Two minutes after walking in the door Brett Harris (ex-Hello Sailor) had me laughing, and loving La Perla ($18). It’s a unfolding blend of Manzanilla sherry, reposado tequila and pear liqueur with a lemon twist, and my pick of his clever list. Not that you shouldn’t try the rest – Brett’s enthusiasm for the cocktails he’s making is infectious! Oaxacan Calling ($17) with joven (young) mezcal and fino sherry proves another winner, not least of which for the burnt candied lime floater. The gently smoky cocktail echoes the flavorsome Seared Wagyu Montadito ($4.50/each), and together they epitomise what this spot’s about: fine pairs. Utilising the original Vibe Hotel kitchen crew, Executive Chef Nelson Burgos (ex-Foley Lane) has put together a menu that scratches Spanish itches, old and new. At the traditional end, the Salted Cod Croquettes ($4.50/each) are made from a recipe that Nelson says: “has been in my family for the last 30 years”. The bright, green Asparagus Tartare ($14), on the other hand, is quite fresh and contemporary; as is his Octopus Carpaccio ($17) cooked in its own juices. Alternatively, pull up a bar stool and munch “little mounds” of Grilled Chorizo ($4.50/each), black garlic and chilli salsa, as Brett plies you with Barrel Aged Sangria ($8) charged with his own ginger beer… eso es amor.
111 Goulburn Street, Sydney
Ph: (02) 8272 3300 finopar.com.au
Spanish, Cocktails $$$