Sydney’s Most Exciting Restaurant and Bar Openings in 2017


2016 was a bumper year for openings in Sydney. Cake Wines gave Sydney a cellar door, Bar Brose perfected late-night dining and Banksii delivered a vermouth bar we never knew we needed.

And plenty of new thrills await in 2017, too. Here are some of the most exciting restaurant and bar openings scheduled for the year ahead.

SEE ALSO: These Are the Best Restaurants in Australia for 2017

Blanca Bar & Dining, Bondi

Location: Bondi

Style: The Nordic infatuation carries on apace with Finnish uber-chef Tomi Björck (he hosted Finland’s MasterChef) teaming up with Samuel Cole (formerly of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal) to create Blanca, an 80-seat restaurant that will be neighbour to China Diner and Maurice Terzini’s pizza heaven Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta.

ETA: Early 2017


Location: Redfern

Style: An old tobacco factory on a lonely stretch of Cleveland Street in Redfern is being transformed into a Viking-chic bar specialising in whisky and roasted meats. The Speakeasy Group, behind such on-the-money nightspots as Eau De Vie in Darlinghurst and Boilermaker House in Melbourne, chose the name Mjølner because it’s the name of Thor’s hammer. They’re envisioning a kind of contemporary Valhalla for contemporary Vikings to indulge in hunks of meat and more than 400 different types of whisky. Thanks to Sydney’s restrictive licensing laws, the venue so far only has a 12am license, but as everyone knows, real Vikings don’t lay down their meat forks and whisky drams until well after 2am. Here’s hoping.

ETA: Early March 2017


Location: Barangaroo

Style: A rooftop restaurant at Barangaroo, Untied will serve fresh, Australian-style fare including oysters, raw snapper with finger lime and plenty of morsels from the grill – calamari, pork loin and chicken with jerk sauce among them.

ETA: February 2017

SEE ALSO: A Taste of the 9 Restaurants Now Open at Barangaroo


Location: Barangaroo

Style: Water views are a dime a dozen down at Barangaroo, but 12-Micron intends all eyes to be on the menu devised by chef Justin Wise, despite its 270-degree harbour outlook. It will focus on Australian-made – the only thing that’s imported is chocolate (even the crockery is locally made). The spot will welcome guests for after-work drinks right through to late-night desserts.

ETA: Late February 2017

Kitchen by Mike 

Location: Sydney International Airport

Style: The closure of Kitchen By Mike in Rosebery was met with dismay from around the city. Chef Mike McEnearney placated us with his fabulous No. 1 Bent Street in Circular Quay, which opened 2016, but for those who favoured his original canteen-style offering, you’ll need to get yourself an overseas ticket. McEnearney is reissuing Kitchen By Mike, this time at Sydney International Airport. The spread will change day by day, depending on the local produce available. Guests can expect dishes such as wood-roasted chicken with salsa verde accompanied by selections of salads such as green bean, hazelnut, fig and feta. There will also be Fly By Mike carry-on meals.

New Sydney Restaurants Opening in 2017

ETA: February 2017

See also: No. 1 Bent St Opens its Doors

Lankan Filling Station

Location: TBA 

Style: A traditional-style Sri Lankan hopper shop, the brainchild of ex-Berta chef O Tama Carey. A what? Hopper: a delicious pancake made of fermented rice flour and coconut milk that’s bowl-shaped and crisp at the edges with a doughy, tender centre. They’re topped with curries, chutneys and sambals and sometimes a fried egg. Watch out, crepes – hoppers are coming for you.

ETA: Mid-2017 – but check out the Carriageworks Chinese New Year market for a pre-opening hopper fix.


Location: Surry Hills

Style: Australia’s Greek food god George Calombaris has colonised Melbourne with restaurants such as Press Club and Gazi, and now Sydney’s getting a taste of the Hellenic. Elektra is Calombaris’s first Sydney venture and will reportedly be something of a Gazi/Jimmy Grants (Calombaris’ casual souvlaki takeaway joints) combination – warm, welcoming, relaxed and very, very Greek.

ETA: Mid-2017


Location: Enmore

Style: This café and patisserie comes from sweet-toothed pâtissier Andy Bowdy, the “pastry alter-ego” of Andrew Bowden, whose work has been unleashed in kitchens from London to the rather popular Hartsyard in Enmore. His cakes are improbable creations of imagination and sugar, eggs and butter and they’re set to be the main event at Saga, despite a planned menu of pies, sandwiches, all-day brunch and cocktails for weekend nights.

New Sydney Restaurants Opening in 2017

Andy Bowdy with one of his creations. Image supplied.

ETA: February 2017

Olio Kensington Street

Location: Chippendale

Style: Sicilian-born chef Lino Sauro is due in the kitchen at Olio Kensington Street soon. Sauro will combine fresh local seafood with Sicilian influences and the olive oil will be sourced from his own family’s farm on the Mediterranean island. Sauro’s style has won him accolades in Singapore where he’s run Gattopardo since 2010.

New Sydney Restaurants Opening in 2017

Sicilian chef Lino Sauro in Sydney. Image supplied.

ETA: Early 2017


Location: Enmore

Style: Fans of south King Street’s Earl’s Juke Joint will now have a dilemma about where to spend an evening. Taking the right fork at the juncture of King Street and Enmore Road will lead to Jacoby’s, a new bar by the Earl’s crew with a focus on kitsch. Ostensibly a tiki bar, Jacoby’s is also inspired by David Lynch’s seminal 90s TV series Twin Peaks. It’s even named for the character Dr Lawrence Jacoby, Laura Palmer’s psychologist. Curious?

ETA: Mid-February 2017

Chin Chin Sydney

Location: Surry Hills

Style: Like its Melbourne sibling, Chin Chin will serve an exciting pan-Asian menu in a buzzy cool-kid environment. It’s intended to emulate Chin Chin Melbourne while having some unique qualities all its own. And just like in Melbourne, we’re expecting to see queues snaking down Commonwealth Street to the long-empty Griffiths Teas building. Chin Chin and Kong executive chef Benjamin Cooper will be warming the kitchen. 

ETA: August 2017

Sotto Sopra

Location: Newport

Style: Expect a somewhat surfer version of regional-Italian Ormeggio in Mosman. Chef Alessandro Pavoni is importing a wood-fired grill from Italy on which he’ll be cooking everything from whole fish to focaccia. A sample menu promises roasted eggplant, slow-cooked porchetta and house-made pasta while the dining room will have a huge five-metre feasting table for communal meals as well as plenty of intimate corners for date night.

New Sydney Restaurants Opening in 2017

House-made pasta from Sotto Sopra. Image supplied.

ETA: Late February

SEE ALSO: 10 of the Best New Sydney Restaurants to Check out Now 

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