When it comes to harbourside tipples, there’s nowhere quite like Hacienda. Perched above street level right in the heart of Circular Quay, our favourite leafy Cuban bar has the cocktail scene well and truly covered. We’re bewitched not just by the view but by the delicate glasses of garden party-esque concoctions that the bar tenders keep pumping all week long and well into the weekend.
Start the night tiptoeing down the Garden Path, with a tasty mix of Beefeater gin, blood orange liqueur, lime and fresh pineapple before moving on to a herbal Agua Bendita, more gin, rosemary syrup, lime, egg white and prosecco. The Caribbean Crucero is the classiest tiki cocktail we’ve ever seen, with two types of rum, passionfruit puree and falerum and then of course, there’s the bar’s famous espresso martini. It’s gone through a few different iterations and they’re still clearly having a fair bit of fun, with a Campfire Espresso Martini. Yup, house made marshmallow, and marshmallow syrup.
Now, enough about the drinks, because we know you know the crowds come back every night of the week for them. The big news is Hacienda, and the Q Dining Room, both inside Pullman Quay Grand’s luxe setting, have a new chef. With more awards, accolades and a few hats thrown in the mix than we can list, Chef Joshua Davidson is no stranger to the cool kitchens around town, and overseas. London, Canada, even the Hunter Valley, he’s got plenty of practice working with seasonal produce, and has finessed his skill to the point where we’re here as much for the food as the cocktails.
That’s right, Hacienda has a brand new dining menu and we were lucky enough to get a taste test. Start the night with a trio of dips perched on a truckload of tortilla chips – the green tahini is our favourite, but olive and artichoke, and the beetroot are both pretty moreish. Move on to mini arancini and melt in your mouth pumpkin flowers (that’s right, pumpkin, not zucchini) plump with whipped ricotta and drizzled with yellow box honey. Get settled in for the night with a serve of chunky fries and a Miami Cheeseburger, or keep it lean and clean with Vacca Fritta, thinly sliced, grilled beef skirt that you’ll be fighting over with your dining partner.
If you’re in the mood for something sweet, the staff will ask the chefs what’s on the dessert menu for the day, or there’s always that Campfire Espresso for a sweet end to the night.
Pullman Quay Grand Sydney
61 Macquarie St, Circular Quay