Tequila Mockingbird, located in a restored three-storey terrace just off Paddington’s Five Ways in Sydney, has opened its doors.
The 110-seater restaurant is co-owned by restaurateur Michael Fegent (ex-Sake) and executive chef Regan Porteous (Riley Street Garage, formerly Toko, Zuma, Maze), and will celebrate flavours from Mexico through to Argentina.
Each seasonal menu will draw inspiration from different regions of Latin America. For the current colder months, the dishes are based on flavours from Peru, Argentina and Uruguay. The menu starts off with ‘Raw’ items, which include a white fish tiradito, jicama and corn textures including sweet corn puree, charred corn salsa and corn kernels; mushroom ceviche with plantain crisps; and kangaroo tartare, black bean, nachos. Under the ‘Streets’ section is the alpaca and mozzarella empanadas; and celeriac soft-shell crab taco. Other highlights include South Australian calamari with roast pepper and ajo blanco; and fried provolone with garlic mushrooms and Pedro Ximinez.
Argentina’s famed wood-fired parilla grill is the inspiration behind the ‘Flame’ section of the menu, which offers a choice of five grilled meats: pork feather blade ‘pluma’, twice-cooked spatchcock, BBQ lamb shoulder, wagyu tri tip, and a dry aged rib eye the bone. Traditional salsa criola and aged chimmichurri are also served.
“It was really important to all of us that the menu was authentic so we’ve spent a long time carefully sourcing the right ingredients locally wherever possible, from Mexican turnips, Peruvian potatoes and peppers. Incredibly, we’ve been able to find around 90 percent of our produce locally, which is really exciting,” Porteous said.
All dishes are designed to share and the majority of the menu is gluten-free.
There are two bars at Tequila Mockingbird: downstairs features stool seating for up to eight, and upstairs boasts rooftop views with an all-weather retractable roof and terrace. Bar managers Mark Crawford and Luca Bielli (both ex-Sake) will educate guests about the 32 tequilas and 10 mezcals on offer.
The cocktail menu includes the Tequila Mockingbird (Don Julio blanco, St Germain elderflower liqueur, jalepenos, fresh lemon and agave nectar ) and the Volcan de Fuego (Don Julio anejo, Coralillo joven mezcal, Aperol, fresh grapefruit juice, fresh lime and agave nectar). The drinks list is rounded out with a selection of more than 100 wines from around the world, 16 available by the glass, hand-selected by sommelier Sam Jones (ex-Monopole).
General manager Reuvin Lim (also ex-Sake) will manage the front of house.
Tequila Mockingbird is open for dinner five nights a week, and lunch and dinner on weekends.