An unplanned & unexpected week in Sydney came our way and we took the opportunity to get a taste of the city’s reputedly great restaurant scene. As a chef, I wanted to explore all that I’ve heard from my colleagues and read in my cook books about these places. I’ve been in New Zealand for 3 years now, and it was great to get an international comparison to what we are achieving here.

On our hitlist were: Momofuku, Marque, Sixpenny, Bentley, Sepia, Oscillate Wildly and Gastro Park. We found that thought-provoking food, impressive execution, down to earth service and little details make such a difference to a dining experience. We also saw things which were pushing boundaries and stood as lessons for us for the future. Dining at so many places in a short space of time made me more aware of restaurant culture, which can so easily be forgotten about behind the walls of the kitchen.

I don’t get to eat out as much as I want to and it’s important for chefs to be constantly developing their palates. One obvious point of the trip to us was menu balance; understanding the progression of a meal and passionate, knowledgeable staff delivering the dishes and wine. We had 6 tasting menus in five days – it became clear how dishes can blow the menu out and make such a massive difference to the overall experience.

We’d especially like to thank and mention the teams at Sixpenny and Oscillate Wildly for accommodating us so well and adding such a welcoming and generous dimension to our trip.- Ed