William Blue Dining

Chocolate delice

Pear tart

Cheese plate




Steamed greens

Roast chats

Pork starter

Onion tart

Salmon starter


***** (5 stars)

This is an interesting and fun concept, where culinary students prepare the food and wait on the tables. But don’t assume that makes anything about the experience amateurish. All of the food we had was top notch, and the service was friendly and professional, even if there were a few details that weren’t perfectly polished.

Perhaps because it is a training environment the prices are extremely reasonable, both for food and wine. There’s no question that it’s the best value of all of Sydney’s fine dining restaurants.

William Blue Dining
107 George St
The Rocks, New South Wales 2000
+61 9 4923 290

Chat Thai


***** (5 stars)

I absolutely love this place, and make multiple trips here whenever I visit Sydney. The stirfry dishes are not at all oily, and the noodle dishes are not overcooked. The menu is vast, and it’s not as if they are combining just a few ingredients in many ways. There are many many unique flavors. Wonderful place.

Chat Thai
Level 6
188 Pitt St
Sydney, New South Wales 2000
+61 2 9221 0600

The Front Restaurant

Chocolate dipped ice cream



John Dory


John Dory



***** (5 stars)

Our meal here greatly exceeded my expectations. In fact, the five-course tasting menu was superior to the tasting menu we had the previous night at the famous Quay restaurant around the bend.

Each dish was comprised of a perfect melding of ingredients and flavors, with the John Dory and the perfectly cooked lamb being particular standouts. The dessert–which was really three desserts on one plate– was also outstanding.

The wine list is a bit limited, but there are some gems such as Tyrell’s Vat 47 Chardonnay.

The only failing was the service, which although attentive missed a lot that you’d expect in this caliber of restaurant. Empty plates stayed on the table too long, and I think we must have requested our wine to be repoured at least a half dozen times. I wish restaurants would just leave the bottle at the table in the European style, as it would be better for both guest and server.

Nevertheless, it was a fabulous dining experience, and perhaps my favorite restaurant experience other than Tetsuya in all of Sydney, so they are definitely knocking it out of the park here. Great restaurant.

The Front Restaurant
11 Hickson Rd
Sydney, New South Wales 2000
+61 2 8298 9910

George’s Gourmet Pizzeria

Mediterranean pizza (veggie)

Pepperoni and basil

Caesar salad


*** (3 stars)

George’s pizza serves a lot more than pizza, including pasta and other Italian standards. In fact the best item we had was the chicken Caesar salad, although I say that with qualifications. The chicken was actually quite tough, and the salad would have been better without it. But the bacon-like meat was good, the dressing was excellent, and the lettuce was nice and crisp.

I’m a fan of many styles of pizza, from thin crust to deep dish, New York style to Chicago style. George’s pizza isn’t really any of those. The crust is thicker than thin, and is a bit too tough and chewy. The result varies depending upon the pizza you order. In the case of pepperoni, it seemed like it was a frozen pizza, and was really not very good. But on the generously topped Mediterranean pizza (a veggie option) it worked fine, because the whole thing seemed more like a vegetable tart than a pizza.

It’s a quick serve concept where you order at a counter and they deliver to your table, but even so the water and menu service was friendly and attentive.

George’s Gourmet Pizzeria
15/1 Circa Boulevarde
Baulkham Hills, New South Wales 2153
+61 2 9836 2711

Creperie Suzette



**** (4 stars)

This charming little spot offers made-to-order savory galettes and dessert crepes. There are are a half dozen of each type. You place your order at a counter and they fix your crepe on a griddle right there and bring it to your table.

We tried salmon, chicken, vegetable and mushroom varieties, and all four were excellent. They also do coffees and have a nice selection of cold drinks in the fridge.

Service was friendly and surprisingly quick considering they have to make each crepe one at a time. Pricing is very reasonable.

Creperie Suzette
34 Harrington St
The Rocks, New South Wales 2000
+61 2 8220 9999

Quay Restaurant





Smoked pig jowl and razor clam


Smoked wagyu



**** (4 stars)

Usually restaurants with great views are on the top of tall buildings, but Quay is in the middle of its view of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. And usually restaurants with great views don’t strive to provide particularly great food. Quay does try hard, though, and sometimes succeeds.

Every course is certainly beautiful, but not everything tastes quite as good as it looks. The tasting menu is the way to go, because its many courses offer the best shot at finding something delicious. Our favorites were the smoked pork jowl, the lamb, and an amazing strawberry snow egg.

The wine list is extensive, and although the markups are pretty high, it’s a brilliantly constructed list, divided up by wine styles, varietals and regions in the most organized fashion I’ve ever encountered. The Champagne section even has two-page spreads that lists winemakers, grape percentages, and other vital statistics. I wish all wine lists were like this.

Quay Restaurant
Overseas Passenger Terminal
Level 4
Sydney, New South Wales 2000
+61 2 9251 5600

Intermezzo Ristorante

Snapper and scampi


Green olives, tomato, sourdough

Rocket, pear and reggiano

Front room



**** (4 stars)

I think a lot of the reviews here are out of date, as they have changed chef and staff in the past two years. We had a great experience here.

The ambiance is upscale genuine Italian as you would find in Italy. There’s an extensive menu and an excellent wine list with a focus on Italian wines (of course) but plenty of other selections as well.

We enjoyed our green olives, tomato and sourdough bread starter, and the rocket, pear and reggiano salad was a nice palate cleanser.

The pappardelle with mushrooms was a lovely, light pasta dish, and the crispy skin snapper with prawns was perfectly cooked. I could have licked the plate to get off the last of the pureed peas!

Service was attentive, and they brought nice glassware and decanted our Amarone without being asked.

Pricing is not cheap, but not unreasonable for the expensive location.

Intermezzo Ristorante
1 Martin Pl
Sydney, New South Wales 2000
+61 2 9229 7788


Amuse bouche


Snails and mushrooms




Grand dessert

** (2 stars)

Pierre offers a lovely room with a great ambiance and view. It’s the kind you’d expect to find in a top rated restaurant. Unfortunately, the view is about the only thing that is top rated about it.

At a price equal to or above the nearby Amber and l’Atelier, it’s hard to imagine anyone returning to Pierre for a second visit. The six-course tasting meal we had was, frankly, poor. There wasn’t a single stand-out course, and no one in our party had more than a taste of the grouse entree, which had a very unpleasant bitter taste. Mine even still had a piece of lead birdshot in it.

They’ve tried to make up in quantity what they lack in quality, with a half dozen small plates bearing amuse bouche at the start, and another half dozen plates of dessert at the end. But not one of them was truly good. It’s as if they’re firing scattershot, to see if they can hit anything.

Service was also hit or miss, with the wine list not even offered until the food began showing up, and empty water glasses sitting for long stretches of time.

At about $10,000HKD for our party of three’s food alone, this must be one of the worst buys in the city. And the wine prices are just as unreasonable.

25/F, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road Central
+852 2825 4001

Cat Store

Cat cookies



Garlic toast

Caramel apple and ice cream


Smoked salmon pizza

Interior with JJ

**** (4 stars)

This was a fun lunch. It’s a bit hard to find the place, as the signage by the entrance to the building is very small, and then you take a tiny elevator to the third floor. But once inside the place is surprisingly spacious.

Don’t expect to have a cat in your lap, but the cats were surprisingly interactive (it was feeding time) and very tolerant of the children who didn[t quite know how to interact with them in proper cat fashion.

The food was surprisingly good. I really like my iced chocolate coffee and apple with ice cream. The cat cookies were homemade and very tasty.

Cat Store
Flat D-E, 3/F, Po Ming Building, 2-6 Foo Ming Street
+852 2710 9953