With rising house prices and the strong Aussie dollar, Sydney has been named as the tenth most expensive city in the world for expatriates, according to Mercer’s annual Cost of Living survey. Other cities on the list included Luanda, Moscow and Tokyo. Surprisingly (maybe not to the locals), Sydney ranked higher than cities such as New York and London.
Mercer’s Talent Business Leader, Garry Adams, said the biggest contributor for Sydney’s ranking was the cost of housing, with the median house price at $758,000. In June 2013, the average price for an apartment was $491,845.
While housing prices may play a large part in the overall ranking, the general cost of living is not much brighter. The survey revealed that the cost of a movie ticket in Sydney was $19.62, the cost of a fast food hamburger meal was $9.24 and the cost of a domestic beer averages $6.
Still, not everyone is complaining, with many Sydney residents willing to pay extortionately high prices for a simple drink. Here is a look at some of Sydney’s most outrageously expensive beverages and where you can find them:
While some customers were outraged when told that their glass of tap water at Sydney’s Marque restaurant would cost five dollars, others are more than happy to part with the cash. Owner Mark Best stands by his decision to charge for tap water, citing that he opted to spend $6,000 on a sophisticated filtration system that reduces the need for bottles of mineral water. He said his tap water is of high quality and is worth the price.
Marque Restaurant, located in Surrey Hills, was voted the Sydney Morning Herald’s Restaurant of the Year in 2011, thanks to its intelligent cooking, exceptional service and indulgent wine list. It is also home to the Good Food Guide’s 2012 Chef of the Year and is listed as the 67th best restaurant in the world according to this year’s S.Pellegrino World’s Top 100 Restaurants list.
Find Marque at 4/5/355 Crown Street, Surry Hills
Sydney’s most expensive beer, the Crown Ambassador Reserve Lager 2010, is the third brew in a vintage series and is made with fresh Galaxy hops. Just 7,000 champagne-style bottles were made, but it appears even that might have been too many. Catalina admitted that they still have the original ten bottles they purchased, as no one seemed interested in purchasing a $125 bottle of beer.
Catalina is one of Australia’s best-loved restaurants, featuring exquisite food and even more spectacular views over Rose Bay. Diners can enjoy a panoramic view of Sydney Harbour at water level and oversee the comings and goings of a working harbour.
Find Catalina at Lyne Park, Rose Bay
You may be taken aback at first when told the price of a Clamourous at Sydney’s Ivy, but the good news is that this cocktail is designed to be shared with up to 12 friends. Served in a giant homemade clamshell, the Clamourous contains Belvedere orange vodka, Hennessy VS Cognac and Crème de Peche along with apple juice, passion fruit and elderflower. The finishing touch is a whole bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne. The Clamourous is an invention from renowned creative designer Edward Coutts Davidson on behalf of Ivy.
When it comes to sipping cocktails in Sydney, there is no better place than the Ivy’s Pool Club, where you’ll find a string of tanned folks lounging around the poolside cabanas. While away the hours under shady palms and snack on gourmet pizzas or dance by the poolside to the accompaniment of the house DJ.
Find the Ivy Pool Club at Level 4, Ivy, 320 George Street, Sydney CBD
Guillaume at Bennelong feels incredibly privileged to be offering the Blanc de Noirs 1995 Krug Clos d’Ambonnay Reims, as just a handful of restaurants in the world offering the exclusive Champagne. Krug is one of the world’s most prestigious Champagne houses and all the classic Krug elements are there on first sip; the signature bouquet, the intricate fruit, the rich and seductive taste. For those lucky enough to taste the wine, it is said to be simply divine and incredibly crisp with citrus undertones.
Guillaume at Bennelong is located in the southernmost shell of the iconic Sydney Opera House. As far as views in Sydney goes, there is no finer one than that of this restaurant and bar, which takes in scenes of the busy harbour, the Harbour Bridge, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Circular Quay and the city.
Food is of a French influence and exquisitely presented using Australia’s finest ingredients.
Find Guillaume at Bennelong at Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point
Any wine lover would be crazy not to visit Rockpool Bar & Grill when in Sydney, as David Doyle, the business partner of chef Neil Perry, has amassed one of the greatest private wine collections the world has ever seen – estimated at an incredible $40 million.
The 1945 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is the restaurant’s most expensive bottle, valued at $72,000 and is considered special due to its small production. Made during wartime, the French Burgundy was produced mostly by women and the elderly and was the last wine ever to be made from pre-phylloxera vines. Of the 18-24 bottles said to remain in the world, Doyle owns six of them, three of which can be found at the Rockpool Bar & Grill.
Head Sommelier Sophie Otton recommended teaming the Burgundy with the $45 wood fired grilled pigeon, served with roasted red peppers, grapes and radicchio salad.
The Rockpool Bar & Grill is located in one of Sydney’s most stunning buildings; a 1936 Emil Sodersten-designed art deco skyscraper. The dining room is spectacular while the food is uncomplicated – serving delights such as wood fire grilled meats and seafood from Australia’s finest producers. The wine list offers 3,800 choices, of which just one tenth are priced below $100.
Find Rockpool Bar & Grill at 66 Hunter Street, Sydney
While Sydney can still be home to a few bargains (think a Tooheys New in a pub in The Rocks), for those looking to unleash their inner sommelier or for those looking for that something special, it’s a good idea to start saving now.