He’s done steak, fine dining, burgers, Japanese, Chinese and Italian. Now Rockpool Dining Group boss Neil Perry is adding Mexican to his repertoire with a new tequila-based diner in Sydney.
Bar Patron is a collaboration with the tequila brand of the same name. The Circular Quay site at 2 Phillip Street (best known recently as Cafe Nice)
Perry first became acquainted with the Patron brand on a trip to Mexico two years ago, as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of food magazine Australian Gourmet Traveller. The Australian and his Mexican hosts got along like worms in agave plants, so the food magazine can perhaps claim some of the credit for the chef’s latest inspiration.
But don’t head to Bar Patron expecting nachos. Perry has pushed to stay true to Mexican cuisine rather than straying down the popular tex mex path, which meals you’ll be snacking on empanadas, tamales, quesadillas and tacos.
“With a menu that preserves the integrity of Mexican food and the very best tequilas on the planet we will not only deliver a truly unabridged Mexican experience, but an unprecedented experience worldwide,” Perry says.
There are also soups and small plates of esquites and tostadas; tortas and traditional sandwiches; and larger plates of enchiladas, enmolada con pollo (chicken in mole sauce) and shared taco platters.
But the drinking side is where the best from the highlands of Jalisco.
You can start at the top with the “Millionaire’s margarita”, a $100 mix of
nitro-chilled finger lime pearls, Patron Gran Burdeos, Remy Martin Louis XIII Cognac, Grand Marnier, freshly squeezed lime and agave served over an ice sphere ornamented with gold leaf
Alongside Patron’s everyday tequila range – Silver, Reposado and Añejo – there are five “barrel-select” tequilas distilled exclusively for the restaurant. You can compare and contrast in flights of three or five of the tequilas.
Or if drinking tequila from a Lalique crystal decanter is your thing, there are $770 and $990 bottles to try, but alas you have to give the $10,000 bottle back.
And for good measure, the wine list has 20 champagnes, 20 reds and 20 whites from Spain, Australia, the US and South America, plus a bunch of craft beers.
Rockpool Dining Group says the interior design “delivers hints of elegant Mexican haciendas, Caribbean and Creole bungalows and sub-tropical Queenslander timber homes”.
You can prop yourself up at the Carrara marble bar and peer over the Cahill Expressway’s train line for views of Circular Quay.
The plan is open until midnight, Sunday to Wednesday, then late Thursday to Saturday, with DJs adding to the vibe later in the week.
2 Phillip Street, Sydney. Ph: 9259 5624
Open daily midday-late