Forget pingers on the dancefloor: this party is all about carbs and wine under a spinning mirror ball
Yes, your read that right. The latest pop-up restaurant from the Pinbone team gets a big shiny five stars from us. One star is definitely allocated for the creative use of space. They’ve set up shop in an old drive-through bottleshop, rolled down the shutters, put little neon lamps on every table and strung up mirror-balls from the ceiling that give your dinner that Studio 54 glimmer. They get another star for their booze delivery system. The old walk-in fridges are still operational so you can don a ski jacket, yank back the door and argue with your companions about whether it’s a bottle of the Delinquente Screaming Betty vermentino that will be joining you for dinner, or Koerner’s Watervale riesling. Want red? There’s a shiraz from cult South Australian winery Jauma, or maybe that $12 Coopers longneck is your date for the night.
Heck, we’re giving them a star for opening outside the inner Sydney bubble yet again (their last venture, the Chinese-accented Good Luck Pinbone, was in Kensington). This time Mascot is the lottery winner, and the fact that there’s a proper carpark with free two-hour parking just over the road is extremely convenient.
Even though you may have to drive, try and bring a few mates with you because the wine action is way better by the bottle – there’s only a couple available by the glass and they’re the MOR of the wine world.
The food alone gets them all the stars because it is delicious, plentiful and extremely fun to eat. It might sound too hearty to be a starter, but the meatloaf deserves stomach space. Three slices of juicy ground meat are spiked with whole fennel seeds and a micro dice of onion under a rustic tomato sauce swipe. Sweet and sour bread and butter pickles bring sharp relief, and two blistered Padron peppers add freshness (and serious heat if you’re lucky).
They’re making bruschetta in four flavours. Bright tomato on wood-fired bread, with a garlic-salt tug of war going on in the background, is the home base for zippy white anchovy fillets (these are not the heavily cured counterparts you put in a puttanesca). And the spirit of a vitello tonnato meets the structure of a beef tartare in their raw veal number – a homage to the Gauls in the form of finely diced, seasoned meat with creamy whipped tuna on toast.
Pasta comes in two speeds. There’s gnocchetti with lamb, but we opt instead for the three-finger thick pappardelle doused in a golf-course green sauce made mostly of broccoli, with cheese and basil to make it feel like a thick, verdant pesto. At this point you may be beginning to flag, but soldier on for the smoky porchetta slices glazed in honey and molasses, they’re a successful fusing of juicy Christmas ham and thick cut bacon.
That final star is awarded to the combined welcome you’ll experience care of amiable staff and a soundtrack that’s made for a pool party: queue ‘Return of the Mack’, ‘Ghetto Superstar’ and Naughty by Nature’s ‘Holiday’.
Since our party antics were curtailed a few years back, dinner has become the core social event in Sydney, and Mr Liquor’s Dirty Italian Disco is a guaranteed good time. Sometimes years of experience making tiny, elaborate degustations is what earns you five stars; sometimes you get them for throwing a super-fun dinner party from Wednesday to Sunday every week for six months.
|Venue name:||Mr Liquor's Dirty Italian Disco (CLOSED)|
952 Botany Rd
|Opening hours:||Wed-Fri 6pm-midnight; Sat noon-midnight; Sun noon-10pm|