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Hayes Street Wharf Bistro

This gold patterned little French hideaway on the sleepy streets of Neutral Bay is a hidden gem. In an age of share plates, it was nice to settle in for a three-course-meal of continental cuisine. I started with the delightful Chicken Liver Parfait ($16) with cherries, while my dining companion opted for Scallop and Crab Boudin Blanc ($18) – a kind of seafood sausage, served swimming in crab bisque and caviar, basically the south of France on a plate.

Abode Bistro

Hotel restaurants are curious beasts; and while Abode has been cleverly located as a stylish, stand-alone restaurant, it is still very much part of the Parkroyal Darling Harbour. As you’d expect, the restaurant fulfils a role in providing accessible, comforting and familiar food to overnight stayers.

Little Jean

Double Bay has had a little makeover, and riding on the coattails of the impressive InterContinental Hotel, is Little Jean.

Pitt St Diner

Every neighbourhood should have a little Parisian bistro. Better still, one with young French chefs from the south-west of France in the kitchen who play to their seaside strengths and offer up a clattering mound of Moules Marinières ($25) in a white wine and cream sauce, slightly smoky from a good flambé.