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FOOD & DRINK

Neil Perry Is Opening a Late-Night Mexican Restaurant by the Harbour

Rockpool Dining Group's next venture will see it turn the old Café Nice space into Bar Patrón.
By Marissa Ciampi
March 04, 2018
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Neil Perry Is Opening a Late-Night Mexican Restaurant by the Harbour

Rockpool Dining Group's next venture will see it turn the old Café Nice space into Bar Patrón.
By Marissa Ciampi
March 04, 2018
  shares

Rockpool Dining Group is making good on its promise of rapid expansion, with the hospitality group now boasting a whopping 60 venues. This includes last year's openings of Rosetta Sydney and Cantonese restaurant Jade Temple, along with Burger Project openings in Brisbane and Parramatta and the launch of two takeaway spinoffs, Fratelli Famous and Saké Jr. Not to mention openings of Rockpool and Sake planned for Paramatta in 2020.

Now, the Neil Perry-led mega group is teaming up with Patrón Tequila on a new Mexican restaurant and bar in Circular Quay. Considered a 'premium dining venue', Bar Patrón by Rockpool combines Mexican flavours with fresh Australian produce and, of course, lots of tequila.

The fit-out, familiarly designed by Grant Cheyne (who looked after Jade Temple, Burger Project and Rockpool Bar & Grill), takes inspiration from Mexican haciendas, the sub-tropical timber homes of Queensland and Caribbean bungalows — though this space is certainly no humble bungalow. Located in the old Café Nice — and, most recently Café Ananas — space, the venue boasts the same large windows looking out towards the harbour but with a window-side marble bar, Italian leather furnishings, lush greenery, retro bronze light fittings and some red-orange tones.

Perry will oversee the menu, which focuses on modernised Mexican classics for lunch and dinner, serving the pre-theatre and late-night city crowds — the kitchen will stay open past midnight. Think snacks like wild mushroom empanadas and chicken adobo tamales, tacos including al pastor and zucchini flower, tortas and ceviche for lunch and larger plates of enchiladas, chicken mole and shared taco platters for dinner. It's also offering a daily range of house-made pastries and desserts, including flan, dessert tamales and traditional corn cakes.

Patrón is, not surprisingly, the only tequila on the menu, which includes its core range alongside special edition tequilas like Roca Patrón and Gran Patrón for top shelf drinkers — with five limited and numbered barrels distilled exclusively for the bar. For the really high rollers, the bar also houses bottles of hard-to-find drops of Patrón en Lalique Serie 1 and 2, which come in limited edition crystal decanters that cost over $10,000.

Signature margaritas sit alongside other cocktail offerings including classic Mexican favourites like palomas and horchata. For wine, the list features local drops but also spans regions from Spain and Portugal to Argentina, Chile and the States, with an extensive Champagne menu to boot.

For private events, the space accommodates up to 150 of your nearest and dearest, or a small VIP area for up to 20 guests is also available — which might come in handy on Thursday through Saturday nights when DJs take the stage.

Rockpool Dining Group's foray into Mexican follows a recent wave of Mexican restaurants that have opened in Sydney, including Chula in Potts Point and Bondi's Fonda.

Bar Patrón opens for dinner on Thursday, March 8 at 2 Phillip Street, Sydney. It'll be open from for lunch and dinner until midnight seven days a week, with the kitchen staying open later on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights (with a bar menu from 11pm). For more info or to make a booking, visit barpatron.com.au.

Published on March 04, 2018 by Marissa Ciampi

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