Top Five Upmarket Eats Of 2023

Jackie McMillan
1st Jan 2024

During Sydney’s cost-of-living crisis visiting fancy restaurants has been a bit lower on our priorities. However across the course of 2023 the Sydney Scoop team did manage to include a number of special nights out in places where set menus or a la carte selections cost each diner more than a hundred bucks. These are our top 5 upmarket eats of 2023:

1. Restaurant Ka (Surry Hills) is our omakase pick for 2023. Owner/chef Zachary Ng puts together a truely imaginative and different omakase menu ($200/10 course) with a series of highly-worked dishes that draw upon his imagination and his Hong Kong heritage. It’s a cosy little set up with all diners sitting on bar stools facing the friendly chef.

2. Izy.Aki (The Rocks) is the culmination of Darren Templeman’s cooking career. You can taste his journey, as a British immigrant who found himself in Australia with Asia on his doorstep, in every single dish of this clever omakase menu ($160/10 course). 

3. Sala Dining (Pyrmont) feels like a return to Sydney’s dining heyday. This waterfront space under the stewardship of the legendary Danny Russo pulls out all the stops across a three course set menu ($135) from an amuse bouche carved at the table to a roving digestif trolley.

4. Kobo (Sydney CBD) is an elegant glass box 8-seater where chef Jacob Lee invites you to explore his Korean heritage across seasonal menus ($185/person) that so far have included an ode to the muggy monsoonal Korean summer. He’s a great cultural ambassador.

5. Kaiza Izakaya (Newtown) is fusion chefs table experience ($135) where young chef Jason Nguyen is combining his Vietnamese childhood memories and Japanese training (Sokyo) on his plates. He does a less expensive tasting menu ($80) but you miss out on hearing his dish inspiration.