Sydney, it seems, loves Mexican food. From the Cross’s leader of regional Mexican Chula, to a Coogee restaurant spotlighting central Mexican food, and an “Australian” take on the cuisine at Bondi’s Fonda, tequila and tacos don’t seem like they’ll ever be off the menu.
Rockpool Dining Group, and with a kitchen team led by Culinary Director Neil Perry, is the latest business to reawaken the cuisine, announcing he’s opening Bar Patrón by Rockpool on March 8 at the former Café Ananas site in Circular Quay (before that Café Nice).
Designer Grant Cheyne is behind the fit-out. The views of the harbour will remain but the space will look like a mix of a Creole bungalow and weatherboard cottage.
Sydney has been getting more comfortable with Mexican restaurants not including nachos on the menu, and Pamela Valdes will continue that trend by steering the kitchen away from Americanised dishes. The chef was previously at Rosetta Sydney and before that restaurant Xalapa in the Mexican port city of Veracruz.
She’ll serve made-to-order tortilla chips, prawn-and-scallop aguachile, ceviche rojo, and a pineapple salad ramped up with coriander, lime, salt and habanero chilli. There’s also tostadas filled with seared tuna and a mango-chilli salsa, enchiladas, and platters of grilled flathead, or chicken with red mole. The guacamole will be is pounded by hand (in typical Veracruz fashion) and prepared without chilli.
Some dishes will be blatantly borderless including a Chinese-style succulent white chicken. For the nine-to-five corporate set, tortas, which are essentially Mexican sandwiches, will be served at lunch.
As the name suggests, the bar is in collaboration with Patrón tequila, and there will be rare Patrón poured, as well as a $100 Margarita made table-side with Platinum Patrón, lime juice (squeezed to your taste) and sugar. Bar Patrón will also offer its own "barrel-select" tequilas, which are distilled especially for the restaurant.
Bar Patrón will open in the former Café Ananas site in Circular Quay on March 8.