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I learned on my recent trip that Sydney is a treat for the committed gourmand. Fresh local produce, seafood and delightful ambiances got these hot spots at the top of my list for the best restaurants in Sydney.

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I highly recommend Nomad, a new and glamorous food, wine and “cellardoor”, (tasting room) restaurant that makes it’s own cheese (try the Jersey Milk Haloumi, served with BBQ zucchini, pine nuts and raisins) and charcuterie. It draws on the flavors of the Mediterranean and uses local Australian ingredients to create a dynamic and seasonally driven menu.

As a “snack” to begin the orgy of great food, I devoured the homemade foie gras and chicken liver parfait served with radish and Iranian plum sauce. It went well with the fabulous Lucy Margaux Monomeith, 2013 Pinot Noir from the Adelaide Hills of South Australia.

I navigated the Mediterranean theme with the flavors of smokey port empanadas, a grilled half-chicken with cauliflower and pine nuts and the tangy addition of goat’s curd. My friendly female neighbor at the lively counter ordered Mulloway (fish) with crushed broa beans, za’atat and yoghurt. We shared dishes and I loved it. She even enjoyed half of my huge plate of fois gras. The BBQ lamb rump served with Moroccan eggplant salad, and sheep’s yoghurt is a house specialty too.

Regardless of the wine or food menu, I always check out and order a dessert. Nomad did not disappoint me here either.  The Orange Blossom Custard with dates and dulche de leche was delicious. Most of the other diners were ordering the bunuelos (fresh made donuts) with rose water and cardamom custard.

Too bad I was alone or I would have asked my dining companion to order (and hopefully share) the three-month aged goat cheese platter with membillo, dried grapes and ash crackers.

The inspired, all-Australian wine list was two-pages long and included the names of all the winemakers and all but a few of the wines were offered by the glass. Don’t miss the Hungerford Hill 2011 Chardonnay from the Hunter Valley, New South Wales from winemaker Adrain Lockhard.  16 Foster Street, Surry Hills. (02) 9280 3395   (It’s a good idea to make an advance reservation.)

Morrison Oyster Bar

Charming, stylish and cheeky, The Morrison is where you want to be to watch center stage as Oautralia’s finest oysters are shucked to order.

The Morrison Bar and Oyster Room should be on every oyster lover’s list. They typically have three to four fresh local oysters on the menu every day. They taste like they were plucked straight out of the sea. I ordered a miz of small Sydney rock oysters and Pacific oysters.

Executive Cheff Sean Connolly’s international experience shines, reflecting his signature style of seasonal produce, cooked on the bone and in the shell where possible.

Finger and fork food included soft shell crab sliders, king fish ceviche with green onions, lime, chilli and extra virgin olive oil (mouth-wateringly wonderful), salmon belly arpaccio with yuzu, cauliflower and couscous.

Salmon Ceviche

One of the best salads I enjoyed in Australia was their pear, fennel and wild rocket dish served with macadamia cheese, quinoa and dukka. It was hard to pass up the Persian Fetta and watermelon with mint, chilli and Chardonnay vinaigrette.

Don’t miss the Tyrrells-Bedford Reserve Semillon from the Hunter Valley.

Located at 225 George Street in downtown Sydney. 61 2 9247 6744

Mr. Wong’s is not just another Chinese Restaurant. It’s glamorous, trendy and absolutely superb. From the moment you walk in and see the colonial furnishing, timber floors with tile inlay, bamboo framed French woven chairs and slow turning ceiling fans, you’ll feellike you are in Old China.

The Canton-style menu is overwhelming with over 60 dishes including Peking duck served with dumplings and plum sauce, faux Shark Fin Soup and Abalone served Steamboat style.

I had the light and delicious dim sum as a starter and then duck and coral trout make with fresh ginger.

Don’t miss the restrooms, which look like individual opium dens. Walk by the open kitchen to see the racks of hanging Peking Ducks, too.

It’s the place to be for the stylish, young, beautiful Sydney crowd who crowd around the entrance hoping for a table.   61 2 9240 3000 Located at 3 Bridge Lane, Sydney.

Mr. Wong's Sydney