A long lunch is underestimated. There is no better feeling than spending a few hours in a restaurant during the day and walking into the blinding light outside, splattered and fed up. From must-have steak restaurants to 150-year-old pubs and fine restaurants on the coast, here are five places we invite our friends for a leisurely lunch this summer.
Neil Perry may have “retired” and left his most notable restaurant last year, but the must-do food experience in Sydney has not lost its charm. It may be a trope of the hospitality industry, but Rockpool really uses the best, freshest produce you can get in Australia. Simple cooking techniques make the ingredients shine. Step into the splendor of the marble dining room and treat yourself to dry-aged beef directly from Australia’s best producers, as well as lobster with herb butter – the creaminess of which harmonises well with the slightly bubbly acidity of an Aperol spritz. You don’t go to Rockpool for a light lunch.
Mimi’s has been an ambitious project by Merivales Justin Hemmes for six years, which opened in early 2020. Una Mas). The dining room is stunning during the day, with huge arched windows that look out over the sparkling Sea of ââCoogee. Chef Jordan Toft unites Australia and the Mediterranean in a sumptuous menu of lobster, salt-baked mud crab and Australia’s best caviar. Obviously, it’s easy to make serious money here. You have been warned.
There is nothing like a really, really good cook who just loves to cook pub food. Anna Ugarte-Carral (who won the prestigious Josephine Pignolet Young Chef Award in 2020) does just that at Old Fitzroy: a 150 year old venue in Woolloomooloo that is pub, brasserie and theater rolled into one. The historic venue was redesigned earlier this year by the team behind the Oxford Tavern and the Duke of Enmore, but the welcoming pub accents have been retained: red carpets, exposed brick walls, antique chandeliers and fireplaces. The bistro-like menu includes Bavette steak with herb butter and French fries and a 500g pork chop with crispy champagne sauerkraut. After a long lunch, sneak out of the dining room and into the bar, where you might accidentally spend the afternoon.
If you’ve always wondered about that chic dining room above the beer garden in Newport, it’s Bert’s. Another Merivale number from Justin Hemmes and Chef Jordan Toft, Bert’s is like a great 1930s London hotel (complete with a champagne bar) when it’s off the Pittwater coast. It’s cozy but close to the coast, from large, plush banquet seats covered in pastel velvet to large windows with a view of the water beyond. As with Mimi, the food is as extravagant as it gets: live lobster, handpicked from the tank, whole fish grilled on charcoal, and caviar for $ 215.
The dolphin hotel
Nothing says “boozy Friday lunch” like the Dolphin. Office workers regularly unpack this pumping, multi-story pub in Surry Hills, but the dining room is less noisy and the perfect place to hang out for a few hours. It’s casual but polished, with bright interiors, high vaulted ceilings, and dingy artwork by Beni Single that adorn the walls along with an open kitchen and pizza oven. The food is Italian with a touch of Australia: wood-fired pizza with real Parmesan, juicy cheeseburgers and small snacks with squid and calamari.
The dolphin hotel
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Aperol. With 100,000 Aperol Spritzes up for grabs this summer to celebrate they’re back together, find out how to make your claim.