New neighbourhood bar opens
‘Owners James Wirth, James Miller and designer Michael Delaney have channeled the pintxos bars of San Sebastian, Barcelona’s Xampanyerias, and the suburban watering holes of yesteryear to create myriad drink-dine options within the bones of a truly Australian pub’
Thanks to Aimee Bayliss from The Carrington for inviting me to the opening launch of the new bar and restaurant. With all the cosy renovations to the old man’s pub you won't be able to recognise the place from its former days and I don’t think I’ll be able to grab a cheap bottle of wine for il baretto as well. If you’ve been wanting to check out the The Flinders, Duke or The Norfolk but have been put off by the crowds then now is the time to try them because I predict all those inner city folk will be heading to The Carrington now. According to babelfish ‘beba y cena’ literally translates to ‘it drinks and it has dinner’. I assume this might refer to the action of a person when they come to a pub. First you drink, and then you need to eat — and perhaps you drink some more — sounds good to me.
There was certainly no shortage of drinks on offer to try. The Kalimotxos (or Calimocho) made with Port and Coke and the Port with house made lemon soda were very interesting but for something more lethal watch out for the Single Mother cocktail. It combines red wine, Southern Comfort and ginger beer and is topped with nutmeg and a slice of orange. Just like sangria and mojitos, they're pretty easy to drink and you won't know how many you've had until it's too late. Next time I'd be curious to try the Dionysus Martini which is a Fig and Honey concoction served with a wedge of blue cheese on the side — now that's something pretty original.
If the canapes are anything to go by then I'm expecting the normal food menu to be pretty good and tasty. I'm sure the Jamón ibérico slicing machine will be serving up some melt-in-your-mouth treats that will go nicely with a beer or fine wine. I'm curious to discover what the Basque Wings will be and what the Nose 2 Tail Pie will taste like. It looks like the epicentre of gastronomic discoveries is set to shift a bit closer to Bourke Street and the ever popular il baretto might also become a little less busy perhaps.
PROS: Interesting menu, Finally a place that will serve pintxos, Quality ingredients, Offering something new and different, Hopefully bar menu prices will be reasonable like The Norfolk, Lots of seating and cosy spaces to settle in for the night, Nice decor, Service seems down-to-earth and friendly with a willingness to please
CONS: New kid on the block is bound to get very popular and crowded very soon, Expectations will be high so hopefully will deliver
MUST TRY: Revisiting to try the normal menu and original cocktails
Peroni beers, Kalimotxos (Port and Coke), Port with house made lemon soda, A row of mini Single Mother cocktails
Making a Single Mother cocktail - Red wine, Southern Comfort, Ginger Beer, Nutmeg and slice of orange — lethal because you can't really taste the alcohol until it's too late
Original house cocktails
The chefs made me a tasting plate of canapes to photograph and sample
Mini wagyu beef burger, Mini squid burger
Melt in your mouth jamon
Australian Capers leaves — tasted great and used on some of the canapes
Chefs in the kitchen with a cheeky kitchen monkey in the background
Serving up the canape treats with a friendly smile
Photo opportunity — it seems chefs take photos of their food too
Kitchen counter with Moorish tiles
Middle bar where some great cosy seating is to be found
Restaurant seating area
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There's definitely something Spanish about this
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