The owners of cosy Mexican joint Taqiza have expanded their Bondi offering. They've taken over the old Rum Diaries space along Bondi Road and have opened Carbón — a new hacienda-inspired Mexican restaurant that focuses on all things woodfired.
Chefs and owners Pablo Galindo Vargas and Liber Osorio know a thing or two about Mexican cooking, having been born and raised in Mexico City. "At Carbón, we wanted to rescue the indigenous culinary elements of our backgrounds, going back to our roots to create a menu full of flavours, colours and textures while maintaining the integrity and sustainability of the produce," says Vargas.
The venue complements Bondi's laid-back vibes with a beachy fitout that is meant to be reminiscent of a Caribbean hacienda. While Taqiza is an intimate venue, Carbón boasts a large open space with a full kitchen that centres around their brand new, woodfire grill — which is fitting considering the restaurant's name translates to 'charcoal' in Spanish.
The dishes pay homage to traditional Latin American parrilla (barbecuing) techniques, with the open charcoal fire used for cooking tortillas, heating underground ovens and boiling soups or sauces. Carbón also focuses on fresh produce that can be enriched with the use of charcoal.
The interactive share menu centres on make-your-own tacos, with options including Hampshire suckling pig with achiote adobo and Seville oranges, as well as roasted lamb shoulder with chipotle citrus yoghurt. Regular specials will be on offer, too, like the charcoal sealed tuna sashimi with finger lime, tiger's milk (aka citrusy ceviche marinade), sweet potato chips and salmon caviar.
At the bar, the drinks menu is — unsurprisingly — focused on tequila and mezcal. Cocktails like the Bondi Sunset (mezcal, elderflower liquor, lime juice and mandarin) and the Oaxacan Pink Lad (mezcal, brandy, lemon juice, agave syrup and aquafaba) are just the start.