People often say the best way to a person’s heart is through their stomach – and we can’t help but agree. Sydney couples will be up to their eyeballs in restaurant recommendations as Valentine’s Day approaches. We’re here to make it simple and delicious – you just need to bring the romance.
Image: Meat District Co., Sydney
Love Don’t Cost a Thing
Image: The Botanica, Vaucluse
Or, in this instance, it does – but these award-winning restaurants are worth every penny once you get a taste. Plus, these stunning venues’ surrounds are an excellent side dish.
The Botanica, Vaucluse
Speaking of stunning surrounds, Botanica Vaucluse gets a special mention. Its baby pink chairs, leafy foliage, fresh flowers on every table and colourful wallpaper imbue the sense you’re on their 65-acre permaculture farm plot in Jamberoo Valley, where lots of its ingredients are sourced. They embody the farm-to-fork philosophy well, and they look pretty doing it.
Berowra Waters Inn, Berowra Waters
The architect who designed the Berowra Waters Inn building described it as a ‘verandah by the water’ and the restaurant has since earned a reputation as one of Australia’s best. On the banks of Hawkesbury river and amongst bushland and towering sandstone cliffs, romance reigns supreme. Fresh ingredients are sourced from the local region and the Valentine’s caviar and foie gras-inspired four-course menu is mouth-wateringly delicious. The private boat transfers to the restaurant are the cherry on top of a very romantic cake.
Jonah's, Whale Beach
Jonah’s in Whale Beach, nestled on the cliffs between the Pacific Ocean and Pittwater, boasts 180-degree panoramic views. The sea views accompany contemporary Australian cuisine with plentiful seafood options and an impressive 1,600 wines from around the globe (and it’s earned multiple awards from the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide). Spoil your loved one with a three course a la carte lunch or four course set menu dinner, both with a glass of Champagne Bollinger on arrival.
Treat your special someone to a luxurious experience on the water, with dinner on the water’s edge at Shipwrights. The stunning view will create a romantic setting for the perfect Valentine's Day treat. Enjoy a three course menu or splash out on a shared seafood indulgence.
12 Micron, Barangaroo
And let’s not forget about Barangaroo’s finest, 12-Micron. Its Valentine’s Day five-course menu embodies Australia’s simple elegance with Spanner crab, lamb and eggplant and white chocolate and riberry. Run by two-hat chef Justin Wise, the floor-to-ceiling windows boast 270 degrees of the Barangaroo harbour – the views will rival the food.
Image: Il Bacio, Haymarket
Il Bacio, Haymarket
Haymarket’s Il Bacio’s décor consists of duck egg blue wood panels and mirrors while its menu changes with the seasons, ensuring your dishes are made with the freshest produce. Handmade pastas melt in your mouth just as quick as the lamb shoulder, which is slow cooked over 14 hours.
The Italians do romance best – Redfern's Kindred restaurant serves as an example. Located in a building that is cosy and relaxed, the team create seasonal and authentic dishes that are inspired by the beautiful flavours of Italy. Try the delicous pasta, ricotta, and gelato that are made in-house and don't say no to the home baked sourdough bread with cultured butter.
Vizio Caffe e Cucina, Woolloomooloo
Vizio Caffe e Cucina in Woolloomooloo is all about good food and good drinks, coupled with a homely, welcoming atmosphere. The décor is reminiscent of an Italian kitchen – shiny woods, leafy foliage and exposed brick walls – while hearty Italian fare such as homemade potato gnocchi, eggplant parmigiana and barramundi will not disappoint.
Buon Ricordo, Paddington
Your date will be in for a real treat if you take them to established restaurant, Buon Ricordo in Paddington. Enjoy a night filled with authentic Italian dishes, where the flavours speak for themselves. With a beautiful setting, dishes finished off tableside and a soundtrack in the background, this restaurant will leave a special place in your heart on Valentine's Day.
Al Taglio, Surry Hills
Al Taglio in Surry Hills, on the other hand, is all about the pizza, with the only flour technician in Australia to help perfect their focaccia and pizza bases like no one else. It’s a slice of heaven.
Around the Globe
Image: Henry's, Cronulla
If you don’t want to settle on one type of cuisine, pop over to Henrys in Cronulla. It serves up sharing dishes that have Australian, Japanese and South American influences in an atmosphere that straddles beachy but sophisticated vibes – think al fresco dining with a sea breeze and Martinique banana leaf wallpaper.
Grace of India, Milsons Point
Grace of India is a favourite haunt too and has been family-owned and run in Milsons Point since 1990. Dishes are created with fresh, local produce with herbs and spices imported directly from India. The menu is separated into traditional curries, homemade delights, house specialties and vegetarian and non-vegetarian entrees – you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Delhi 'O' Delhi, Newtown
For more good Indian fare, Delhi ‘O’ Delhi in Newtown also fits the bill, and their Valentine’s four-course dinner comes with live music!
bibo Wine Bar, Double Bay
Bibo Wine Bar in Double Bay cooks contemporary Mediterranean food with strong Portuguese influences from its chef Jose Silva. Kingfish cru and Ranger Valley steak are all on the menu this 14 February, plus endless award-winning wines (with a helpful sommelier on-hand to guide you).
Balcon By Tapavino, Sydney
And traditional tapas fans this Valentine’s Day, have no fear - Balcon By Tapavino ticks that box three times over. It brings a contemporary twist on rustic and refined dishes from Northern Spain, 5,000 bottles of wine showcased across the walls and an outdoor area, to top it all off.
Also delivering on the authentic flavours of Spain is Alegrias in Balmain. This hidden gem brings the romance from one of the most historic buildings in the inner west, with crystal chandeliers and candlelit tables. You're sure to have an authentic Spanish experience this Valentine's Day with their five course degustation menu. Everything from the sauces to the bread are made in house and the wine list has been exclusively imported from Spain.
Bah-BQ Brazilian Grill, Crows Nest
How does all-you-can-eat Brazillian Barbecue plus a flute of Sparkling Wine on arrival and Churros for dessert sound? Bah-BQ Brazilian Grill is a fun place to take your date if you want to bring the flavours of Brazil to their night.
Image: Mode Kitchen & Bar, Sydney
Mode Kitchen & Bar, Sydney
Mode Kitchen & Bar is far more Mediterranean in its efforts but meat is most definitely on the menu. The sleekly designed restaurant delivers everything from Black Market grilled sirloin to Fraser Island spanner crab tart this Valentine’s Day.
Sometimes Valentine’s romance means a big juicy steak shared between two. Head to Kingsleys on Sydney’s Woolloomooloo Finger Wharf – premium local steak, slow-cooked lamb and seafood are all eaten in front of harbour and city views.
Meat District Co., Sydney
In Darling Harbour, Meat District Co. specialises in ‘paddock-to-plate’ ribs, steak and burgers – all high-quality and sourced from sustainable producers – while NOLA Smokehouse and Bar overlooking Jones Bay Wharf has a distinct American imprint. Enjoy the New Orleans vibe, Cajun and Creole cuisine and American whiskey and wines from both the old and new world.
No.1 Bent Street by Mike, Sydney
No. 1 Bent Street believes in the philosophy that sharing is caring (and that wood-fired seasonal cooking is best). Their five-course set menu boasts chicken liver pate, Kingfish crudo and spit roast chicken (and we’d be remiss not to give their twice-baked goat’s cheese soufflé and dark chocolate mousse cake a shout-out).
Brasserie l'Entrecote, Pymble
Then there’s Pymble’s Brasserie l'Entrecote. Modelled on a famous one-dish steakhouse that opened in Paris in 1959, their sirloin steak is grilled to perfection. However, it’s their organic duck breast dish that takes centre stage this Valentine’s Day.
If none of those take your fancy, click here to check out all of the Sydney restaurants available to book on TheFork. From exclusive fine dining, casual cheap eats, to local hidden gems, you’ll be sure to find the right restaurant for your Valentine’s Day meal!