Review: Hacienda revamps Cuban inspired menu with newly appointed Executive Chef

Situated on the third floor of 5 star hotel Pullman Quay Grand, Hacienda’s old world Cuban charm and prime location have made it the perfect spot for an evening cocktail whilst marvelling at Sydney’s stunning harbour views. The luxe vista bar has recently revamped its distinctly Cuban menu thanks to award winning head chef Joshua Davidson taking over the management of kitchens at Pullman venues Q Dining and Hacienda.

Davidson has spent over two decades working in fine dining establishments and wineries all over the world including London and Canada. He’s notched up a couple of ‘Best Restaurant’ awards during his stint as head chef at Margan Restaurant in Hunter Valley and been awarded One Chef Hat by The Good Food Guide whilst working at The Apollo in Sydney. His wealth of experience, zero waste philosophy and commitment to environmental sustainability is reflected in a menu which is modern, punchy and super fresh, combining tropical and spice elements to create a vibrancy synonymous with Cuban culture.

Aptly seafood is a prime factor and showcased in a number of ways including a Tuna Ceviche scooped up with crisp earthy black sesame & blue corn tortillas, Prawns rolled in coconut then skewered onto juicy bits of sugarcane and served with a delicate Saffron Aioli, Charred yet tender Octopus nestled on a bed of smokey eggplant with crunchy croutons and fat sweet Grilled King Prawns complemented by a tangy pineapple salsa and spicy roasted chilli oil.

Notes of spice and zest extend out into other dishes such as a double heat laced Lamb Harissa roll with a chipotle lime yoghurt whilst a lighter more classical touch makes it way into fried Pumpkin Flowers stuffed with whipped ricotta and drizzled in yellow box honey, offset by slightly bitter kalamata olives.

An intriguing menu must be accompanied by just as tempting cocktails which Hacienda delivers in spades. Most in true Caribbean spirit are generous on the rum, beautifully presented and in some instances, queue the Jerry Killer Tiki (Sailor Jerry spiced rum, Appleton Estate Signature rum, Grand Marnier, orange juice, coconut cream, pineapple juice, lime juice, vanilla, fresh banana), arrive with a flaming half passionfruit perched atop.

Others such as Fading Light (Vodka, Pomegranate liqueur, Blood orange shrub, lime juice, vanilla sugar) and Basil Julep Iced Tea (Gin, Elderflower, lemon juice, grapefruit juice, fresh basil, green tea syrup) are refreshing with a sour hit to shake up the senses or in the case of The Chairman’s Plane (Chairman’s Reserve Spiced rum, Aperol, Pink grapefruit syrup, lime juice) more refined and very pretty to look at. However, best in show must go to the Campfire Espresso Martini (Marshmallow Vodka, kahlua, coffee, marshmallow syrup) a perfect combination of sweet, earthy and bitter. Garnished with toasted marshmallows it could be technically classified as the best type of liquid dessert.

Davidson’s touch has elevated the food offerings at Hacienda which combined with thoughtfully blended cocktails, a relaxed atmosphere and prompt friendly service enhance an already pretty special experience that will no doubt continue to draw in crowds looking for something a little out of the ordinary.

Hacienda Sydney

Address: 61 Macquarie Street Sydney 2000
Site: www.haciendasydney.com.au
Hours: Open 7 days a week from 12 till late

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