While Sydney siders really cannot complain, short lockdowns and low COVID numbers compared with the globe, it has been a touch ‘Handmaids Tale’ with 12 months of mandated no-fun, restricted gatherings at live events and even if you went to one, you weren’t permitted to throw any shapes. How happy we are to report, in the words of Bowie, “lets dance” because live music is back and beating.
The legendary Latin aficionados Mark Crawford and Michael Fegent who opened ESTEBAN bar and restaurant late in 2020, have transformed their space into a Latino live music laneway. You will be transported to South America with performances from Samba bands, Salsa solos, Rumba and Funk, Tango and Cuban acoustic artists.
It’s the eve of a long weekend, walking in from George street there is an instant fiesta vibe. The laneway is warmly lit and the Wemilere Batá Trio are tuning up. This group perform original compositions written for batá drums, piano and soprano saxophone by Cuban percussionist Juan Carlos Allende. It’s Caribbean music with a dash of Rio.
If it’s been too long since you’ve been on the live music scene, don’t panic, this is a tequila and mezcal bar and this feel-good drop will literally get the party started. The Fortaleza tasting flight showcases Blanco, Reposdao and Anejo tequilas which are strong and heart-warming. Margarita fan? Who isnt, Esteban quite possibly mix THE best margarita in Sydney.
If you’ve been to Mexico, the themes and flavours will be familiar through the Mexican influenced menu, Executive Chef John Frid however takes this next level. The ‘Antojitos’ are deluxe street food bites full of regional Mexican attitude. The Mooloolaba banana prawn tacos dressed in tomatillo crema and salsa are so delicious. The Tamales swim in a smoky queso sauce with poblano spice are a sophisticated dish, it’s both subtle and rich. The Al Pastor adobo marinated pork tacos and salsa verde, topped with a little pineapple served on charred tortillas are the hero dish. Don’t beat yourself up if you need to have more than one.
It’s totally enchanting, sipping a glass of the smooth Barossa 2017 Powell & Son ‘Riverside’ GSM, taking in the whole scene as sassy sultry sounds mix with the scent of the smoky parilla grill.
Simultaneously rediscover life in the city again while being swept into the lively spirit of some Latin destination. Every Thursday, Friday & Saturday night, 6.30pm – until late, until mid-May
1 Temperance Lane, Sydney NSW 2000