Mexican restaurant and tequila bar Bar Patron reopened this week after Sydney’s first lockdown closed in 2020. The waterfront bar and restaurant flooded with light, with spectacular views over the Sydney Harbor Bridge , had only been open for two years when it was forced to close. A lot has changed since then – notably chef Neil Perry, who led the venue’s opening in 2018, has left the group he’s under. And the road has been long to reopen.
“The reopening has been difficult due to the lack of visitors around Circular Quay, which is tourist territory, and the lack of office workers in the CBD,” said Frank Tucker, president of Pacific Concepts, owner of Bar Patron. , as well as Fratelli Fresh, Winghaus. , El Camino Cantina and more, tells Large format. “Now, with interstate and international borders open and workers returning to the city, we can reopen with confidence.”
Bar Patron is the only bar and restaurant in the world dedicated to the Patron brand of tequila. The upscale spirit is found in all of the venue’s cocktails (not just its margaritas), and it stocks tequilas you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
The signature refreshing Margarita returns to the menu, blending Patron Silver, Patron Orange Citronge, homemade lime sorbet and fresh lime. And the incredible Millionaire’s Margarita is also back. Costing $100, it’s made to order at your table with Gran Patron Burdeos, Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac and Grand Marnier Cuvée Du Cent Cinquantenaire liqueur, garnished with gold leaf.
While the beverage list has remained much the same, the food menu has been revamped by Pacific Concept Food and Beverage Director Molly Haranis, Culinary Director Gabor Denes and new Executive Chef Manuel Diaz.
Diaz is from Oaxaca, which he says is the “culinary and cultural capital of Mexico.” He grew up in his grandmother’s restaurant and says his love of food runs deep.
“When I’m in a restaurant cooking, I feel at home; that’s where I grew up,” he says. “In a restaurant kitchen, I feel my grandmother’s comfort, the comfort of food.”
Diaz worked with famed Mexican chef and author of 28 books on Mexican cuisine, Patricia Quintana, before moving to France and perfecting her Mediterranean cuisine and French cooking techniques at the Michelin-starred Chateau De La Chèvre d’Or. in Nice.
“I really like to bring the freshness of Mediterranean cuisine and the old school techniques I learned in France into Mexican cuisine,” he says.
Diaz plans to “play with flavors and express their culinary individuality” at Bar Patron. “I like to let the produce speak for itself and with the application of some old school techniques to a casual style of Mexican cooking, there is room for a lot of individuality in our new menu.”
This takes shape in the form of large and small plates rich in seafood. To start, a tangy scallop ceviche with burnt pineapple and tequila leche de tigre, and a tuna salad with green mango and lemon desert green. Tacos are made with house-pressed tortillas and filled with mole chicken, soft-shell crab, or steak asada. (You can also go fancy with the signature Patron taco, stacked with steak asada, lobster al pastor, avocado mousse, and a Patron silver-infused salsa. (Mexican herb used by the Aztecs) and lobster with a silky Patron Silver Cheese Sauce.
Large windows wrap around the beachfront space, which has crisp white walls and ceilings, and is adorned with earthy materials, wooden furniture, and towering leafy plants.
“Wherever you’re seated in the restaurant, you can see the harbor,” says Tucker. “We want customers to come have fun and enjoy the shared festive nature of Mexican cuisine.”
2 Phillip Street, Sydney
Tuesday to Saturday from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.