Sydney

10 Actually Fun Things To Do This Weekend In Sydney

Night markets, cocktail making classes, and after hours in museums are just some of the events on this weekend.

This weekend, there are two major events happening in Sydney. They are Valentine’s Day and Lunar New Year. Throughout the week, Sydney will be celebrating the Chinese New Year (safely), by offering all the food you can eat at markets and restaurants across the city. 

Let’s not forget Valentine’s Day. There are plenty of romantic restaurants and date night ideas, not to mention the Cupid Undie Run you can take part in.

There are also some exciting things happening in galleries and museums. Hint: Night at the Museum and cocktails. 

With that said, whether you’re looking to stuff your face with dumplings, toasting to love, or enriching your artistic side, here, best things to do this weekend.

Explore the Art Gallery of NSW After Dark

Wednesday, January 27 – Wednesday, March 31
CBD
Sydney’s favourite night out is back. Art after-hours returns to the Art Gallery of NSW every Wednesday night until 9 pm. If you’re a fan of Night at the Museum, this event is the closest you will get to see what happens to a museum after hours. The cafe is open until 8:30 pm and Gallery Shop, 8:45 pm, so you can get in your late-night bites and shopping. Enjoy the exhibitions and collections on your own or join a tour. It’s up to you. There’s a courtesy bus running every 15 minutes from 6 pm until closing from the Gallery to various locations in the city. 
Cost: Free, depending on the exhibition.

Get Dumplings, Noodles and more at The Rocks Lunar Markets

Friday, February 12 – Sunday, February 14
The Rocks
Visit the vibrant stalls lining the streets of The Rocks this Friday at the Lunar Markets. Enjoy the sights, scents, and sounds of Asian street food, festoon lights, and iconic bright red lanterns as you ring in the Lunar New Year. Friday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, you’ll have the chance to explore the stalls, shop art, homewares, and textiles. There will also be Chinese zodiac readings, mahjong, and free calligraphy activities. The markets take place at Playfair Street and Jack Mundey Place. 
Cost: Free

Lunar Lane Night Markets Sydney Olympic Park

Thursday, February 11 – Saturday, February 13
Sydney Olympic Park
There is another great lunar market offering a Lunar New Year experience, at night. Held at Sydney Olympic Park, market-goers will find a variety of cuisines from local restaurants and food trucks including Bao Brothers, Birdman Korean Fried Chicken, and more. As expected, the event will feature red hanging lanterns and all the bright colours of the Chinese celebration. You can bring a picnic rug to sit on, or there will be wooden furniture set up so you can enjoy the live DJ and other entertainment. The event will run from Feb, 11 to 12, starting at 4 pm and ending at 9 pm. 
Cost: Free

Get Lamingtons from Hello Auntie x Tokyo Lamington

Friday, February 12 – Sunday, February 21
Darling Square
Cuong Nguyen, head chef, and owner of Vietnamese restaurant Hello Auntie, has teamed up with Tokyo Lamington to create three new lunar lamingtons, featuring Asian fusion flavours. What can you expect from the tasty trio? Well, there is a pandan and coconut lamington, filled with pandan custard and dipped in pandan white chocolate; a pineapple tart lamington pumped with pineapple jam and coated in butter cookie crumbs; and, last but not least, a Vietnamese curry lamington. Dine-in at the Darling Square location or eat it at home. 
Cost: $7 each or three for $21. 

Participate in The Cupid Undie Run

Sunday, February 14 – Sunday, February 28
Why not do some good this weekend and enter the Cupid Undie Run, a fundraiser for the Children’s Tumour Foundation. Due to Covid, there won’t be a big run, however, there is a fortnight of undie inspired challenges taking place from Feb, 14 to 28. These include taking your pants off for charity, celebrating body image, making cocktails, and charging for them, and much more. All of these challenges can be done at home or with friends. Last day to register is February 14. 
Cost: Free to sign up.

Go See The Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of The Year Exhibit at The Australian Museum

Exhibition closes Sunday, May 9
CBD
Feed your wanderlust at the Australian Museum, where there is an exhibition showcasing the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of The Year. Expect to see enchanting forests, snowcapped peaks, icebergs, and more. There are over 100 large format images captivating animal-behaviour, landscapes, and our impact on the ecosystem. You will get to explore the works of professional and junior photographers, including up-and-comer, Robert Irwin. Tickets are free with general admission and will be running until May 9, 2021.
Cost: Free

Celebrate Summer at Reign

Thursday, January 21 – Sunday, February 28
Queen Victoria Building
Enjoy the last few weeks of Summer with $10 cocktails at Reign. On Thursdays and Fridays from 3 pm to 5 pm, you can enjoy all the bellinis and mimosas you want. Indulge your cheese addiction with the $25 (min two people) high cheese plate, which comes with three kinds of cheese, crackers, fruit, and quince chutney. There is also the option for bottomless brunch followed by a four-course feast on Saturday and Sunday. Prosecco brunch is $85 per person and sparkling rosé for $105 per person. Cost: $10 – $105 per person.

Live music, performances, Maybe Sammy and more at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

Friday, February 12, 19, and 26
CBD
Maybe Sammy will be pouring three cocktails from the MCA Café on Level 4 as part of MCA Late, a new Friday night program featuring live music, programs, and more from 5 – 9 pm. Maybe Sammy will be serving three cocktails; chamomile martini, jasmine negroni, and eucalyptus gimlet. It’s free to attend and enjoy those cocktails but if you are keen to expand your knowledge on cocktail making and want to know how to turn everyday items into a simple cocktail toolkit, there’s also a cocktail masterclass available. This will be held on Friday, February 19 from 6.30 – 7 pm and costs $20 ($18 if you’re an MCA member) which includes one cocktail per person. This will be held on the Sculpture Terrace, also on Level 4.
Cost: Free – $20

Get the two for one burger deal at Grill’d

Sunday, February 14 
Multiple locations
Grill’d are doubling the love this Valentine’s Day offering 2 for 1 burger (or salads) to those who choose to dine-in with their date. Customers simply need to sign up for Grill’d’s free Relish loyalty program via the website or app to redeem the offer. 
Cost: Free to sign up.

Visit Bar Totti’s For Champagne and Prawns

CBD
Mike Eggert’s menu of simple, delicious food is perfect for Valentine’s Day date. Kick off with Crudo di mare of Sydney rock oysters, honey bugs, and wild kingfish, followed by shared house-made antipasti including Totti’s signature wood-fired bread, prosciutto, burrata, tomatoes. Move onto grilled king prawns with chilli and fennel and a 500g Brooklyn valley sirloin, and top it off with a sweet spot of tiramisu or a Neapolitan ice-cream sandwich to share with the one you love. Cost: $90 per person with a glass of champagne

Sydney

Seven New Restaurants And Bars Coming To Sydney In 2021

A no-waste bar, world-famous female chef, and Kylie Kwong are just a taste of what’s to come

mini cocktails
Photo Courtesy Of Maybe Sammy

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. 

Sammy Junior

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

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). 

Ploos

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.

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