Imagine a floral oasis where droplet shaped white flowers dangle from the ceiling, and gorgeous green leaves cover the roof, illuminated by warm lights mimicking summery days lying in the sun. You’d be mistaken for thinking you were walking into a botanical sanctuary! Well this is Hacienda, the brand new bar by the Pullman Quay Grand in Circular Quay.
Entering the venue, I was swept off my feet and transported to a sultry South American oasis! With one hundred and eighty degree views encompassing the sparkling city skyline and glimmering Harbour Bridge, Hacienda occupies a prime position! The room has a fun bubbly ambiance, with plush pink leather sofas, palm trees here and there, the ceiling’s suspended flora– all uniting to create the ultimate cool luxe retro Cuban bar!
A hustle of activity on a Thursday night, guests can choose to sit on one of the comfy sofa and chair tables where table service is offered, or otherwise order from one of the friendly bartenders and find a high table to perch at. The menu boasts a range of cocktails full of tropical inspired flavours, an extensive wine list and fun mixture of South American fusion of dishes.To begin we started with two of their cocktails- Cayo Coco Colada ($18) and Cubano Punch ($19). The Cayo Coco Colada was a mango twist on the classic Pina Colada. It was yummy, but very rich and creamy- almost a meal in itself! Meanwhile the Cubano Punch was a fun fruity mix of rum, passion fruit, orange, vanilla & tiki bitters. Delivered in a very cool glass it was garnished with a passion fruit housing rum, which is then spectacularly set alight, creating a fun firey theatrical component!
As a holder of the special RSA certificate, I know its important to be responsible and never drink on an empty stomach! With that mind, we ordered some delicious nibbles from their food menu. The Jerk Chicken Sliders ($20) were scrumptious little bite sized burgers home to some juicy marinated chicken. The crunchy slaw and creamy chipotle mayo merged with the chicken to create a wonderful combination.The 21st Century Cocktail ($18) was a pretty concoction of gin, crème de cacao, lemon, raspberry, guava and egg white. I loved the gorgeous thick foam on top and the sprinkling of cinnamon.The waitress recommended the Pao de Quejo ($12) which were described as Tapioca cheese bites and capsicum salsa. These adorable little puffs came as five petite balls of cheesey goodness. Luckily they weren’t too rich as I had been a little frightened about, probably due to the base of tapioca flour.The Yucca Fries ($12) looked so yummy, however proved somewhat underwhelming. Yucca originates from Mexico and the US, as a plant from the agave variety of shrub and tree. These deep-fried sticks proved dense and flavourless, only enhanced by the accompanying yet moorish red pepper sauce.
The standout dish and favourite of the night hands down had to be the Cuban Reuben ($18) which I unfortunately was unable to capture due to excess cocktail consumption. Presented in an elegant varnished Cuban cigar box, we opened the lid to reveal an intoxicating smell of smokey goodness. The Homemade pastrami, smokey melted cheese and Marrickville pickles on the crispy bread were perfectly paired together for the ultimate toasted sandwich.Other menu offerings include Vaca Frita ($24) a charred skirt steak with chimichurri, Fish Tortillas ($18) and a Miami Wagyu Burger ($18). For dessert, the daily sweet treat available was the classic dish of Churros with Duche de leche. Served in a rustic brown paper casing, the accompanying duche de leche was golden caramel goodness. The churros themselves were crunchy and delicious, dusted in a generous sugar coating. However they may have been victim to a little too much time in the deep fryer, seeming to be just pure crunch (I usually love mine with a little gooey center). Still they were the perfect sweet finish!
We finished off the way we began- with some more cocktails! The Salted Coconut Espresso Martini ($17) used rum rather than vodka with coconut syrup, coffee liqueur and espresso, to create a new version of everyone’s favourite! Featuring a luscious layer of froth– the ultimate sign of an expertly made cocktail, it was finished with a moorish dusting of salted coconut crumble crowning the coupé!
The Old Presidente ($20) and From the Vine ($18) were just as great! Keeping up the tropical fruity theme of summer days- the Old Presidente was a fun mix of aged rum, orange curacao, raspberry & bitters. Meanwhile for those whisky fanatics out there, From the Vine is for you- comprising whisky, vermouth, grape, orange bitters and Laphroaig mist.
Hacienda is a great place to spend an evening or leisurely afternoon, mesmerised by the enchanting outlook and stylish décor! Soak up the buzzing ambiance whilst enjoying some summery drinks and delicious nibbles!
Level 3, 61 Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW
Phone: (02) 9256 4022
Open 7 days a week from 12 till late
I Ate My Way Through drank and dined as guests of Hacienda Sydney