Paddington is getting its groove back. In the last year two of Sydney’s best chicken dinners have moved in on the leafy, designer suburb with the reopening of the Paddington and the Unicorn’s revival. The Light Brigade has relaunched with a rooftop bar and restaurant, the Paddington Inn is about to swing open the doors on their extreme makeover; and down in Five Ways there’s a new tequila bar and restaurant shaking up a whole lot of agave-based fun.
Tequila Mockingbird is the name of the 100-seat, two-story terrace on Heeley Street. Downstairs there’s an eight-seat bar plus standing room if you just want a drink and something salty to keep your other hand busy. There’s a dining room that opens out to a little courtyard and garden while upstairs you'll find more seating and another bar. But the trump card is the little retractable roof that lets in the midday sun in on a beautiful day for a few select guests. This will be prime territory for a ceviche taco and a Tequila Mockingbird, the house cocktail that mixes Don Julio Blanco, elderflower liqueur, muddled cucumber and jalapenos, lemon juice and agave nectar with a spice salt rim. Think of it like a gentle riff on a Margarita.
If you like your spirits undilute there are 32 tequilas on the menu and 10 mezcals, plus rums from Guatemala and around Central America. Keeping the theme going the wine list champions drops from Argentina and Chile so you can expect a lot of malbecs and Tempranillos on the 130-strong list.
These guys have worked hard to steer away from anything resembling Tex-Mex on the menu. There’s a raw bar doing ceviche, salmon carpaccio and kangaroo tartare; you can order alpaca empanadas or causa potato with salt cod to start; and on the lame grill they’re cooking tri-tip, spatchcock, lamb shoulder with red chimmichurri or a $55 rib-eye with garlic jalapeno butter.
In very good news for people already planning parties, the venue can cater to big groups (up to 30) both downstairs in the courtyard and upstairs, which makes this prime silly season long lunch material. That’s some very good timing.
|Venue name:||Tequila Mockingbird|
|Opening hours:||Tues, Wed 5.30-10.30pm; Thu 5.30-11.30pm; Fri, Sat noon-midnight; Sun noon-10pm|