Journey through the flavours of Mexico at Esteban – a new Sydney restaurant, tequila and mezcal bar and taqueria launching in the heart of the CBD on 27 October. Esteban is the latest offering from the team behind popular Paddington neighbourhood-gem, Tequila Mockingbird, and most recently, pop- up venue Tequila on York. Esteban will take up permanent residence in the same venue which housed Tequila on York, with the main entrance located on Temperance lane – a shrouded ‘New York’ style side street nestled between York and George street.
From street vendor-inspired bites to large asado share plates, Esteban will deliver an innovative dining menu showcasing authentic Mexican dishes, designed to be enjoyed across the split-
level venue, which includes an upper-tier restaurant, basement taqueria and tequila and mezcal bar and alfresco seating in the outdoor licensed laneway open until midnight.
The building, formerly an old printing shop, reflects its heritage with exposed sandstone walls, towering archways, and timber beams. Sydney architects Humphrey & Edwards (Barangaroo House)
took cues from the high-end art deco era of the 1930s and underground basement bars of Mexico City to create extraordinary drinking and dining spaces split across the venue’s two levels.
Downstairs, the 65-seater subterranean taqueria, tequila and mezcal bar features booths and banquette seating where raw elements, such as the natural granite bar top and custom timber mezcal
and tequila cabinets, are balanced by warm leathers and feature lighting. The upstairs 45-seater restaurant reveals a more intimate setting, reserved exclusively for dining. Here you will find the bold,
floor-to-ceiling Mexican mural inspired by the works of prominent Mexican painter Diego Rivera. The mural created by Sydney-born artist Nanami Cowdroy dominates one wall in the upstairs dining room
and an open kitchen with counter seating that stretches the length of another.
The exceptional food menu designed by Frid, whose culinary career spans 24+ years in the kitchen, showcases regional dishes and traditional Mexican cooking techniques, demonstrating the versatility
of Mexican cuisine and its’ influencers – ranging from Mayan, Aztec, Spanish and Portuguese, to Afro Caribbean. Incorporating Australian native ingredients and locally sourced, sustainable produce, Frid
and his team have created a menu of sophisticated dishes which boast many elements made in-house – including the soft corn tortillas which are hand-crafted daily using a custom-designed tortilla
machine imported from Guadalajara, Mexico. Another treasured tool in the Esteban kitchen is the tailor-made Parilla grill and vertical charcoal rotisserie. This impressive 3.4 metre barbeque sits centre
stage in the open plan kitchen and burns its charcoal from native Australian Ironbark, where traditional South American cooking techniques are followed by ensuring food is not cooked with the intense heat of direct flames.
Charcoal-grilled meats and vegetables will be at the heart of restaurant dining menu, serving dinner Tuesday through to Saturday, and an additional lunch service Wednesday through to Friday. Here
diners can experience the full culinary tour through Mexico, including time-honoured dishes such as Tacos al pastor. Based off lamb shawarmas brought by Lebanese immigrants to Mexico, al pastor features a flavour palate that combines traditional Middle Eastern spices with those indigenous to central Mexico, incorporating marinated pork cooked on the vertical charcoal rotisserie where ironbark charcoal timber is shovelled into the custom made tiered wall. Other hero dishes which feature on the menu include Hiramasa Kingfish Ceviche served with watermelon sorbet, chile Verde, eschalot, sea bananas and plantain Frito; Wattleseed Rubbed Duck Breast with aji Amarillo [Peruvian yellow chile pepper]; 1KG Wagyu Delmonico Rib Eye MBS 6+ accompanied by a choice of salsa flight or porcini Mulato butter; and Tres Camotes – a dessert comprised of sweet potato tart, sweet potato ice cream and sweet potato meringue.
A secondary, street-food style menu will be available in the basement bar and alfresco in the vibrant, Temperance laneway outdoor seating area from Tuesday through to Saturday for lunch, dinner, and late-night bites until 12:30 am. Here, the informal menu of snacks and light bites showcase a diverse range of street-style dishes tacos, ceviche and tortas, brought to life by the freshest Australian ingredients. Dishes are designed to give diners a bite-sized window into the heart and soul of Mexican cuisine and are best teamed with a cocktail or two! Not to be missed is Esteban’s signature Margarita flight featuring 3 mini Margarita-style cocktails paired with 3 signature tacos – a Mexican feast for the senses! The street kitchen menu is also available for takeaway and can be ordered online.
Housing the largest collection of premium tequila and mezcal in Australia, the journey through Mexico continues at the basement bar. The impressive spirits collection will take centre stage with the
emphasis on Mezcal and Agave varietals. Behind the bar, Mark Crawford brings with him 15+ years of experience and a creative flair for Latin flavours. Crawford and his team will offer an expertly crafted
menu of signature cocktails spiked with house-made infusion, as well as premium tequila flights, a anda dynamic selection of New and Old-World wines. Esteban will also offer diners (both upstairs in the
restaurant and downstairs in the bar) the opportunity to trial tequila and mezcal from their roving trolley. Suggested as an aperitif or digestif, tequila and mezcals tastings will be paired with morsels
such as cheese and chocolate.
Address: 1 Temperance Lane, Sydney NSW 2000