14 of the Best Unique Dining Experiences NSW Has To Offer

If you are looking for unique dining experiences, New South Wales has plenty to offer.

From exclusive venues that can only be reached by seaplane or boat to interactive experiences that push the boundaries of creativity and vision, the 14 venues outlined below should be on every foodies ‘must visit’ list!

Which one do you most like the sound of?

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

One of the most unique dining experiences in New South Wales can be enjoyed at the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium.

There you will be able to enjoy a self-guided tour around the aquarium in the evening. Prior to that though, you will be greeted with a cocktail that is followed by a three-course dinner and a two-hour drink package.

The intimate dinner locations are set up in the New Day and Night on the Reef Zone, which provides a wonderful aquatic backdrop in which to enjoy your meal.

Address: Darling Harbour, 1-5 Wheat Rd, Sydney NSW 2000

Phone: (02) 9333 9200


Beach Byron Bay

If you find yourself in the Northern Rivers Region of NSW you should make a point of visiting Beach Byron Bay.

Alanna Sapwell, the head chef has created a fabulous menu that celebrates the best in seasonal and regional ingredients.

The restaurant is housed in a beachfront, seafoam-white pavilion, just a short hop and a skip from 28 Degrees Byron Bay. It offers a couple of experiences: the Beach Kiosk, which offers casual meals made with seasonal ingredients, and the Beach Restaurant, which offers refined Mediterranean-inspired flavours.

Overall, the seasonal menu is heavily focused on seafood, featuring signature dishes like their Spaghetti alla chitarra and Coffs Harbour Southern Rock lobster crepes which are sure to impress.

Address: Clarks Beach Park, 2 Massinger St, Byron Bay NSW 2481

Phone: 1300 583 766

Website: www.beachbyronbay.com.au

Hours: 7am to 8.30pm Daily

Megalong Restaurant, Blue Mountains

At the Megalong Restaurant, the team has a simple philosophy – to work harmoniously with the land and to incorporate simple ingredients into their dishes.

Run by Executive Chef Colin Barker, the restaurant’s vision presents itself in the restaurant’s farm-to-plate seasonal menu. This uses in-season ingredients only that have been harvested from its onsite farm, as well as other local suppliers.

One of the key features of the restaurant is that it offers superb 360-degree views of natural bushland within the spectacular Blue Mountains region. Overall, the venue is somewhat of an off-the-radar gem that is worth visiting to experience its take on symbiosis dining.

Address: 3/7 Peach Tree Rd, Megalong Valley NSW 2785

Phone: 02 4787 3999

Website: https://megalongrestaurant.com.au/

Hours: Fri 6pm – 8.30pm, Sat & Sun 12 – 2pm, 6pm – 8.30pm

BLAQ, Blackheath

Mate Herceg, the executive chef of BLAQ has a lifelong professional matra to ‘let local shine’.

Elevating the ‘fresh is best’ theory to new heights, his restaurant in the Blue Mountains town of Blackheath is a must visit destination for any foodie.

The ingredients used in the restaurant are directly plucked from the onsite gardens and Chef Herceg’s personal farm. They are used in a seasonal menu that offers a grilled and charred section which showcases local meats that are cooked to perfection.

These meats are exquisitely complemented by minimalistic herbal sauces, which embrace elemental and primal cooking techniques to create dishes that are truly wonderful.

Address: Kyah Hotel, 13-17 Brightlands Ave, Blackheath NSW 2785

Phone: (02) 4787 8108

Website: https://www.thekyah.com.au/blaq

Hours: Mon & Tues 7am – 10 am, Wed to Fri 7am – 10 am & 5pm to 9pm, Sat & Sun 7am – 10 am, 12 pm – 3pm & 5pm to 9pm

Wolgan Dining Room, Wolgan Valley

Another unique dining venue in New South Wales that showcases breathtaking views of natural bushland is the Wolgan Dining Room. It is located within the Main Homestead of the One&Only Wolgan Valley resort – a luxurious retreat that offers five-star accommodations and exquisite Australian cuisine.

The venue is renowned for serving authentic Australian dishes that showcase the freshness of

sustainable and seasonal produce. Its team of chefs are committed to crafting an exceptional fine-dining experience that incorporates native ingredients and local gourmet produce to create a scintillating range of dishes.

Signature favourites on the menu include their Rangers Valley beef tartare and Wolgan Valley lamb rack that truly embody the region’s distinctive flavours.

Address: 2600 Wolgan Rd, Wolgan Valley NSW 2790

Phone: (02) 6350 1800

Website: https://www.oneandonlyresorts.com/wolgan-valley/dining/wolgan-dining-room

The Zin House, Mudgee

Located in the charming town of Mudgee, the Zin House is a fabulous restaurant that offers an award-winning dining experience under the culinary vision of head chef Kyle Bowett.

The venue has been awarded a 2023 Chef’s Hat, making it a haven for foodies that showcases menus which highlight locally-sourced ingredients under the ethos of generosity, authenticity and quality.

Offering sweeping countryside and lush vineyard views that create a gorgeous backdrop in which to dine, guests can indulge in a deluxe six-course seasonal menu which is meant to be shared with family and friends and last for hours.

Address: 329 Tinja Ln, Eurunderee NSW 2850

Phone: (02) 5858 4026

Website: https://lowefamilywineco.com.au/zinhouse/

Hours: Mon 12pm – 4pm, Tues & Wed Closed, Thurs & Fri 12pm – 4pm, Sat 12pm – 4pm & 6pm – 9.30pm, Sun 12pm – 4pm

Berowra Waters Inn

Nestled on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, the Berowra Waters Inn is another unique gastronomic destination to add to your foodie bucketlist.

The Inn was conceived to be a ‘veranda by the water’ and can only be reached by seaplane or boat, making it one of the state’s most exclusive dining experiences.

Diners can revel in the tranquil waterfront surroundings and gumtree-lined shore while enjoying the delightful gastronomy prepared by Brian Geraghty, the head chef.

If you really want to make it an occasion to remember (for instance as a proposal of marriage), consider booking a package where you get there and leave via seaplane either side of enjoying a delectable a la carte, three-course lunch.

Address: 1 Calabash Point, Berowra Waters, NSW 2082

Phone: (02) 9456 1027

Website: https://www.berowrawatersinn.com/

Hours: Mon to Wed Closed, Thurs 12pm – 2.30pm, Fri & Sat 12pm – 9pm, Sun 12pm – 3 pm

Sydney Oyster Farm Tours

If you’re searching for an enjoyable and interactive dining experience in Sydney, you should definitely consider Sydney Oyster Farm Tours.

Located in Brooklyn, just a 45-minute drive from the CBD, this unique dining experience comprises an authentic oyster farm tour.

For over 15 years the Sheridan family has been supplying oysters to the Sydney market, and after a brief boat ride, they’ll get you geared up and teach you how to shuck the freshest oysters directly from the Hawkesbury River.

You can visit their website to choose from the three different tours they offer. All of which involves eating these delicious shellfish.

Address: Kangaroo Point Boat Ramp, Brooklyn NSW 2083

Phone: 0402 686 267

Website: www.sydneyoystertours.com

Pipit Restaurant, Pottsville

Sandwiched between the Gold Coast and Byron Bay, Pipit Restaurant is an acclaimed dining venue that serves incredible wood-fired masterpieces that are crafted by two chef-hatted maestros.

Inspired by the coastal scenery that surrounds it, the restaurant draws upon the best in local farm and sub-tropical produce to create a menu of balanced and bold flavours.

While it changes according to the seasons, it always features fresh farm-to-plate and seafood ingredients, which Chef Ben Devlin utilises to excellent effect. Diners can even watch the culinary team in action by sitting at the intimate counter that looks over to the open-plan kitchen.

Address: Shop 4/8 Coronation Ave, Pottsville NSW 2489

Phone: 0490 380 117

Website: www.pipitrestaurant.com

Hours: Mon 5.30 pm – 10.30 pm, Tues & Wed, Thur 6pm – 10 pm, Fri & Sat 12pm – 3pm & 6pm – 10pm, Sun 12pm – 3 pm

Rick Stein at Bannisters, Port Stephens

English celebrity chef Rick Stein is well known for running a number of eateries in Padstow, Cornwall. However, he also has a fantastic restaurant in Port Stephens, NSW you should check out.

Situated high above the deep blue waters of Port Stephens, this cliff side restaurant takes full advantage of the local catch and uses the freshest ingredients to bring out the depth of ocean flavours.

Each dish on the menu is designed to highlight the locally caught seafood with simple cooking techniques. The dishes are lightly dressed with tangy sauces to elevate the delicate flavours of the seafood.

The Nelson Bay tuna and Bass Strait scallops are very popular with diners.

Address: Bannisters Port Stephens, 147 Soldiers Point Rd, Soldiers Point NSW 2317

Phone: (02) 4919 3800

Website: https://www.bannisters.com.au/port-stephens/

Hours: Mon to Fri 5.30pm – 8.45pm, Sat 12.30 – 8.45pm, Sun 12.30pm – 2 pm, 5.30 pm – 8.45 pm

Muse Restaurant, Hunter Valley

Housed within the Hungerford Hill Winery, in the heart of the Hunter Valley mountains, Muse Restaurant is a two hatted restaurant that offers an exceptional Australian fine dining menu.

Troy Rhoades-Brown, the owner and head chef of the restaurant, presents a spectacular five-course dinner menu that features heirloom vegetables that are home-grown and the freshest of regional produce.

If they are available, the fresh agnolotti pasta and mouthwatering Black Angus are two dishes to get very excited about.

Address: Hungerford Hill, 2450 Broke Rd, Pokolbin NSW 2320

Phone: (02) 4998 6777

Website: www.musedining.com.au

Hours: Sun & Mon, Tues 6pm – 8.30pm, Wed 6 pm – 10.30pm, Thur 6pm – 8.30pm, Fri & Sat 5.30pm – 8.30 pm

Ates, Blackheath

If you love Mediterranean food, you should enjoy the fantastic family-style share plates and overall dining experience on offer at Ates.

Think succulent scallops paired with roasted organic carrots in a garlic yoghurt and topped with chicken-skin butter and start to feel yourself salivate!

Presented to you on a central dining table, the restaurant prides itself on cooking seasonal and fresh produce to perfection – every time. It does this via an ironbark-fueled oven that dates back to the 1870s and dominates the open kitchen.

This venue is very popular, so it is worth booking in advance to secure your table.

Address: 33 Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath NSW 2785

Phone: 0472 793 326

Website: www.atesblackheath.com

Hours: Mon & Tues Closed, Wed to Fri 5.30 pm to 9pm, Sat & Sun 12pm – 2.30pm, 5.30 pm – 9pm

Raes Dining Room, Byron Bay

Over at Wategos Beach in Byron Bay, Raes Dining Room possesses one of the most incredible dining settings you could ever hope to enjoy.

The white rendered walls create a cool and relaxed ambience, while the stunning views of the azure ocean peeking through the native bushland will captivate you.

In terms of the food offering, Jason Saxby, the executive chef has created a superb menu that reflects the best of modern Australian flavours, which he skilfully has fused with a Mediterranean flare that will tantalise your palette.

Diners can partake in an a la carte, three-course menu which includes wagyu sirloin and Australian Bay lobster as two stand out dishes. Alternatively, you could plumb for his sensational six-course tasting menu which will stimulate all of your senses.

Address: 6-8 Marine Parade, Byron Bay NSW 2481

Phone: (02) 6685 5366

Website: https://raes.com.au/diningroom/

Spice World

Definitely one of the most offbeat restaurants in Sydney, if not the whole of New South Wales is Spice World.

Located in the heart of Chinatown, this venue is as whimsical as it is unpredictable. From Barbie dolls wrapped in meat to Hello Kitty branded stock cubes, you can expect the unexpected here.

Despite being a chain of over 600 restaurants worldwide, it is sufficient to say the food is exceedingly good. David Beckham and Orlando Bloom are big fans, apparently.

Address: Sussex Centre, 405/411 Sussex St, Haymarket, NSW 2000

Phone: 0406 697 900

Hours: 12pm to 12 am daily