Lotus @ The Galeries
From slickly modern private dining rooms, to texture-rich ceramics and stone, highlighted by natural light flooding into what must have been a difficult u-shaped space, DS17 have taken the lessons of Alpha and outdone themselves. Equally so, in Head Chef Chris Yan’s hands, the now-extensive menu builds upon the ideas germinated in Lotus’s initial Walsh Bay outlet, but far surpasses them.
Bright, sunshiny colours and a cosy, welcoming interior transform this difficult corner space into the type of spot you’ll probably enjoy spending time in. Throw in a waitress with a Caribbean grandmother, and you’ll soon have the toasted coconut topped Bowl of Corn ($8) and vibrant, soupy Callaloo Greens ($8) on your table, with some idea about how to eat them.
Bar Fly: Grain Bar
If you can't afford a room at the Four Seasons, spend the night at its swanky hotel bar that coolly juts off the side instead. While my date was no stranger to whisky, Grain Bar's comprehensive Scotch menu left me cross-eyed somewhere in between the Glenfarclas and the Glenfiddich.
With a convict-cum-chic menu, craft beers and views of the coat hanger, one of Sydney’s oldest pubs has reopened with a vengeance. Overlooking Barangaroo, it still has a certain quietness, with a whiff of potential; and with plans to open a penthouse bar upstairs, the owners are surely banking on this.
The Village Inn
After a tough week of personal attacks due to his ‘no high vis.’ dress code, Leeroy Petersen was keen to show me what his new venue should be known for – good food. He has completely gutted a ‘durty’ old Irish bar, giving it new life, natural light, wooden floors and smatterings of taxidermy on the walls.
Bar Fly: Middlebar
This funky small bar in Darlinghurst is perfect for a first date: the balcony overlooks Taylor Square (so you'll have lots of colourful wildlife to giggle about if the conversation runs dry) and it's dark enough that you can easily escape if your Tinder date turns out to be shit.