Birthdays, anniversaries, new jobs, promotions, national holidays, graduations, engagements… Let's face it, there's almost always an excuse to celebrate. And regardless of your culture or the occasion, food often plays a big part.
At Good Food Gift Card, we love the idea of enjoying a meal with loved ones as a way to mark an occasion – and in Sydney, there's no shortage of excellent restaurants that are perfect for all kinds of special events. Here's our top 8 picks.
When it comes to celebratory dining, no one does it better than Sydney's Bennelong. With one of Australia's most celebrated chefs, Peter Gilmore, at the helm, Bennelong showcases the pinnacle in flavour, diversity and quality Australian produce. But Bennelong is not only an incredible place to dine – it also celebrates the Sydney Opera House and its extraordinary architecture. It's built on a site enriched with history, and is the perfect setting for you and your loved ones to make truly special memories.
At the north end of the Harbourside complex in Darling Harbour sits Blue Fish, a restaurant known for its extra large seafood platters and uber sunny position. Hugely popular with both locals and tourists, you can choose to eat indoors or alfresco style – either way, you get to enjoy fresh seafood alongside modern Australian fare. For something really special, try their famous seafood platter for two, which includes barbecued barramundi, fillet of kangaroo and fresh oysters. Blue Fish is casual dining with 5 star service, and is a great place to enjoy the hum of Darling Harbour.
King Street Wharf is a buzzing and happening place, providing the perfect atmosphere and ambience for a special celebration. And located in its very heart? Casa Ristorante. If Italian food is your fancy, this is the place to be! Offering a wide selection of authentic Italian pizzas, pastas and desserts inspired by simple, fresh ingredients, the menu incorporates the traditional robust flavours of Italy with an innovative approach to contemporary dining. The magnificent aromas wafting from its quarters are enough to get you excited.
Three-hatted Sydney restaurant and Good Food Guide's Restaurant of the Year, The Bridge Room offers an exciting and memorable dining experience. If you're looking to treat someone special, then this is the place! Ross Lusted is one of Australia's most highly awarded chefs, and his menu evolves constantly. Influenced by his travels throughout Asia and Europe, many dishes are prepared over binchotan charcoal and slow smoked in the Japanese Robata style. The winning formula is a combination of vivid flavours, an elegant dining room, and handmade ceramics designed by Lusted himself.
Another Italian restaurant that's great for a celebration is Sydney's Popolo, whose food philosophy embodies the diversity of the Italian regions surrounding the Tyrrhenian Sea. It's a taste of Italy in Rushcutters Bay, and Popolo is all about connecting people. This is evident from its name (popolo means 'people' in Italian), but also in their passion for hospitality. From the people who produce, prepare and serve the food to the people who come in to taste it, Popolo is all about celebrating the relationship between people, good food, and superb wine.
Waterfront dining on King Street Wharf doesn't get much better than this. Surrounded by the glitz and glamour of Darling Harbour and serving Japanese food with a Californian twist, Kobe Jones sets a stunning scene. Creative menus make special occasion dining a cinch, and attentive service and stylish interiors will take your celebratory dinner to the next level. New dishes include Salmon Moyashi and Wasabi Salmon with Prawn Nachos, and they now serve Patagonian Toothfish – the "wagyu of the sea".
Wander down to The Rocks, and you'll find a structure built in the 1880s, now heritage listed, that was formerly one of the oldest open air butchers in Sydney. While no structural changes have been made since 1901, this butchery now houses the Rocks Teppanyaki – a sophisticated and elegant dining experience. Opened in 1992, it's offers an indulgent affair with five private teppanyaki rooms, each with its own chef and service staff. Part of the Kobe Jones experience, it's located in the heart of The Rocks and combines traditional Japanese cuisine with the freshness of prime Australian produce.
If you feel like switching intimacy for an electric scene, then celebrate at Wharf Teppanyaki. Wharf Teppanyaki offers you a fun, contemporary and interactive dining experience from one of 12 cooking stations. Great for birthday parties and other large gatherings, it offers a teppan table that can seat up to 46 people, and has Australia's largest and most unique teppan tables. Using the latest induction technology and all-ceiling hoods, the tables have been designed so you can see and participate in the creation of your meal, all in absolute comfort and style.
Celebratory dining is all about finding the right ambience and food experience to suit the occasion. An anniversary might call for intimacy, whereas a birthday calls for a gathering of friends and a fun-filled experience. A new job or a promotion could require a touch a something fancy, and a holiday meal fresh, local cuisine. Whatever your cause for celebrating, let your loved one know you can't wait to do it all again by getting them a Good Food Gift Card.