Nu’u is a love letter to Oaxaca, the state in the Mexico’s rugged south. It’s by husband and wife duo Manuel Díaz (ex-Bar Patron, Milpa Collective) and Diana Farrera, who both grew up in the region and also run popular taqueria, Nativo.

Díaz’s early career included time working under legendary chef Patricia Quintana in Mexico City, as well as at Michelin-starred kitchens in the south of France. That, coupled with Oaxaca’s unique cuisine and culture, make for a menu of dishes that can be hard to find in Sydney.

Highlights have included the memela del mercado, a jumble of bone marrow beans, pork shoulder and grated queso fresco on a disc of grilled maize dough; and tetela, a snack of grilled masa filled with salsa and slow-cooked pork. Tacos placeros, hefty enough for two, are the only tacos on the menu, with flavours changing every couple of weeks.

Mole, one of Mexico’s oldest sauces and a point of Oaxacan culinary pride, makes a few notable appearances. It might accompany a wedge of crisp pork belly. Or come served over the enmoladas, grilled chicken tortillas with a peanut and garlic crumble. Díaz’s mole uses over 40 different ingredients, including four kinds of dried chillies; 15 different spices; and a careful balance of banana, bread, nuts, seeds, plantains and Oaxacan chocolate.

Mezcal is one of Oaxaca’s best-known exports, and the smoky agave spirit is the star of the drinks list here. Farrera is a mezcal expert and makes the signature Mezcalina cocktails – from the sweet Princesa Donaji to the floral Matlazihua. There’s also house cocktails, including a Spicy Margarita that genuinely brings the heat.

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Updated: January 5th, 2024

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