Terry Durack says one of the biggest trends of the year is the kebab. It's a bit of a bold statement, but it's definitely obvious that fire, meat, sizzle and spice are all things we consider..er, nice. We're the land of the BBQ after all (aren't we?). So enter Neild Avenue - fronted by Maurizio Terzini (Icebergs, North Bondi Italian) and Robert Marchetti, the idea is a cross cultural blend of flavours, from Lebanese to Greek and Italian, but it's far less confused than it sounds. Start with expertly cured salumi, smokey Afgani flatbreads and kebabs: no, not your average corner store number, but variations including hand-minced meats seasoned with garlic and sprinkled cracked wheat, skewered on an impressively dramatic sword and served with fresh and spicy accompaniments like sumac onions, grilled chillis and cooling yoghurt.
Great for groups, Neild Avenue is tipped to be the 'must be seen' place this summer, so be prepared to queue for your BBQ. Just make sure you do it in Opening Ceremony heels and Alexander Wang threads.
What do you get when you take a well-regarded Sydney chef, a popular neighbourhood restaurant site and add a new venture? Apparently exactly the same thing. This may sound odd, but when the chef in question is Café Sopra’s Andy Bunn, and the new venture promises more of the same tasty, unpretentious and uncomplicated cuisine he’s become renowned for, this is a very good thing, Sydney. Don’t know who he is? Well if you’ve ever fallen in love with Sopra’s banoffee pie, shredded cabbage salad with balsamic or one of many killer pastas, guess what? You’re already a convert. Tucked at the bottom of Liverpool Street in the old Phamish/Koi site, near stalwarts Buon Ricordo and Bill’s, with a bevy of new projects sprouting up nearby, it’s an eating precinct to keep your eye on. Featuring golden-hued light fixtures and hexagonal wooden touches, this is one chic looking hive in which to kick back and enjoy the talents of this Sydney treasure.
354 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst
Dinner Thursday – Saturday
The Baxter Inn
Fans of obscure Melbournesque-bars, you may have just met your match. Darlinghurst's Shady Pines boys may just have outdone themselves with their latest bar, The Baxter Inn. Technically a street address should lead you to the right location, however it's much easier to do this: Walk across the road from Redoak microbrewery on Clarence Street, walk down the long lane way which takes you to a seedy spot between some high rises. In the right hand corner, there's a stairwell, which leads to Baxter Inn's front door. Do that, or go with someone who's been before.
Inside, you'll find more of the same cool 'tude we've come to know and love from Shady Pines, along with great cocktails, a strong suit in whisky/whiskey/scotch and bourbon as well as an appropriately old-school atmosphere.
Make sure you bring a GPS, after a few drinks, you might need some help finding your way home.
154 Clarence Street, Sydney
Monday - Saturday 4pm - 1am