Sydney dining gets real

The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2011

By Tricia Brown
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The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2011

The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2011


Sydney dining has had its fair share of shake ups this year but that's all part of living in this dynamic city. What's new though is the energy, ideas and enthusiasm brought by the next generation of chefs, restaurateurs, growers and suppliers.

So begins the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide for 2011 whilst also noting the seasoned professionals we all know and love are still there doing it, just doing it better.

Restaurant scores in the Guide are given out of 20 with places scoring less than 12 not included. The team of dedicated reviewers visited more than 500 restaurants throughout New South Wales over the last 12 months, sampling food across the menu, and paying in full. Chefs Hats are awarded to the highest scorers but there are also other awards designed to acknowledge excellence in a number of fields.

Restaurant of the Year is 'for a restaurant that has shown remarkable energy and consistent excellence, setting a benchmark for others to follow' and this year was taken out by Marque, a three hat restaurant in Surry Hills renowned for its world class food, service and comfort. Chef Mark Best previously picked up the Chef of the Year award in 2010.

Manly, once known as a foodie backwater, is now well and truly on the map and the place to go with the Manly Pavilion, a 'gloriously restored 1930s bathers' pavilion with spectacular water views', awarded Best New Restaurant for its fantastic wine list and outstanding Italianate menu by chef Jonathan Barthelmess (ex Coast).

Best Seafood Restaurant went to Fish Face in Darlinghurst where 'everything on the menu is good' and Best BYO Restaurant to Il Perugino in Mosman which is 'perpetually packed, mostly with locals brandishing their BYO'.

Wonderful cooking and gracious hospitality saw Lochiel House in the Blue Mountains taking the Best Regional Restaurant award. This old inn was first applauded in The Sydney Morning Herald in 1851 for its food, lodging and stabling and today continues to draw people in with its lovingly prepared food.

Former Tetsuya protege Martin Benn is Chef of the Year and applying his French and Japanese nuances to the food at Sepia – food that is not only amazing to eat but also visually breathtaking. Jason Saxby of Quay is Best Young Chef.

Wine awards include Wine List of the Year (Rockpool Bar & Grill), Small Wine List of the Year (Spice Temple) and Regional Wine List of the Year (Margan, Broke).

Margan in Broke also picked up a Sustainability Award for its outstanding efforts in working their way towards carbon-neutrality via a careful environmental management system and recycling pretty well everything.

The Guide also features the best bars and cafes as well as global gems. A great feature is 10 of the Best for coffee, burgers, sushi, sweet, views and green (think biodynamic, organic, sustainable, slow food). 

Regional New South Wales is covered along with the best of the best interstate.

As the Guide says: 'Here's to another year of great wining, and dining – hope you're looking forward to it as much as we are."


The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2011 edited by Terry Durack & Joanna Savill is published by Penguin Books (Melbourne, sc, 2010; RRP A$29.95) Subscribers and Members of and Winepros Archive click here to purchase The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2011 at 12.5% discount from our book partners Seekbooks (postage extra).


The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2011 is now online at with the website exclusive for Good Food Guide readers. Use the unique number inside your copy (or supplied when purchasing the iPhone app) to gain access. Here you can browse all reviews and make your reservations on the spot, rate the restaurants and leave your own review.

On the home page you will find a link to buy the Good Food Guide 2011 iPhone app which sells for A$10.



  • Sydney (NSW)

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