Tokyo Seafood Selection | Source: TheFork

Food Culture: The Best Degustations in Sydney

Sydney is arguably the culinary capital of Australia. Although we’re sure other states would have something to say about that. When it comes to fine dining, however, there’s no doubt that Sydney has some of the best restaurants in the country. Of these restaurants which has the best degustation menu in Sydney? It’s not an easy title to win.

These often set menus feature multiple courses creatively made by specialist chefs. You’ll find them in some of the most luxurious restaurants in Sydney. Let’s take a look at what’s on offer to appease your luxury dining appetite. Here’s our list of the best degustations in Sydney.

Automata Restaurant

Location: 5 Kensington St, Chippendale NSW 2008

Located in Chippendale, Automata is redefining the definition of a degustation with its 5-course menu. Helmed by Head Chef Clayton Wells, his modern, flexible approach makes for an ever-changing menu of Aussie produce and Asian ingredients. Far from your typical degustation, Wells ensures his freedom and energy translates into the dining room. This makes for a menu not bound by a specific cuisine. A relaxed luxury atmosphere, Automata has the perfect amount of urban style and culinary finesse. The result? A beautiful yet casual eatery of delicious proportions.

Aria Restaurant

Location:  Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000

Spectacular dining and stunning views, summing up Aria is that simple. One of Australia’s most famous restaurants, Aria is much more than the food, it’s an exceptional dining experience. Enjoy one of the best degustation restaurants in Sydney with the magnificent Sydney Harbour as your backdrop. Executive chef Joel Bickford takes you on a culinary journey with his elegant winter degustation menu, filled with the finest seasonal ingredients. A showcase of Australia’s finest producers and suppliers, the 7-course menu includes; raw Mooloolaba scallop, roasted monkfish, glazed Maremma duck, and red deer just to name a few. With everything Aria offers, it’s obvious why this is one of the best degustation menus in Sydney in 2021.

Sokyo

Location: 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont NSW 2009

Located at the Star Casino in Pyrmont, Sokyo brings the finest Japanese omakase menu to the heart of Sydney. Executive Chef Chase Kojima has created a Sushi connoisseur’s dream. The best from the sea is on display; salmon, tuna, scampi, scallop and prawn all complimented by seasoned rice. The imaginative menu also features the likes of sashimi, tempura and melt-in-the-mouth meats cooked over the robata grill. The Sokyo experience goes far beyond the food to immerse you in an uber-cool ambience and eclectic energy – one of the best degustations in Sydney.

The Quay Restaurant

Location: Upper Level Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks NSW 2000

Amongst Sydney’s top fine dining restaurants you’ll find Quay. Crafted by one of Australia’s most famous chefs, Peter Gilmore, you’re treated to rare and beautiful ingredients. Choose from Quay’s signature 8-course degustation menu, or opt for the smaller, but equally delicious, 6-course offering. The nature-inspired menu is the culmination of Chef Gilmore’s collaboration with local farmers, fishermen and producers who cultivate produce exclusively for Quay. Imagine the flavours of smoked eel, Tasmanian rock lobster, bone marrow noodles, and slow-cooked pig jowl reaching your palette whilst you gaze at Sydney’s Harbour Bridge; that’s fine dining at its best, that’s the Quay experience.

Sixpenny

Location: 83 Percival Rd, Stanmore NSW 2048

Unlike any other degustation menu in Sydney, Sixpenny is steeped in the city’s rich history. You’ll find the high-class restaurant in the neighbouring suburb of Stanmore hidden in a former fish ‘n’ chip shop. Aside from the sixpenny name that comes from the sixpence restaurants of the late 1800s, everything else about this restaurant is thoroughly modern. The 7-course degustation menu is brought to you via the talents of Head Chef Daniel Puskas. It celebrates contemporary Australian cuisine that’s influenced by the seasons. The plates are a work of art with seasonal meats and fish perfectly complimented by the delicate vegetables of the season. Elevate your experience with one of the quality wine pairing options from sommelier Dan Sharp. The menu can also be adapted for dietary requirements so create yourself a vegetarian degustation menu in Sydney if you wish.

Firedoor

Location: 23-33 Mary Street, Surry Hills 2010

Australia’s first fully fire-powered menu is created by Chef Lennox Hastie. With no gas or electricity insight, the daily changing menu harnesses the power of heat, smoke and char to bring out native flavours in the fresh Australian Produce. Enjoy a 5-course menu filled with bespoke vegetables, aged meats such as lamb, pork, chicken and beef and seafood options like shellfish. One of the best degustations the city has to offer, experience the heritage venue, rustic-chic decor and open view kitchen.

Nel.

Location: 75 Wentworth Avenue, Sydney 2000

A dining encounter like no other. Nel. provides a relaxed, intimate atmosphere hidden in a bunker-esque space in Sydney CBD. The modern 10-course degustation menu created by Head Chef Nelly Robinson is a themed affair from the ‘Great British’ to the ‘Once Upon a Time.’ The showcasing of Australian produce changes every 6 weeks providing new and exciting dishes upon every visit. Pair the intriguing menu with matching alcoholic beverages, including wine and cocktails and prepare for a night of sensory indulgence.

LuMi Dining

Location: 56 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont NSW 2009

Inventive Italian food with a Japanese twist, LuMi Dining combines the two classic cuisines in spectacular fashion. The glass-walled, modern dining area on the waterfront at Pyrmont, offers wonderful views and either a 10-course or 14-course degustation menu. Chef Federico Zanellato’s menu options vary depending on your time of dining. He serves a take on gunkan (sushi) with stracciatella instead of rice, an Italian minestrone floating in vegetable miso and various dishes with premium ingredients like caviar or truffle.

Indu

Location: 350 George St via Angel Pl Sydney 2000

Located in the historic Angel Place, experience the rural and coastal village cuisine of Sri Lanka and Southern India in a fine dining setting. The InduFeast is a wonderful degustation in Sydney filled with the chef’s selection of light, fresh and innovative dishes featuring curries, grilled meat, seafood and elegant vegetarian dishes. The stylish subterranean CBD restaurant opened in 2015 offers a wonderfully moody setting – dimly lit and terracotta-clad under the busy George Street.

Yellow

Location: 57 Macleay Street, Potts Point 2011

Winner of TimeOut Sydney’s 2018 degustation of the year, Yellow offers one of the finest vegetarian degustations in Sydney. The locally sourced produce fills the 5 or 7-course vegan tasting menu with cheeses, charred vegetables, roasted nuts and ice creams. The converted 1950s art gallery is the perfect backdrop for the modern European bistro that exudes character from its edgy, rustic-chic decor.

If you’re a fine dining fan located in other states, have a look at The 5 Best Degustations in Perth, or The Best Restaurants for Fine Dining, in and around Adelaide.

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