Tequila and tacos? How could you go wrong? These were the thoughts going through my head as I made my way to Sydney’s new tequila bar, Barrio Cellar. After opening its doors only last month, Barrio Cellar’s success is already evident. Even on a Wednesday night the bar was surprisingly full of friends and colleagues sharing their hump day drinks.
Amongst its Mexican-themed menu, Barrio Cellar serves up a whole range of delicious tacos with a twist. Say goodbye to the traditional minced beef taco and say hello to new and fresh take on tacos. With a choice of Meat ($6), Seafood ($7) or Mushroom ($6) fillings, these bit-sized, soft shell tacos will make you rediscover your love for Mexican cuisine. Every week Barrio Cellar holds its Taco Tuesdays offering all tacos for just $3 each, giving us even more reason to just have “one more”.
With the bar boasting such great tacos, I of course had to try one of each. To begin we chose two tacos from the meat selection and two from the seafood selection. From the meat selection were the Carnitas Taco (smokey, spicy pulled pork) and the Pollo Tinga Taco (chicken), both of which were topped off with creme, guacamole and pico de gallo (salsa). The meat in both was beautifully tender while the flavours weren’t overpowering or heavy. The spices of the meat tacos were complimented perfectly with the freshness of the savoy cabbage, lime, radish and cilantro topping of the seafood tacos. Our first selection from this menu were the Calamares Taco (calamari) and Pescado Taco (fried market fish). I’ve never thought of seafood as a suitable filling for tacos, which is why I was so pleasantly surprised with how amazing they were. The combination of the crispy batter, crunchy veg, creamy sauce and soft tortillas created a gorgeous mix of textures in each bite.
Still feeling adventurous after our seafood tacos, we opted for another unusual taco filling: mushroom. The Hongo Taco, made with confit portobello mushroom and corn wrapped in grilled mozzarella and queso is a vegetarian’s dream. The cheese and corn create a heavenly union between salty and sweet, crunchy and soft.
The remaining two tacos from the meat selection sounded too delicious to miss, and we weren’t disappointed. The Al Pastor Taco (citrus, cinnamon and achoite pork) was beautifully seasoned while the Carne Asada Taco (skirt steak) was juicy and tender. Our last taco, the Camarone Taco (crispy prawn) surprised us with a delicious spicy sauce that worked perfectly with the fresh prawn.
Being in a tequila bar how could we resist washing it all down with a couple of Barrio Cellar’s tequila cocktails. I had the Agua Fresca Fruit Cocktail ($13) made with Arette Blanco tequila and freshly squeezed apple juice. This simple cocktail can be made with any seasonal fruit of your choice, making it deliciously versatile. While this drink will take you back to your juice-drinking childhood, the Naked Lady ($18) cocktail will make you feel your most sophisticated. Made with strawberry-infused Aqua Blanco tequila, Cointreau, lemon and bitters and topped with a delicate flower, this cocktail has elegance written all over it.
With great food, yummy drinks and a cool atmosphere, it’s not hard to see why people are already flocking to Barrio Cellar. The sign at the entrance of this spot says it all: “Everything With Tequila!” Located just next to Martin Place station, the bar is a perfect place to get your after-work drink on, and with different special everyday its easy to grab a great feed too.
Monday – Thursday 4-6pm
Monday: $10 Burgers and Tortas
Tuesday: $3 Taco Tuesdays
Wednesday: $1 Wing Wednesdays
Thursday: $30 bottle of bubbles
Basement Level, 58 Elizabeth St, Martin Place, Sydney
Phone: (02) 9232 7380
I Ate My Way Through dined as guests of Barrio Cellar