5 Best Places to Wine & Dine in Surry Hills
Wine Importer | Wine List Consultant | Speaker
Poly - The little brother of Esther in Chippendale, Poly was a fun little find on Commonwealth St recently. I know I wrote a blog about restaurants with wine lists that are so 'out there' but this place does 'out there' wines that are a little more tolerable to the commercial wine drinkers palate. Yes, you still need a bit of guidance from the somm or wait staff to understand what you are drinking but it's a lot better than I've seen at other places. Skin Contact Pinot Gris that is actually the colour of rosé, unfiltered reds that are vibrant purple..it's really interesting. The food is also always changing and ranges from snack size to big dishes. Everything on the menu represents some of the best produce and wines from Australia with some iconic producers on the list who ultimately started the natural wine movement in Australia.
Alberto - I was sooo happy to stumble across this restaurant recently. I'm a sucker for authentic, share style Italian food and a wine list highlighting some of the best Italian varietals from both Italy and Australia. Surrounded by antiques and quirky art, this small but remarkably busy restaurant makes you feel like you are sitting in the backstreets of Venice. The wine list is vast with a range of wines available by the glass, the carafe and by the bottle. You will even find some back vintage wine snuck into the mix which I highly recommend.
Dead Ringer - Food is awesome, the vibe is chill and the wine list is a load of fun. A good mix of "commercial" and Natural wines that aren't too strange to drink. The food menu caters to both meat lovers and Vegetarians really well and the food is soo good (make sure you have the creamed almond dip omg...drool). Its a really cool place for some snacks and a sundowner on the balcony if you are waiting for someone or something.
Butter - it's all about the Champagne. If you have never tried Champagne with Fried Chicken, it is hands down, the most life changing experience of your life. This place has a lovely list of Sparkling wines (including Champagne) and the chicken is outstanding. It's really small with high top tables and a hip hop vibe with sneakers on display in the front window which you can purchase after one too many Champagnes (if there is such a thing)
Nel - Treat yourself or spend date night at the quirkiest little degustation restaurant in Sydney. While our city is seeing the death in fine dining, Nelly Robertson has defied all odds to create a bustling, somewhat underground degustation restaurant that regularly changes theme and creates the most visually beautiful dishes. It's soon to be a mobile phone free zone which is sad for me because the dishes are so whimsical to look at and take photos of...so make sure you go there while you can! They also have a paired wine tasting option available.
Special Mention - for the Saké not the wine list.
Sasaki - I swear I was Japanese in a past life. I'm obsessed with Japanese food and the restaurants popping up around Sydney are outstanding. Sasaki is sooooo tiny with very few tables. You can tell the chef has imported everything from the Chopsticks to the Plates from Japan. The saké list is mind boggling and you can spend a night going through all the different styles with the saké master. The chef, Yu Sasaki uses old, homestyle cooking methods from his hometown of Shimane. They do an Omakase for $80 (which is ridiculously cheap) with $50 Saké pairing. It's definitely an interesting experience that I highly recommend.