“There is a big misinterpretation of American food,” explains Patrick Killalea of Bondi’s newest backyard smokehouse, Two & Twelve. Which is why, after spending most of their careers touring Europe catering for musicians, Killalea and business partner Scotty Findlay embarked on their own tour. A food tour of America.
That trip would become the research they needed to open the next in a rapidly appearing list of Sydney barbeque joints.
“Barbeque is such a basic food,” Killalea says. “It just needs to be well-constructed with the right ingredients, spices and quality produce.” There is no shortage of these in Sydney and even more so now that smoked meats are popping up on menus all over town.
Killalea, Findlay and the other two members of the team, Dan Hawke and Reese Morrow, have spent ample time setting up the spot. They have extended the dining room set up to resemble a homey backyard, complete with a grassy patch just big enough to hold a double-barrel smoker. The theme is carried through with picnic-table seating and simple concrete walls and accompanying sketches of various food characters, such as the drunken prawn (who also features on the menu).
The most popular menu item is without a doubt the beef brisket. Smoked for 14 hours and rubbed with a special mix of spices, it comes served with fresh milk rolls, pickles and Bourbon BBQ jus, all made in house. There are plenty of options to choose from, including smoky, drunken prawns cooked with coriander, garlic and chilli. For breakfast, try a selection of healthy options or the less healthy (but still tasty) fried chicken and waffles.
Beers and wines are an easy match for traditional barbeque food, but the bartenders here know a thing or two about cocktails, too. Try a Bloody Caesar with pancetta-infused vodka. Or a Big Poppa, a mix of Tanqueray, Aperol, citrus and spritz finished off with a skewer of watermelon and a fried-chicken popper.