Tommy’s turns up the Mexican heat in Darlinghurst

A comprehensive elevated Mexican menu designed to delight

Darlinghurst has to be Sydney’s jewel in the crown for small bar and restaurant spaces with highly curated menus and cocktail lists. Tommy’s on Victoria Street is no exception. 

A non-traditional name for an a-typical Mexican restaurant. The space itself is simple, unburdened by the usual trappings of the colours of Mexico as we’ve come to expect.  Instead a simple floral homage on the wall in the front dining area that refuses to overwhelm diners as they enjoy sumptuous cuisine. 

The new spring menu brings Mexican food to life in a way we don’t often see in Sydney – or Australia for that matter. Plus a passion for agave spirits – including an extensive list of tequilas, means Tommy’s is certainly a place to get addicted to. 

You won’t find burritos on this menu. Instead you’ll find it bursting with a higher order of Mexican cuisine with a number of twists.  Here you’ll feast  on a variety of ceviches, tacos and slow cooked meats. 

To start, we had the Kingfish Ceviche with passion fruit aquachile ($30). If it hadn’t been raining that night, and we didn’t have our umbrellas under our feet, we could have assumed we were on a beach in South America enjoying some fresh fish and cocktails, watching the sun dance on the horizon with every bite. The quality of the kingfish is pure perfection along with the even balance of the slices (aka Sokyo level slicing perfection), creating a beautifully presented plate with a hint of sweetness and low acidity. 

Kingfish Ceviche a fresh take on a crowd pleaser

Next we enjoyed the tacos (made from corn, perfect for the gluten intolerant). We inhaled the pulled pork tinga with l-gante mayo, apple pickled cabbage and pork crackling ($10).  We also had the suitable for vegans jackfruit barbacoa, nopales cactus, refried black beans purée and crispy wild rice ($10). Both were stuffed with the fillings, and flavoursome in a drip down your chin type of way. On a Wednesday, the entire taco menu is $5. We’d suggest booking. 

Taco Wednesday is a thing at Tommy’s

The serving sizes are generous and satisfying, which we learnt after our plates of the Pulpo Torro – chargrilled Turro octopus with chervil Guajillo oil and burnt lemon ($38) and Chuleton a La Parilla – the chargrilled grass-fed ribeye with escalivada, chimichurri and pickled guidilas ($52) arrived. 

Octopus is a polarising protein and frankly I’m a-judging folks who suggest they don’t like it before they’ve tried it. If you have someone in your life who hasn’t experienced the joy of octopus, take them to Tommy’s for their first bite. We have never tasted any octopus so tender in our lives. Not a tough chew in bite – silky, soft and absolutely moreish. 

Octopus designs to make fans

The steak was buttery moist and yielded so much flavour in one bite our tastebuds not only danced, but completed both a salsa and a cha cha in double time. We stopped talking at this point and looked eyes wide, with eyebrows raised,  nodding in delight. A perfect dish for anyone who loves food. 

We added the Pato A La Brasa – chargrilled half duck, Tommy’s original dark mole and roasted gourds ($40). The duck was succulent and juicy. It coupled stunningly with the earthy tang of the mole sauce. 

The duck mole is a must

As accompaniments we had the Brussell sprouts – with morcilla oil, garlic and chili and snow pea sprouts ($15) and the Sweet Corn Ribs – with manchego cheese, truffle oil and chipotle mayo ($16).  The addition of the truffle oil to the corn made this a dish to come back for. 

The team at Tommy’s makes the sauces in-house, cooking over a traditional Parilla charcoal grill to pack each meal full of flavour. Behind the bar the team making cocktails take on a similar approach and prepare as much they can in-house for innovation and freshness. The flavour infusions and fermentations are all done by the team, with a precision suggesting that at Tommy’s the drinks menu is just as important and well curated as the food. 

We taste tested for you (you’re welcome) the Coco Carbon – a coconut infused Patron Silver, Triple Sec, activated charcoal with agave ($22). A deep black cocktail that isn’t overly sweet – and balanced with the fresh coconut. The Tommy’s Tommy’s is a jalapeno infused Patron Silver, pineapple, agave, and lime ($22) is the house favourite – it’s a spicy marg, and who can refuse? Must note it’s not too spicy – which we’ve certainly had before and they’ve been undrinkable, this one instead, has a little zing and a zap only. Then the Citrus Baya Lichi, with Patron Silver, lychee, rose water, citrus and edible smoke ($23).  The edible smoke sits inside a bubble on top of the fluid in the glass. This is exactly the type of cocktail that instagram was made for – and definitely one that you must take friends to experience first hand too.  

The Citrus Baya Lichi

The wine list has a one of everything approach – and reasonably priced too. There’s a full bodied chardonnay  from the Margaret River ($70) and a refreshing pinot grigio from Veneta Italy ($70). 

Overall Tommy’s is a wonderful elevation of Mexican cuisine with bold flavours and refined cooking techniques bringing joy to the diner, without all the fiesta. Yet the space continues to embrace the idea that Mexican food is for family and friends to connect over a passion for food and drinks. Well done to Tommy’s, we are certainly addicted to you.

About the author

Michelle hails from the UK – but grew up with big flavours and spices thanks to her Singaporean Mum. International cuisine has always been part of Michelle’s life as she explored the world in the pursuit of delicious food and wine – along with a castle or two. Michelle now lives in Sydney after a lengthy stint in Brisbane (a city dear to her heart, which she visits frequently). She is letting her nose and palette be her guide as she discovers and shares exciting and delicious dining experiences. Michelle also loves, in equal measure, fashion, sunshine and puppies.


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