he idea of a long lunch in a white tablecloth restaurant might seem a little too fussy and prim. But if the alternative is a quick lunch jammed in between other commitments and eaten on the run, there’s something to be said about a more formal midday meal. Thankfully, Sydney’s proliferation of restaurants are well versed in laissez faire sophistication, so there’s always somewhere for a long, somewhat luxurious lunch to transpire. These are some of our favourites:
Sean’s Panaroma might trip you up on the name, but the décor, which seems to be that of a modern beachcomber’s abode, plays the perfect foil to the elegantly informal dishes. Throw in the Bondi views, sans glitz and glam, and you have a lunch venue that necessitates some lingering.
Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay
Made for celebratory lunches, Boathouse is difficult to fault, particularly on sunny days when the view of harbour makes a nice visual complement to the food. You may find yourself punctuating any long-lunching conversations with observations about how wonderful the view is, but the menu will also occupy your attention, with its deep reverence for seafood and wide creative berth.
A smart rendition of a taverna, The Apollo doesn’t rest on over-the-top stereotypes to impress. This is Greek fare, refined. Seafood and distinctive flavours dominate. ‘The Full Greek’ is your surest bet if you’ve got a group in tow and every intention of prolonging your meal. This is communal dining made for wild conversation and a lot of time to whittle away.
Bambini Trust Wine Room
Decadent and moody, this CBD haunt seems to enclose you in a world completely distinct to the one outside. Bambini Trust lends itself to serious conversations, whether that’s an intimate D&M or a bit of high-end wheeling and dealing. Dishes are as sumptuous and sophisticated as the decor, with Italian and Mediterranean bents.
Four in Hand
One of Sydney’s most notable gastropubs, Four in Hand is dishing out homely meals with an artful interpretation. It’s ideal if you appreciate all cuts of meat with a minimum of pedantic additions. The more-ish meals and slick space are nicely offset by the bar downstairs, just to elongate your lunch a little further.
The setting makes it difficult to fault this place as a venue for a long, drawn out conversation. It’s a relatively secluded spot, so if you’re willing to get out there, you should make the most of your investment. The food is clean and produce-driven, best exemplified by the kitchen garden. The long communal table makes Chiswick best for large groups to take advantage of.
Three Blue Ducks
Bronte is a more understated beachside suburb than some of its neighbours, and is all the more lovely for it. Come high summer it can be a bit of a fight to extend your lunch into the middle of the afternoon, especially if the weather is calling you out onto the sands. But for most the year, Bronte – and more specifically, Three Blue Ducks – offers a convivial sanctuary. The produce-centric lunch menu changes with the seasons and availability of ingredients, but it’s always unerringly fresh and worth a conversation in itself, which might possibly be why you’d spend twice as long here than expected.
Housed in an old 1930s golf club house, the building itself is stunning, but with a wraparound veranda, there’s more vista than you can view in a glance. So of course, you want to take it in over a long, meandering conversation. It seems like a bit of a well-to-do spot, but with a series of elaborate seasonal dishes on offer and a uniquely pretty locale, you’ve already got the ingredients for frittering away an hour or two.