Mexican food is still sweeping through Sydney like a great green white and red storm.
Taco options are abound and high grade tequila has never been so popular. It’s becoming a very competitive market.
The great thing about competition is that it drives quality up and up. From what I can see though, things have finally reached a crescendo with the opening of Mr Moustache tucked away on Hall Street, Bondi.
This cool little restaurant bar serves up a great menu from its tiny street-hawker style kitchen. There’s plenty of seating inside and out, or you can prop up the long bar opposite the little cocina.
In true Mexican style, the food here is meant to be shared, so what you order is essentially a Mexican style tapas.
I’ve found myself a little underwhelmed with tapas in Sydney really. It’s always been a bit expensive and not very satisfying. But the food at Mr Moustache will certainly fill you up, and the flavours and variety of the food is great too. A happy change from what we’ve experienced in the past.
Highlights for us were the guacamole with beetroot chips and the lamb sliders from the Platitos menu, the pescado baja beer battered fish and the gringo wagyu beef, bacon and melted cheese from the Tacos menu, and the prawn ceviche from the Tostadas menu.
I should also give honorable mentions to the vasco de verduritas con chamoy – a plate of hors d’oeuvres with a delicious spicy ‘chamoy’ dipping sauce. This’d be a great snack for dinner parties or watching a film at home… I wonder how they make that dip.
Also the esquites. I could eat these all day, then waddle out of there like a duck in a beachball. Served in a shot glass, this corn off the cob snack is topped with mayo and filled with little cubes of fresco cheese and topped with piquín chilli powder. So so tasty.
Most of the dishes here are gluten free and there are lots of vegetarian options given too.
For dessert (the Dulces menu) we loved the plátanos machos – caramelised banana with coffee liquor and cajeta, served with vanilla ice cream – and the brownie picosito de chocolate – chilli choc brownie served with vanilla ice cream.
The menu itself is quite the piece of Mexican literature. Make sure you take time to read through it. Aside from the food options, there are instructions on how to eat tacos, how to deal with chilli heat and a great index of Mexican chilli and what flavours to expect.
What you quickly realise as you work through the menu is that almost everything has been carefully paired with its perfect drink compadre. And with the size of the opulent French art deco style bar dwarfing the little Mexican hole-in-the-wall kitchen, it’s clear this place was meant for people to have a drink.
A quick look at the cocktail menu confirms this suspicion, and soon you’re deep in contemplation of what to drink first. They’ve got a great range of beer, the cocktails are excellent and the choice of mezcal brings a tear to my eye.
Owners Regina Bueno Ros and Bildo Saravia import their own Mezcal, which we’ll talk about more a bit later. But if you’ve never had mezcal before – or if you have and want some more, Mr Moustache is THE place to go.
Mezcal is not tequila. How mezcal is made, what it’s made from and what it tastes like sets it so far apart from tequila it’s like comparing whisky and vodka. The list of five mezcal flights is excellent, where you can try four different 15ml serves of mezcal from selected distillers. It’s a real journey through this amazing drink – and a great place to start!
This is a perfect little place for an alternative date-night dinner, a snack over a drink or even just a quick drink before dinner somewhere else. It’s intimate, friendly, inexpensive and really good quality. And the passion Regina and Bildo have for this place certainly shines through.
Open: Monday – Friday: 5pm – 11pm, Saturday: midday – 11pm, Sunday: midday – 10pm.
10% charge on weekends and 10% charge for groups 6+
U3 75-79 Hall Street (go past A Tavola – it’s down where the sign is for Ribs & Burgers)
Bondi Beach, NSW
P: +61 (02) 9300 8892
Instagram & Twitter: @mrmoustachebondi