State of Afares: Dining and Drinking Tips Sydney and Melbourne Should Share

Posted on: July 25th, 2013

Let’s face it, the battle between Sydney and Melbourne isn’t ending any time soon. Currently, the facet of this state-off receiving the most attention is restaurants, bars, chefs and everything in between. Before you nod off- assuming this is one of those generic Sydney-versus-Melbourne-rants, not to worry. Instead, let’s put the knives away and take a more diplomatic (and peaceful) approach by looking at what each state can offer one another on the foodie scene.

Firstly, Melbourne could sprinkle some of its laneway charm on to Sydney town. It’s a usual suspect, but something oh-so-necessary to inject some European magic into Sydney’s CBD. While Sydney has (finally) jumped on the laneway train with various hotspots and basement bars, some inspiration needs to be taken from Melbourne’s cafe hubs, such as Degraves Street. The aromas wafting from the row of cafes beckon, like the open arms of a nonna. In other words, Sydney needs a hug.

On another warming note, Melbourne is home to some cosy small bars that feel like your lounge room. Take Lily Blacks for example, with its chocolatey tones, palms, dim lighting and low ceilings, it’s tempting to slip off your shoes and settle in. Sure, Sydney has a bunch of intimate drinking and dining spots up its sleeve, but an added homely touch could be just what the drinker ordered.

Next thing on Sydney’s list should be ‘garden party’-style bars like Madame Brussels where it’s all about waiters decked out in tennis whites. And yes, this itsy-bitsy attire also applies during Melbourne’s chilly winters. So Sydney bars, it’s time to roll out the Astroturf, fill up with Pimms and slip into Wimbledon gear.

Now, how can Sydney inspire Melbourne’s food and drinkscape? The Emerald City’s beachside venues and water views is its drawcard, adding a splash of glamour to any meal. Think Bondi, Manly, Balmoral, Circular Quay and Woolloomooloo Wharf. While ‘maybe Sydney’s born with it’, this geographical characteristic could be a tad tricky for Melbourne to adopt. However, Sydney’s harbour just had to sneak a mention in this piece.

The glamazon state also spruiks powerhouse dining venues that aren’t afraid to flaunt it. There’s Sydney’s  grand Rockpool Bar & Grill, The Star’s sprawl of luxe dining offerings, the Sydney beacon Quay, the house of Argentinean barbecue Porteño; and foodie playground The Grounds of Alexandria. Perhaps it’s time for Melbourne to vamp things up and add a side of sexy to its venues. But not overly so, or else Sydney may get the knives out once again.

So, what other dining and drinking tips do you think Sydney and Melbourne should share with eachother?


Madame Brussels, Melbourne
Image: Madame Brussels Cocktail Bar Melbourne Facebook Page


Posted by Jenna Chaitowitz

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