From steakhouse glam to Valentine’s lunch, French-style: Valentine’s Day dates for every mood

Yes, that was fast. You’re only just feeling like you’re getting back into the swing of work, and suddenly it’s “Valentime”. But don’t think of making plans for 14 February as another thing on the to-do list. You don’t need an excuse to have a romantic dinner with mood lighting and delicious food – but you’ve got one anyway.

With some of Sydney’s best and most intimate dining experiences – and the lights and romantic atmosphere of Circular Quay just a leisurely after-dinner stroll away – there are plenty of options for sorting your Valentine’s Day dinner… even if you’ve left it a little late.


Boasting one hat from the SMH Good Food Guide, Neil Perry’s impossibly elegant take on traditional and modern Japanese food offers a range of options to suit your mood. Want an intimate option? Request a booth, or get cosy in the sushi bar. Up for something more lively? Ask to be seated at the communal dining table, or the traditional sunken tables. Let the staff guide you through the exclusive menu of high-end saké options, and enjoy signature dishes like sweet soy-braised pork belly with onsen egg, or hiramasa kingfish with a fresh and spicy ponzo.

French kisses

What’s more classically romantic than French food and a Parisian vibe? If you’re going for a leisurely lunch over dinner, two Rocks cafés can help you bring some City Of Lights sparkle to a daytime date or Valentine’s lunch.

Creperie Suzette, within the Harbour Rocks Hotel, is no ordinary cafe – from the buckwheat crepes, in both savoury galette and dessert styles served with Pepe Saya butter, to the inspired vintage interiors by Sibella Court, it’s a fresh and intimate twist on traditional French style and cooking. The Red Velvet Valentine special comes with strawberries and dark chocolate, as well as a rosy-hued hibiscus iced tea (or your choice of coffee by Double Roasters).

There’s also La Renaissance – where one of the prettiest café gardens in the city hides behind the quaint patisserie shopfront. Keep it casual with one of their baguettes or pastries for lunch, or go straight for the sweet stuff with a pastel rainbow of macarons.

Endeavour Tap Rooms

Endeavour is a brewery, bar and restaurant all in one. You can go all-in with a range of super-fresh beers on tap and the full menu of in-house smoked and grilled meats, from brisket to spiced lamb ribs, whole chicken and steaks – and there’s nothing sexier than a girl or a guy with an appetite!

Endeavour are also running a Valentine set menu for those who are happy to be guided through the options, which include oysters and a gin-and-tonic cured kingfish, as well as a glass of Mumm champagne on arrival.

Pony Lounge and Dining

With the end of summer in sight, why not take your Valentine outside for dinner? While Pony’s stylish American-industrial interior is worth hanging out in, the outdoor lounge is gorgeous on a balmy evening. Choose your own adventure from the wood-fired dishes and cocktails on offer, or go with the Valentine’s three-course set menu (to which you can add oyster shots, a love-themed cocktail to share or a rose with chocolate truffles – or all of the above).

The Cut Bar & Grill

Housed in a vintage cellar with luminous wood and soft lights, and part of the Rockpool family of restaurants, The Cut is an ideal date spot – and not just for the Instagram-friendly lighting scheme. The menu is a classic, glamorous take on classic grill options, from slow-roasted grain fed scotch fillet and perfect T-bone steak to fresh, charcoal-grilled John Dory and perfectly balanced sides to round out your meal.

Kick it all off – or wind it down – with 1920s-inspired cocktails like the Mary Pickford and the Southside Fizz. Worth getting your sparkles out.

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