From midnight feasts to French finesse, rediscover the flavours that captivated the city’s appetite.
2023 was a year where the familiar felt fresh, flavours danced across continents, and the simple held surprising secrets. From rediscovering the midnight munchies to elevating the humble sandwich, Sydney’s dining scene reinvented itself with playful energy and a nod to timeless classics. So, uncork a bottle of curiosity and join us as we revisit the five trends that defined our culinary adventures in 2023 and the hidden gems where you can still taste their magic.
The Return Of Late-Night Bites
Remember the post-show bites or the comforting bowl of noodles shared after a late-night movie? The midnight snack, once relegated to greasy spoons and kebab shops, is experiencing a quiet renaissance. From elevated small plates at the newly opened Caterpillar Club to the dip and bread comforts of Lebanese bar and restaurant Zaffi, Sydney’s culinary scene is rediscovering the charm of a meal under the moonlit sky. It’s not a full-blown comeback, but a welcome flicker of late-night indulgence for those who cherish the post-sunset symphony of clinking glasses and shared laughter.
Gildas Pinned Themselves As The Snack Of The Year
The humble Gilda, that Basque symphony of olive, anchovy, and pepper on a stick, unexpectedly stole the snacking scene in 2023. From pintxos palaces like Gildas and Lil Sis to buzzing wine bars like Deux Freres, these vibrant skewers offered a punch of salty, briny, and spicy delight. Whether relished solo or shared among friends, the Gilda proved that simple, high-quality ingredients can deliver maximum pleasure, making it a welcome return to the art of the well-curated bite.
Raw Kingfish Is Still The Catch
Forget fads, kingfish held its crown throughout 2023, its crown jewel being its raw incarnation. From jewel-toned sashimi at new venture Ito to the citrus-kissed ceviche at Nomad, this ocean gem captivated diners with its melt-in-your-mouth texture and subtle sweetness. Whether sliced paper-thin for carpaccio or seared tataki-style with a fiery edge, chefs revelled in kingfish’s versatility, proving that sometimes, the simplest ingredients, prepared with finesse, create a truly timeless appeal.
Big Sandwich Energy
2023 saw the humble sandwich rise to gourmet heights, embracing “Big Sandwich Energy” like never before. Forget flimsy white bread and sad fillings; in its place came towering creations piled high with vibrant salads, artisanal bread, and drool-worthy deli delights. From Hector’s Deli’s Reuben reimagined with pastrami-crusted cauliflower to South Dowling’s roast duck masterpiece, chefs treated the sarnie with newfound respect, proving that sometimes the simplest pleasures, when elevated with skill and imagination, can truly shine.
Time To French A Little
Parisian whispers echoed through Sydney’s dining scene in 2023, with French cuisine regaining its allure. From bistro classics at Chez Blue to the Art Deco elegance of Armorica, a refined yearning for buttery sauces and delicate soufflés took hold. It wasn’t just nostalgia chefs reimagined tradition, proving that timeless techniques can embrace contemporary nuances. Whether you yearned for the familiar or craved a twist on an old favourite, French cuisine proved it could dance to any tune, captivating Sydney with its timeless allure and newfound vitality.