Jamie Oliver Says These Sydney Restaurants Are Standouts in His Eyes

Jamie Oliver Sydney top picks

Working in kitchens since he was a teenager, Jamie Oliver, now 48, knows good food. So, he’s who you’d ask for restaurant recommendations — even if it’s not in a place he lives but just knows well, like Sydney.

He’s visited Sydney about once a year since he was 24 and was in town again recently to promote his nearly 10-year partnership with Royal Caribbean. He has eight Jamie’s Italian restaurants onboard eight of the brand’s Ovation of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas ships.

We had the chance to ask him — what are your current favourite Sydney restaurants? “There’s loads,” he said. “I mean, you guys are spoilt for choice, so you’ll be alright.”

That said, he did name three Sydney restaurants that stood out in his eyes — two of which are new to the city’s dining scene, while one is a long-time favourite.

Tetsuya’s, Sydney CBD

In the old days, it would be like Tetsuya’s, the original one, still amazing to this day,” Oliver said.

Tetsuya’s was originally opened in a converted terrace house in Rozelle in 1989 before moving to its current home on Kent Street in 2000. Once led by Chef Tetsuya Wakuda, the restaurant serves a degustation menu, which can be paired with drops from one of Sydney’s longest wine lists. Though the restaurant did announce it would be moving, it’ll stay on Kent Street until December 2023.

Tetsuyas Sydney
Image: Tetsuya’s

“I once visited Tetsuya’s and ended up eating with him in his office, poring over his cookbook collection,” he told Good Food in October 2023. “It was unreal. His restaurant has got diligence, and he’s a man full of humour. His food is proper high-end dining — the confit of ocean trout is next-level.”

Clam Bar, Sydney CBD

“We went to Clam Bar yesterday, which was totally on point,” said Oliver.

The crew behind Bistro 916 and Pellegrino 2000 are also behind Clam Bar. The restaurant launched in May 2023, taking the place of venue The Bridge Room on Bridge Street in Circular Quay. Open for lunch and dinner, it’s a New York-style steak house, serving mainly seafood and steak.

“It did not disappoint,” Oliver told Good Food this week. “A very strong front-of-house team and delicious food. Nice one, head chef Sam [Galloway].”

Bar Copains, Surry Hills

We went to Bar Copains last night in Surry Hills, which was amazing,” he said.

Opened in late 2022, the venue on Albion Street is the result of a decades-long friendship between Sydney chefs Morgan McGlone and Nathan Sasi – hence the name “copains”, French for friends. Billed as a wine bar with snacks, the corner spot serves a concise one-page menu of share plates like leeks cooking in a bag, fried chickpea chips and raw diced tuna.

Bar Copains Surry Hills
Image: Bar Copains

“Pigs head was a game changer,” he told Good Food. “Every plate was so well executed, [there were] so many great flavours and textures.”

Related: 9 Sydney Restaurants That Put the Yum in Yum Cha

Related: 6 Private Dining Rooms at Sydney Restaurants to Celebrate Any Occasion

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.