TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD not only wins best venue name for the year but will be fighting for the #1 venue spot in our illustrious 2018 Top 10 Restaurant List. I absolutely loved this place. There wasn’t a single thing I could fault. Located at Five Ways in Paddington this three story terrace restaurant conversion is one of 2018s must visit venues, especially now it’s warming up.
TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD VISION:
Michael Fegent was inspired, not only by his favourite New York based Mexican restaurant La Esquina, but from travelling. He ventured through South America identifying stand-out elements of Latin American cuisine and developing those flavours into a bold Latin American menu with a modern twist. Michael spent a decent amount of time working at Sake but in 2014 his Mockingbird vision began. In 2016 the doors opened and now in 2018 it is one of the best restaurants in Sydney for yours truly.
The menu showcases a fun and sophisticated twist on traditional Latin American dishes that are informal and versatile. Taking inspiration from Mexico through to Argentina and focusing on bold, fresh flavours driven by quality produce. There are dishes inspired from all over South America and it is this unique approach that makes the food, the venue, and the drinks a top level experience.
TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD VENUE:
Tequila Mockingbird first opened its restored doors in August 2016. Once a paddington terrace, it’s now a cozy but energetic three story Latin American Restaurant impressively designed by Luchetti Krelle (Bar Brose, The Centennial, Acme and The Butler). The 111 seats are spread over 2 levels, each dining space offering a different dining experience. From the sheltered downstairs courtyard, a taste of the outdoors come rain or shine, to the upstairs terrace with fully retractable roof for the days the Sydney sun sizzles like Mexico city. Each dining area is capable of catering for groups of all sizes, whether an intimate date night or a private group function.
The venue is stunning, the open courtyard on the ground floor was a definite favourite, but I would love to be on that roof terrace for lunch and cocktails in summer – it has a somewhat party vibe and would kick ass with some live music, sangria and a lot of tacos. The indoor upper level is more an intimate dining experience and the toilets have some truly wonderful sinks I would love at home! And that fish wall art in the above slide show will hopefully be a tattoo on my arm one day soon – I fell in love with it.
WHAT WE ORDERED:
Please note we dined a few months back and the menu has had some minor seasonal changes since then. Most dishes are still on the menu but a couple are not.
THE TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD – Don Julio blanco, St Germaine elderflower liqueur, jalapeño, cucumber, lemon, agave.
GENGIBRE Y ROMERO – Corralejo Reposado, Canton ginger liquer, yuzu juice, lime juice, rosemary, cracked pepper, salt & rosemary rim.
BBQ LAMB SHOULDER – Argentinian Chimichurri
CRISPY BRUSSEL SPROUTS – Lemon Garlic Dressing and Toasted Pepitas
YUUZU AND LEMON SUSPIRIO LIMENO
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
Oh what a feast we enjoyed. I dined with foodie partner Tammi from @teafortammi and I am stoked she can’t drink alcohol, it means I get all the drinks. The drinks list should be award winning. Not only are the standard drinks and wines impressive but they have added all the best in tequila and mezcal. I could have spent a lot of money in a mescal haze if I didn’t drive. I had to try their signature cocktail; titled The Tequila Mockingbird. Now I usually loathe a spicy drink, won’t eat chilli chocolates and chilli in a drink is plain wrong, BUT, I will have this cocktail again. The blanco and elderflower liqueur perfectly balanced out this jalapeno spiced cocktail.
Later throughout the meal I indulged in the Gengibre y Romero. It was the ginger liqueur with the reposado and yuzu juice that won me over. I needed ten of these they were so delicious. If you are dining here take a lot of money so you can indulge in cocktails.
Everything at Tequila Mockingbird is designed to share, it is the best way to eat. Culinary discovery and in-sync oooohs and aaaaahs of deliciousness are what life is about. We kicked off the food with a ceviche double feature. The Ceviche tacos with Aji Amarillo, a Peruvian yellow chilli, was the best starter ever – we both had a mini culinary orgasm on the first bite. Only downside of these is that they are quite small and you will want a lot more than one each. We then backed it up with more ceviche, this time Kingfish ceviche and sweet potato crisps. Beautifully presented, wonderfully flavoured with chilli and lime and oddly but tastily accompanied with the crisps.
Third entree was Crispy Pork belly tacos and OMG they were good. The chicarones are fried pig’s skin – they added a wonderful salty crunch and the cream ranchera brought it all home. This is something I wish I could make at home for a regular feast. SO GOOD!! Following this was a dish Tammi and I were both so desperate to have because it’s all about cheese. Gooey runny provolone with crispy jalapenos and onion jam – a dream dish I will order on every visit to Tequila Mockingbird.
We shared one main and a side and we hit the jackpot with our main selection. The single most tender lamb I have ever eaten. The meat just fell away and the flavouring was on another level. The in-house chimichurri was an extra flavoursome accompanying sauce that works as if they were both put on Earth to compliment each other. I was in heaven. As I was with the side of brussel sprouts. The sprouts are my must order dish off any menu, will always order if they’re on there. These would go down in the Top 5 best brussel sprouts dishes of all time. Perfectly crispy but still mostly vibrantly green. The citrus garlic dressing gave them this divine acidity that kept me gorging. And the pepitas, a unique addition, great for crunch but not 100% necessary.
It was a struggle but we got through it – Yuzu and Lemon Suspirio Limeno. Heaven – it was like lemon tart without the tart. Basically a divine lemon curd made all the better with the yuzu.
TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD is calling your name people, it yearns for long boozy meals matched with impressive Latin American cuisine that will make you swoon and order that extra mezcal. Adiós!
SCORE BREAKDOWN: 3/3 food, 2/2 service, 1/1 drinks, 1/1 venue & ambience, 1/1 cost, 1/1 toilets & 1/1 bonus
TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD DEETS:
PH: 02 9331 6749
6 Heeley St, Paddington, NSW
PRICING: The 1.2kg Tomahawk comes in at $139-, following that $46- for the lamb shoulder. The rest quite cheaper.
Tue & Wed 5 – 1030pm
Thurs 5 – 1130pm
Fri & Sat 12pm – 12am
Sun 12pm – 10pm
TAKEAWAY: Check with venue
LOCAL DELIVERY: Possible for Uber Eats etc, but nothing on their website
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes – minimal
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes – minimal
KID FRIENDLY: Yes
*** Spooning Australia dined as Guests of Tequila Mockingbird ***
For more reviews of Sydney Restaurants – check them out HERE