A freelance writer, and amateur photographer Dora also teaches creative writing classes. Check out her website at www.creativejuicy.com
Published April 24th 2011
Unless you have money to burn, it doesn't make sense to pay the ridiculous mark ups on wine - sometimes up to 500% when dining out. Sometimes the booze bill at the end of the night can make your meal turn sour.
There are so many great restaurants in Sydney that allow you to bring your own wine. Most charge a small corkage fee, but some don't charge anything at all. Here are a few to choose from - guaranteed to make your next dining experience a little more tasty.
Almustafa is a traditional authentic Lebanese restaurant in the heart of Glebe. You'll feel like you've walked into a Middle Eastern bazaar, with ceilings and walls draped with colourful sparkly fabrics, shiny brass and rich wood adornments, and comfortable mismatching furniture.
On Friday and Saturday nights, you'll be entertained by voluptuous belly dancers. Almustafa's menus are rich and varied. They do an a la carte menu, and a Banquet/Mezza menu. If you're there with a group, the Mezza banquet is the way to go with beautifully prepared traditional Lebanese fare, including lamb kafta, shis-kebab, spicy lamb sausages, tabouli & fatouche salads. So much food, and very reasonably priced starting from $38 per person. No corkage fee.
Blue Eye Dragon is a quirky Taiwanese restaurant in Pyrmont. Having received several awards from Gourmet Traveller, Lifestyle Channel I Love Food Awards, Sydney Eats and others, the restaurant is always busy, thanks to the wonderful food.
From the a la carte menu, if you ordered slow cooked pork belly, or stir fried pork cheek, you'll think you've somehow ended up in heaven. The Entree menu is bursting at the seams with seafood dishes like prawn dumplings, salt and pepper soft shell crab and calamari rolls with salted duck egg and seaweed. But the best way to enjoy the wonderful food is ordering the banquet. Starting from $50 per person, you can order specific items, or let the chef surprise you. They do have a wine list, but the object of the exercise is to save money, so when you bring your own, you'll only have to pay a $3 corkage fee. Location: 37 Pyrmont Road, Pyrmont
Phone: 9518 9955
It's a taste of Switzerland on Parramatta Road at Petersham. Eiger Swiss Restaurant is a place you should only visit if you're very, very hungry. The servings are more than generous and the food is tasty and fortifying. You'll be spoilt for choice from the huge menu, full of traditional, hearty food like smoked pork hock, swiss veal sausage, schnitzel and sauerkraut. For dessert, you'd be remiss not to try the fondue with pieces of fruit and marshmallows ready to be dipped into warm, rich chocolate.
So rich and filling you may have to go and do a bit of Tyrolean Slap Dancing afterwards. I couldn't find anything on the menu over $25. They do have a small wine list but encourage you to bring your own wine with no corkage fee.
The Sydney Morning Herald says "Mrs. Top could justifiably qualify as the most popular restaurant in town - even though you've probably never heard of it".
Offering regional French cuisine and friendly service (the latter not something I've encountered often at French Restaurants) it's simple fare prepared the traditional French way. They offer classic dishes like Escargots, Duck a l'Orange, Beef Burgundy, braised beef cheeks, however the menu contains items not usually seen on restaurant menus. Price is very reasonable, at two courses for $49 - or three courses for $64.
They do have an extensive wine menu, but invite you to bring your own, with a $3.50 corkage fee per bottle.
Location: 242 Military Road, Mosman
Phone: 9909 1969
Talk about a carbohydrate overload, and you're taking about Portugese food. Silvas restaurant, serves authentic Portugese home cooking, and it wouldn't be considered unusual to have mashed potatoes, bread, rice and chips on your plate. Lashings of garlic, chilli, paprika and olive oil are used in the preparation of the great food at Silvas. The Espada a Madeirense is a huge dangling sword threaded with lamb, beef, chicken or all of the above - an absolute must-try and very traditional.
Rack of lamb is delicious and the pork chargrilled over coals is the tastiest you'll ever have.
Food is very affordable and corkage is only $2.50 per bottle.
Location: 1/82-86 Canterbury Road, Petersham
Phone: 9572 9911
These are just a few of the myriad fantastic dining venues in Sydney offering tasty, affordable food, without the hefty addition of overpriced wine. Enjoy.
Mrs. Top is definitely worth the visit. I live near there, and the food is gorgeous and it works out really inexpensive when you can take your own wine.
By carol310 - reader Saturday, 21st of May @ 01:09 am
We took a large group to the Swiss restaurant you mentioned, a few years
ago, we were so embarrased the owner
was so rude, apparently everyone is supposed to know this is part of what you get when you go there, but my guests were
disgusted, very off putting
By ginar - reader Monday, 30th of May @ 02:47 am
Thai Terrific in Bondi is only BYO & is great!
By annem23 - reader Thursday, 14th of July @ 02:43 am
Sofia's at Allambie Heights is BYO only and serves a combination of swiss/italian. All dishes are available in small or large size and its so popular you must book no matter what night of the week as it is always full and deservedly so as it serves up consistantly good, down to earth tucker.
By john5 - reader Wednesday, 24th of August @ 05:55 am
3 Addiction pizza in neutral bay - tasty pizzas and no corkage!
By lucyv - reader Monday, 21st of May @ 01:20 am
Malacca Straits on Broadway does one better on the BYO front - you can bring your own fishmonger-bought mud crabs and they'll cook them for you Singapore Chilli crab style for $20 a crab! Bargain!! It tastes bloody beautiful too :) Their corkage is either $1.50 or $2 per person, I cannot remember.
By Anonymous Wednesday, 5th of December @ 09:41 am