Harley House Bar & Grill


South American

At first glance you can be forgiven for thinking little has changed at the former La Chinesca restaurant. As you descend the steps of heritage-listed Harley House, the superficial details remain the same.

Portrait artist Vincent Fantauzzo’s works still grace the walls. Rotating art installations still decorate the original white-tiled alcoves. The kitchen continues in the hands of chef Daniel Salcedo.

The biggest difference is on the plate. In line with Salcedo’s heritage, modern Peruvian has replaced the original Mexican-Chinese offerings. Pisco – the national drink of Peru – dominates the cocktail list. And after some fine-tuning by new general manager Jonny Cortizo (ex-Fatto), service standards have been upped.

Share-plate options include empanadas; larger meat dishes such as 72-hour slow-cooked beef short ribs; and ceviche varieties such as salmon served with housemade “tiger’s milk” (lime juice, onion, chili).

The bartenders balance bitter tonics and spices in Peruvian-geared cocktails. Try the Filthy Granny, with walnut-infused pisco and cinnamon syrup; or the Wise Piñata, with blanco rum, sage and pecan bitters.

To suit the food, the short beer and wine lists tend towards lighter styles. There’s 4 Pines Kolsch; Two Birds Sunset Ale; and lagers such as Asahi and Quilmes. Bottles of pinot grigio, chardonnay, tempranillo and pinot noir are sourced from around the world.