Prefer to take your meals with a bit of open-jawed wonder? There are many restaurants in Sydney that cater to the weird, wacky and wonderful, with enough themes, shows and theatrics to make your meal an experience to remember. Here are just nine that Sydneysiders and visitors alike can’t get enough of.
1. The Monster Steakhouse
Looking for some spooky, spine-tingling fun? The Monster Steakhouse’s Frightnights will scare you silly over dinner, and will include a good dose of fun, too. Located in the Sydney suburb of Liverpool, the show starts at 6pm sharp and guarantees some “Extremely Cheeky Entertainment” for its patrons. Dinner is served during the show, and you can even hang around afterwards for coffee and cake.
2. The Laughing Goat Cafe
Dine at the brand new Laughing Goat Cafe within the Southern Antique Centre in true retro/vintage style. A little left of centre perhaps, but a whole lot of fun! The Southern Antique Centre can be found on Princes Highway in Kogarah, and the Laughing Goat Cafe celebrates its official opening day on October 3rd, 2014, with the planned presence of 20 goats.
3. Dirty Dicks Theme Restaurant
Don’t let the name put you off. Combining the modern restaurant with some good old fashioned medieval English fun and feasting, Dirty Dicks has been entertaining crowds for years. The show will feature staff in full costume, a sumptuous three course meal and whole lot of fun. Find them on Park Road in Rydalmere.
4. The Tea Parlour
If you like your decor a little on the shabby chic side, The Tea Parlour is the perfect place to sip an Earl Grey. You won’t be sure if you’re in a cafe or an antiques store. What’s more, the folks at The Tea Parlour even offer Midnight High Tea Parties, at only $30 per head! If you find yourself in Redfern, nip on down to Elizabeth Street to experience it for yourself.
5. The Hero of Waterloo Hotel
Built almost 170 years ago, this heritage building in The Rocks has been providing hospitality to its guests for many years. Its rich history includes an underground passage called the Shanghai Tunnel, which was once used to smuggle reluctant sailors back to their ships for duty. The bar features live music, food and even a ghost tour of the building. Spooky stuff!
6. The Secret Creek Cafe and Restaurant
If you feel like venturing west of the city, The Secret Creek Cafe and Restaurant is the best the Blue Mountains has to offer, with quite a quirky hook. The cafe serves native Australian wildlife such as grilled kangaroo, spiced bush dukkah, smoked trout and, of course, hot damper – but rest assured that you won’t be tucking into anything endangered. You can even stick around until sunset for the wildlife walk to observe the nocturnal animals coming out to play.
7. Stitch Bar
Yet another reincarnation of the recently revived “Grandma chic” bar scene, Stitch is chock-a-block full of wacky tapestries, sewing machines, and maybe even the odd pedal under its tables. Come down to York Street in Sydney for a cocktail, and stay for the caramel and raspberry waffles.
8. The Cave Restaurant
If you’re in the south of Sydney, make a point of stopping in at Maroubra for what can only be described as the experience of The Cave. Located off one of the most busy streets in the suburb, The Cave is almost eerily still, with enviable acoustics and architectural design that will keep your eyes firmly fixed on your surroundings. But don’t forget to dine while you admire – The Cave is a Sushi Train outlet and serves Japanese cuisine to die for.
9. Absinthe Salon
Take a step back in time and enjoy the distinctly Parisian, Bohemian ambiance that Surry Hills’ Absinthe Salon effortlessly creates. The unique drink is drawn from wormwood, fennel and green anise, with a number of varieties available on the menu. These creations do not come cheap, but it’s worth splashing out a little for a taste of things on the finer side.