What to eat when you’re off your chops but still want to dine with the rest of the world. We round up the best vego eats around Sydney, guaranteed to satisfy even the fussiest of herbivores.
THE DOLPHIN HOTEL
The Dolphin in Surry Hills has had a makeover, transforming itself into an ultra hip hang out that’s become the local go-to. The menu is made up of carefully curated Italian dishes such as Polenta Chips, Local Burrata drizzled in Olive Oil, Marinated Sorbello Family Tomatoes with Olives or Sorbello Pizza. If dining at lunch is more your style, The Dolphin has just introduced proper sandwiches – their take on the classic sanga. The lunchtime staple has never looked better, offering old school favourites with a twist such as the egg sandwich (Tokyo 7/11), or the Heirloom Tomatoes, Mozerella and Basil (C(ap)razy), all for $12. Whilst meat lovers wouldn’t go past The Dolphin’s menu, it certainly caters for the fussiest of vegetarians too.
THE DOLPHIN HOTEL, 412 Crown St Surry Hills. http://dolphinhotel.com.au/
CHESTER WHITE CURED DINER
Imagine ordering pasta that comes served straight from a big wheel of cheese. That’s exactly what happens when you order the Trufle Cacio E Pepe at Chester White. A simple, yet must-have dish featuring spaghetti, salt and pepper, parsley, black truffles, all served from a Sardinian truffled Pecorino cheese wheel. Vegos have plenty to choose from in this menu, including the Cauliflower or Ricotta Gnocchi (both are to die for). If the food is what makes this place enjoyable, it’s the service that makes you never want to leave. Chester White has a great team of cool and friendly characters who make you feel right at home every time you dine.
CHESTER WHITE CURED DINER, 3 Orwell St Potts Point. http://www.chesterwhitediner.com.au/
BUFFALO DINING CLUB
Buffalo is Chester White’s other half but don’t ask me to choose which is my favourite. Located up the road in Darlinghurst, Buffalo serves a similar menu to Chester White, with its dishes revolving around the amazing Buffalo Mozzarella that the restaurant imports 3 times a week (fresh from Italy)! The menu changes seasonally, but on regular rotation are the large selection of cheeses which complement any of the side dishes – Charred Corn with Chilli Coriander, Wild Mushrooms or Pecorino Crusted Eggplant. Taking homage from Chester White’s menu (or is it the other way around?), Buffalo also serves a version of Cacio e Pepe, the unbeatable pasta dish served from a giant wheel of cheese.
BUFFALO DINING CLUB, 116 Surrey St Darlinghurst. http://www.buffalodiningclub.com.au/
The only thing that can beat The Butler’s spectacular views spanning Sydney’s skyline is the food. Designed to share, The Butler’s menu features several vegetarian dishes that even the biggest carnivore would salivate over. From Butler Spiced French fries with Miso Mayo, through to a whole range of green dishes such as Cous Cous with Blood Orange, Pearl Barley with Beetroot and Cultured Cream, The Butler never disappoints. Located in a leafy back street in Potts Point, The Butler is the place to be for long Sunday lunches and early dinners, ensuring you make the most of the sunlight and incredible views.
THE BUTLER, 123 Victoria St Potts Point. http://butlersydney.com.au/
Bentley has the finest reputation for excellence in food, wine and service, and within minutes of stepping into this restaurant you’ll understand why. The 5-star dining establishment is an ambient eatery with staff that are superbly attentive, patrons that exude class and an unrivalled menu. It’s clear owners Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt know what they’re doing, with the establishment already winning a slew of awards since its opening in 2006. Offering a varied menu that will satisfy any tastebuds, Bentley also offers a vegetarian tasting menu boasting 8 courses, with dishes like Kabocha Pumpkin, Lemon Aspen and Pistachio or Beetroot, Black Rice, Blackberry and Purple Kale. Prices are on the higher end of the scale, so save Bentley for those special occasions when you deserve to treat yourself or a significant other.
BENTLEY, Corner of Pitt and Hunters Streets, Sydney. http://www.thebentley.com.au/menus/vegetarian-tasting-menu/
Monopole is fine dining at its absolute finest, whilst still being very affordable. Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt of the award winning Bentley launched this second eatery in Potts Point back in 2012. Open for dinner 7 nights a week, Monopole serves several vegetarian dishes including Broccolini, Sunflower Seed Puree and Toasted Linseeds, Heirloom Tomatoes served with Roasted Fennel and Bay Leaf Oil and Roast Pineapple, Chocolate and Yoghurt Sorbet. As the menu rotates regularly, it is possible to find yourself with limited vegetarian options, so kindly ask the chef to create something for you. I’ve done this on many occasions and even if it is a bit of a pain, the staff and chefs at Monopole certainly don’t ever make it feel that way.
MONOPOLE, 71A Macleay St Potts Point. http://monopolesydney.com.au/
China Doll ticks all the boxes when it comes to affordable fine dining, excellent service and unbeatable views. This award winning restaurant is set on Wooloolmoolloo’s historic Finger Wharf, overlooking the water and beyond. With a modern Asian menu that fuses culinary traditions from China, Hong Kong, Japan and South East Asia, China Doll offers a vast array of vegetarian options. From Eggplant and Tofu with Sichuan Chilli Bean Paste to Vegetable San Choy Bau, China Doll is a treat to all your senses.
CHINA DOLL, 4/6 Cowper Wharf Road Woolloomooloo. http://chinadoll.com.au/
Another of Brent Savage’s and Nick Hildebrandt’s masterpieces, Yellow is a vegetarian’s paradise, housed in an iconic yellow building in Potts Point. Yellow serves an all-vegetarian offering for dinner, but keeps the carnivores happy with their breakfast and lunch menu featuring meat and vegetarian options. With a menu that features dishes such as Vegetable Broth, Enoki Mushrooms, Kohlrabi and Quail Egg or Eggplant, Corn and Black Garlic, you can’t go past Yellow when you’re off your chops.
YELLOW, 57 Macleay St Potts Point. http://www.yellowsydney.com.au/menus/a-la-carte-dinner/
Yullis is literally a Vegetarian’s heaven, offering a full menu of vegetarian and vegan dishes. From Steamed Silken Tofu with Vermicelli Noodles through to Pan Fried Haloumi with Ginger and Lemongrass Sauce, Yulli’s is a local favourite. Whilst Yulli’s does not serve meat, it is loved by even the most sceptical carnivore, for its creative and varied menu that makes you feel like you’re not missing out on anything.
YULLI’S, 417 CROWN ST SURRY HILLS. http://yullis.com.au/