set to launch her latest concept, everyone’s favourite 50’s bartenders will don a new suit at a new establishment, Neil Perry ventures to Double Bay for a restaurant that is all his own, and a zero-waste bar is to make its debut soon.
This is just the beginning. We hope to see many more exciting venues opening over the year. For now, here are the city’s most anticipated openings for 2021.
Kylie Kwong at South Eveleigh
Kylie Kwong is no stranger to Sydney with the better part of two decades on the dining scene. Her Potts Point establishment, Billy Kwong was a favourite but when it closed in 2019, people have been waiting for the powerhouse chefs next steps. We’re happy to tell you, she is coming back on the scene with her biggest project yet, South Eveleigh. Formerly known as Australian Technology Park, South Eveleigh is an emerging dining destination of which Kwong is the ambassador. Expect a relaxed daytime venue featuring local indigenous produce with her signature Cantonese culinary style. It’s a world away from Billy Kwong, but it is set to bring new meaning to the word ‘casual eatery’. She will also focus on sustainability, with the South Eveleigh Native Rooftop Garden and seafood from Josh Niland’s Fish Butchery.
Core at Crown Sydney
English Chef, Clare Smyth, is the first and only female chef to run a restaurant with three Michelin stars, Core in Notting Hill. She even catered for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s private wedding reception. It seems fitting to bring her talent’s to Sydney’s new rising star, Crown Sydney. In February, Smyth plans to introduce another Core to the tower, which focuses on local produce, and sustainability. The wines will be local as are the ingredients. This isn’t Smyth’s first introduction to Australia. She’s travelled around the country, which inspired the menu, offering the best Australia has to offer.
It’s almost here, our favourite Ratpack bartenders are opening Sammy Junior, a suave cafe on the ground level of 66 King Street in the CBD. The espresso coffee bar will be the highlight of the morning trade, offering a bespoke Sammy coffee blend crafted by coffee connoisseur Martin Hudak (2017 World Coffee in Good Spirits Champion and Mr Black Ambassador) alongside a short selection of classic breakfast bites from consultant chef Rob Lechowicz (Blackwood Pantry).In the afternoon, the focus will be mini cocktails which will be on tap alongside a beer and a few wines. The cheeky small doses of cocktails will be best enjoyed alongside an afternoon business meeting or as an after-work tipple but don’t expect to settle in for the night. Sammy Junior will shut from about 6 pm so head down to Maybe Sammy in The Rocks to continue the evening. Architect George Livissianis (Chin Chin Sydney, The Apollo, Cho Cho San, The Dolphin Hotel) will bring to life the interiors. Expect some visual similarities to Maybe Sammy.
Neil Perry in Double Bay
A household name, Neil perry is opening is first solo project mid-year after a 40-year career. Don’t expect to draw similarities to Rock Pool, this restaurant in Double Bay is all his own. The 170-seat venue will focus on plant-based dishes and salads during the day, with a selection of grilled options. Expect an approachable restaurant, with interiors by ACME (Mimi’s, the Grounds) and designer David Caon. The unnamed restaurant is highly anticipated with locals and diners who have followed Perry throughout his career. The new venue is Perry’s way of breathing life back into Double Bay, an area he spent many years dining in.
Aria Wine Bar
Aria is a Sydney institution, serving fine dining to locals and visitors for several years. This year it’s transforming part of the restaurant into a relaxed wine bar. Yes, it will be serving food, so if you don’t want to splash out on the full menu, you can head to the bar for wine and snacks. The wine list will be the highlight, which includes over 80 wines by the glass and 1700 bottles. Anna Solomon (co-owner and Solotel’s creative director), Matt Moran, Joel Bickford (Aria head chef), and Alex Kirkwood (head sommelier) are the creative minds behind the fresh, laid back experience. The bar will celebrate the pillars of Aria’s 20-year success, at the same time offering locals a new side of Aria. One of which doesn’t require a reservation to enjoy cocktails, and snacks from Bickford.
Re is perhaps the most exciting addition to our diverse restaurant and bar landscape. The boundary-pushing bar will be the world’s first permanent no-waste bar opening up an entirely new category, one we can get behind. Matt Whiley of Scout and Maurice Terzini from Icebergs and CicciaBella are the masterminds behind this new concept swinging its doors open sometime in February. The bar puts sustainability at the forefront, which includes the interior. Set in a heritage list- 19th Century railway engineering workshop the fit-out is comprised of recycled and repurposed building materials. The bar and tabletops are designed from recycled plastic bottles and Tupperware containers. Food that would otherwise go to waste will be given new life in cocktails, with spirit-heavy options. There is to be a food menu from Chefs Alex Prichard (Icebergs) and Nic Wong (Cicciabella).
There’s a new Greek restaurant coming to town from Greek-Australian Chef, Peter Conistis. Ploos, will find it’s home in Campbell’s Stores, the dining precinct in Circular Quay. Conistis is known for his restaurants, Alpha, Omega, and Cosmos, so Ploos is rumoured to be a fresh venue. Expect South Mediterranian dishes you would find in Crete or Cypriot, an oversized eat-at-bar, and harbour views. Ploos is slated to open in March 2021.
It’s a bakery that needs no introduction—Black Star Pastry—the little bakery that opened 13 years ago and started a global online frenzy with its strawberry watermelon cake. Since then, the humble store grew to four locations across Sydney and opened a storefront in Melbourne. They’ve sold thousands of pastries, sweets, and cakes. For anyone who has been to the original storefront in Newtown will be familiar with its cosy feel, but after 13 years, the unassuming hidden shop quietly served its last slice—at least in that location.
The new location is housed in a heritage building at 325 King Street, a mere few meters from its flagship. Unlike the one before, this shop commands centre stage on Newtown’s main shopping strip, which is fitting for the brand’s growth and reputation.
“Newtown is incredibly special to us, as it’s where Black Star Pastry’s journey began all those years ago,” says General Manager, Josef Murray. “Long before the strawberry watermelon cake and its legion of fans, it was Newtown’s locals who first embraced this budding bakery.” While Black Star Pastry outgrew the old location, prompting a search for a new store, its intention has always been to stay connected with this vibrant community.
Paying homage to its Newtown roots, the new store’s narrative is ‘nostalgia’. MKZ Architects—who conceived Black Star Pastry’s ‘turning page’ store at The Galeries – brought the new location to life by embracing the building’s heritage architecture and taking design cues from classic patisseries.
Walking in, the space is warm and inviting. High ceilings, floorboards, marble benches, and arched windows all play a part in the pastry stores new identity, creating a high-end, but not stuffy space, where you can sit at the marble countertop, or by the windows, and enjoy a morning coffee with your pastry. As always, you can get your treat to go.
The highlight of the space is the rolling pin ceiling installation—a tribute to the timeless art of baking. It surrounds the marble countertop, catching the morning light and adds to the store’s nostalgia narrative.
The store will continue to serve all the usual staples—in addition to its original cakes, you can enjoy a range of quiches, pies, sausage rolls, pastries, croissants, and a brilliant egg and bacon breakfast roll.
Open from 7:30 am daily and now just 50 metres from Newtown station, the new location offers added convenience for coffee commuters as well as express access for cake collection.