10 Hidden gourmet gems in Sydney and NSW

23 March 2015

Philip Shaw Wines, Orange

Philip Shaw Winery, Orange. Image credit: Lawrence Furzey; Destination NSW


Think you know all there is to know about food and wine experiences in Sydney and NSW? Think again! Nestled among the big names and world-class dining experiences, a wealth of must-do gourmet secrets and surprises are waiting to be uncovered.

Some require serious digging – others are in plain sight. Why not take a journey of delicious discovery to find these gourmet gems? All 10 of them!

1. Sydney’s latest pop-up experience is The Farmed Table held on the 22nd and 29th of May and 5th of June, from foraging chef Brendan Cato. Each week, Cato heads to a NSW region and unearths the best local produce he can find, before rustling it up into a meal on Saturday night at various Sydney venues. Cato’s next offering can only be tracked down via Instagram or Facebook – but that’s part of the fun. He hunts down the produce, then the foodies hunt down Cato. $85pp, for more info or bookings call: 0422 101 146.

2. Choose your favourite oil from the range of award winning high-quality extra virgin olive oils at the Rylstone Olive Press. The olives are grown in the beautiful Central Tablelands and are pressed within six hours of harvest on the same very day, guaranteeing the finest and freshest olive oil that is full of flavour.

3. A small site located on Stanley Street in East Sydney is home to revolving pop-up IconPark, where crowd-funded restaurants operate for a time, then give way to the next culinary concept. It’s a great way for up-and-coming chefs, bartenders, front-of-house guns, baristas and anyone who has a talent and passion for great food and wine.

4. Philip Shaw Wines in Orange has a beautiful new cellar door created from local bluestone – an extension of an original old bluestone farm building at the Koomooloo Vineyards.

5. Visit the “Wagyu Cellar Door” at Vic’s Meats at Sydney Fish Market where you can taste test top-quality Australian Wagyu paired with premium wines. Don’t leave without stocking up on salami and biltong at The Meat Candy Bar.

6. Discover a ‘pocket’ of Sydney’s small bar cocktail culture in beachy Terrigal on the Central Coast. Pocket Bar is an outpost of the city’s hip Pocket, Stitch and Button bars.

7. Macaroni with pig’s head and egg yolk is on the playful but technically excellent menu from rebellious young pasta maestro Mitch Orr at the new Acme in Rushcutters Bay.

8. Organic, sourdough breads and pastries at Milkwood Bakery in Berry, the latest from the same owners as the well-known Berry Sourdough Bakery, are among the many treasures to be found in this pretty little south coast town.

9. Try a “narnie” at Three Williams in Redfern which has been creating a lot of social media buzz. The house-made, naan-style flat bread sandwiches are all the rage especially the prawn and avocado narnie and the beef brisket with slaw, gherkins and chipotle mayo.

10. It’s not the obvious location for authentic yum cha, but the sleepy rural town of Rylstone, just 40 minutes from Mudgee, boasts 29 Nine 99, where artist and owner Na Lan shows off the dumpling-making skills that she learned in her birthplace of China. They’re so delicious, people travel from far and wide to enjoy.

For more hidden gourmet gems go to www.visitnsw.com/food  or www.sydney.com/food