Potts Point is a sapphire in Sydney’s dining crown, and these eight restaurants are all precious jewels:
1. The Fish Shop
Don’t let the beach shack vibe fool you. This is not your average fish shop. Yes, you’ll find fish ‘n’ chips on the menu. But, your beer-battered flathead sits right alongside the likes of cured salmon and Sydney rock oysters (which, by the way, are plumper than Kylie Jenner’s lips).
The seafood is local, seasonal and sustainable – all sourced from the Sydney Fish Market – which means the market list menu changes daily. The wine list also defies logic, and the ice cream sandwich with salted caramel sauce is off the scales.
There is a take-away menu too, so you can get your snapper to go. But the closest beach is four kilometres away (Double Bay), and take-away just seams wrong if you’re not dropping your chips in the sand and being hassled by seagulls.
The Fish Shop | 22 Challis Avenue, Potts Point, New South Wales
Phone: (02) 9240 3000
2. Ms. G’s
Ms. G’s has to be one of the funnest restaurants in Sydney, and it has a bloody good menu to boot. The frivolity is split over four levels with a DJ on weekends, plenty of pink neon, and cocktails that go by the names of ‘Smell’s Like Gin Spirit’ and ‘Liquid Courage’. Yep, Ms. G is definitely one sassy lady.
As you’d expect, Ms. G’s Asian-fusion menu is full of personality. The burrata comes in a ‘strange flavour-style’ sesame sauce, the jaffle is filled with ‘Korean Army stew’, and poked into your doughnut ice-cream are potato chips and crispy bacon. But, the pièce de résistance is the cheeseburger spring rolls, which will forever define your life by pre and post-CSR.
This fun house always brings a crowd. So, unless you want to be left on Victoria Street crying into your sans cheeseburger spring roll hands, best to make a booking.
Ms. G’s | 155 Victoria Street, Potts Point, New South Wales
Phone: (02) 9240 3000
3. Chester White Cured Diner
Found in a converted cottage on Orwell Street, Chester White Cured Diner belongs in a dream. For one key reason: they serve pasta from a hollowed out wheel of truffle-laced Pecorino cheese. Shut the front gate! And I can assure you that it tastes and smells as good as it sounds, if not better. The spaghetti, salt and pepper, parsley and black truffles are mixed at the table, before being heaped onto your plate. At this point you’re guaranteed to have a little sliver of drool escaping from your mouth.
Putting the truffle cacio e pepe aside, the charcuterie, service and everything else on the Italian-inspired menu is pretty damn fabulous. Like many restaurants in Potts Point, Chester White doesn’t take reservations, so be prepared to wait a good hour on weekends. Conveniently, there’s lots of great bars to kill time at in this neck of the woods: Dear Saint Eloise, The Butler and Ms. G’s, just to name a few.
Chester White Cured Diner | 3 Orwell Street, Potts Point, New South Wales
Phone: (02) 9332 3692
4. The Butler
Entering this restaurant and bar through an unassuming entrance off Victoria Street, you don’t expect to find what follows. Flowing from the upstairs bar to the inside restaurant to the outside patio is a calming, tropical oasis. The Butler is taking its design cues from the French Carribean, with stencilled walls, plantation chairs and envious plant game.
The beautiful, summery space makes you feel like you should be drinking Pimms. And, while Pimms is absent from the drinks menu, you don’t notice because there’s a throng of other summery cocktails, all sporting names like ‘When Life Gives You Lemons’ and ‘Ladies Who Lunch’. On a side note, espresso martini lovers will go weak at the knees because the coffee cocktail is offered three different ways: vodka, rum and cognac – your choice.
The lunch and dinner menu is Modern Australian, and designed to be shared. But who wants to share ruby tuna tartare and slow-cooked free range pork belly? Get your stinking mits off my belly of pork!
And, did I mention, there’s full-frontal views of the city skyline that will leave you enamoured? Yep, this place is a Gold Logie.
The Butler | 123 Victoria Street, Potts Point, New South Wales
Phone: (02) 8354 0742
5. Cho Cho San
Cho Cho San is a fun Sydney-style interpretation of an izakaya (a Japanese-type pub). It’s rowdy, energetic and good value for money – words that don’t exist in the Sydney language.
The menu takes a completely non-traditional approach to Japanese. The edamame comes in dip form, the tempura is of pumpkin, the chicken is fried not grilled Yakitori-style and there’s no sushi in sight. But it totally works, providing you’re open to an experience and not wedded to tradition. You definitely have to try something from the raw bar – these dishes are something else.
Cho Cho San | 73 Macleay Street, Potts Point, News South Wales
Phone: (02) 9331 6601
Any restaurant where wine is the star has my undivided attention. And with 500+ wines, the wine list at Monopole indeed deserves a standing ovation. There’s rare and boutique wines, biodynamic wines, and wines exclusive to Monopole.
This encyclopaedia-sized wine list stands alongside a culinary adventure that’s designed to compliment the vino, with share dishes in the genre of Modern Australian. There’s charcuterie, pork belly, lamb ribs and cheese boards. You get the drill. Just be prepared that the plates are small and the bill adds up quicker than you can say ‘tempranillo’. Not a great one if you’re struggling to pay the rent.
Monopole | 71a Macleay Street, Potts Point, New South Wales
Phone: (02) 9360 4410
7. The Apollo
Enjoy this short haul flight to Greece! The Apollo has a loyal following, and you only have to spend dinnertime here once to understand why. Inside the space is industrial chic with exposed concrete and granite, while the atmosphere buzzes like a bee.
But, it’s the menu that exemplifies Potts Point’s restaurant pedigree, serving up top-notch Greek fare with a modern twist. Order a bunch of share plates and you can’t go wrong. Things like saganaki, vine leaf parcels and BBQ calamari. Or just go ‘The Full Greek’ – an eight-course set menu for $60pp, or make that $65pp if you want to add ouzo.
For something different, you can sit at the ‘chef’s table’, which is a 12-seat marble table, tucked away in a quasi pantry. Adjoining the kitchen, you’ll feel part of the action and can engage in some pillow talk with the chefs.
The Apollo | 44 Macleay Street, Potts Point, New South Wales
Phone: (02) 8354 0888
8. Billy Kwong
There’s a reason why Billy Kwong has been a staple on Sydney’s dining scene ever since Governor Macquarie roamed the land. This fun Australian-Chinese eating house reverberates with warmth, energy and authenticity. You genuinely feel like you’ve been invited into chef extraordinaire Kylie Kwong’s home (it is her restaurant after all).
The menu is fresh, rich in flavour and weaves in Australian native bush foods, brilliantly I might add. Organic saltbush cakes are not something I would ever think to order but, take my word, they’re out of this world. As are the pork buns marinated in beautiful Wayside Chapel honey.
Billy Kwong | 1/28 Macleay Street, Potts Point, New South Wales
Phone: (02) 9332 3300
My favourite Potts Point restaurant?
Man! I had to sleep on this one. But after much deliberation, it has to be Chester White Cured Diner. The truffle cacio e pepe carries it over the line.