Harley House Bar & Grill

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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 biggest difference is on the plate. Chef Samuel Yanto (ex-Tetsuya's and Becasse, both in Sydney) oversees a light nikkei (Japanese-Peruvian) menu in summer, and a heartier, more pan-South American menu in winter. Either way, ceviche will certainly be available. Other choices might include pork-belly empanadas; cassava chips with chorizo; or a clever quinoa risotto with the cheese-based sauce known as huancaína.

Pisco – the national drink of Peru – dominates the extensive cocktail list. The bartenders balance bitter tonics and spices in creations such as the Green Monkey (chilli- and ginger-infused pisco, lime and lemongrass) or the simpler Smoked Old Fashioned (rum, bitters, cinnamon syrup and smoke).

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.