Double Bay has always been known as the best place to spot pouty-lipped celebrities sipping almond lattes and eyeing off its designer boutiques. In recent months, however, this high-end shopping mecca has emerged as one of Sydney’s leading foodie destinations thanks to an influx of notable chefs and hospitality moguls swinging open their doors. And the best bit? You don’t need a Prada-friendly bank account to dine here.
Inside the swanky InterContinental Double Bay, their signature restaurant, Stockroom, offers a relaxed yet refined dining space where you can enjoy a modern menu that showcases on-trend techniques such as curing, smoking and pickling. Before dinner, make sure you visit The Stillery, the resident gin bar which stocks over 60 varieties of gin, sourced both locally and internationally
Sean Presland’s name may be behind this venture, but the star chef is not in this Double Bay kitchen. Instead, he has handed the reins to talented import Min Kim, who turns out some of the most accomplished Japanese food in the city. Chef Kim delivers on all fronts; from delicate slices of sashimi at the sushi counter to flash fried tempura vegetables and textural salads. Plus, there’s a show-stopping robata grill that’s heated to 700°C to steam, smoke and grill, all at once.
Chinta Kechil injects Malaysian spice into this Eastern Suburb. This wonderland of Botox and Blahniks often slips on the culinary catwalk but now Simon Goh, the Manolo of Malaysian, gives the suburb a steadier gait. The petite 16-seater boasts a traditional décor while the hawker-style menu is given an upmarket kick, with standout dishes including their signature laksa and sambal prawns.
From the duo behind Double Bay stalwart the Golden Sheaf Hotel, Little Jean is a minimalist-chic café and restaurant that prides itself on a shared plate menu that spans from jerk chicken and smoked pork hock to house cured salmon and zucchini flowers. Slipping in next door to About Life, the white washed décor and copper light fittings provide the perfect post-shop destination for the Eastern Suburbs latte set.
Pink Salt’s stripped back industrial space, with its New York loft style aesthetic, is the perfect space to feast on Black Angus grass fed steak with roasted leeks and peppercorn sauce or to nibble on Sydney rock oysters and kale spanikopita. Dishes are broken up into ‘fare to share’ and ‘larger plates’, keeping the menu right on trend.
From Kingsford to Double Bay, Niji Restaurant and Bar is an elegant Japanese restaurant that seamlessly taps into two dining markets; the casual drink and snack and the special occasion meal. Japanese inspired cocktails, sake samplers and fresh sashimi suit the lunch crowd, while the banquet menus, served in the intimate private dining room, are a crowd-pleaser. Plus, there’s a dedicated gluten-free menu.
Occupying the old Zigolini's site on Short Street, Vine has jumped on the Double Bay bandwagon with Sydney hospitality veteran Mikee Collins at the helm. The contemporary European menu, with French leanings, is divvied up into bar snacks and larger plates designed for sharing. Vine embraces little known French vintners with their wine list, and showcases a number of organic and biodynamic styles. International craft beers and curated vine-grown fruit cocktails are also on offer.
You know you’re in Double Bay when the beach house is decked out with Roy Lichtenstein prints. Well, you’re actually at Pelicano, a small bar-cum-restaurant on the strip, but judging by the staff’s nautical tees and the ropes and portholes popping up around the place, you could very well be on the Cote d’Azur. Pelicano offers three levels of drinking and dining spaces where the dishes are as glammed up as the clientele. The modern Australian menu is succinct, punchy and surprisingly laden with feel-good dishes like lamb ribs and a chicken katsu burger. If you’re a cocktail fan, Pelicano will not let you down.
Sydney socialites gather at this hip graffiti-clad venue, sipping glasses of Dom Perignon and nibbling on charcuterie plates of fennel salami and smoked angus bresaola. From the laneway space to the courtyard and garden bar, Mrs Sippy does a roaring trade via the bar and kitchen, with platefuls of roast pork belly with buttermilk slaw, truffled mac ‘n’ cheese and smoked pancetta pizza.
Like the suburb itself, this Double Bay mainstay has been given a new lease on life with a modern fitout, live music nights and a menu that goes from spicy beef nachos and cheese toasties to matzo dumpling soup and seafood risotto. D’Bees is open from 7.30am and is one of the few restaurants that remains open well into the wee hours of the morning (until 2am). Snag a seat street-side, and get ready to experience the crème de la crème of people-watching – expect Chanel sunglasses, black Maseratis and Gucci handbags.