Chef Nathan Sasi has settled into his marble-floored, heritage-listed basement kitchen on Sydney's George Street with all one needs to feel at home - a wood-fired rôtisserie, a 400-litre milk vat, and more than 10 kinds of salumi hanging from the ceiling.
Mercado is a showcase for the love of Spanish flavours and a focus on nose-to-tail cooking that brought Sasi acclaim at Nomad in Surry Hills. The pig's head on the counter is just a taste of what's to come.
"I fell in love with the cuisine, history and lifestyle while I was working around Spain," he says. "Anywhere that has siesta in the afternoon is a place I want to live."
You're invited to Mercado for a five-course menu showing Sasi's commitment to making everything from scratch, whether it be buffalo ricotta made with milk from Eungai Creek on the New South Wales mid-north coast, or the truffled mortadella he fashions from prime cuts of pork and beef. "We've tried to incorporate the history and the food you see in southern Spain today with influence from Morocco and the Middle East," he says.
And, yes, if you've read our review or seen our video, you'll be pleased to learn the smoked wagyu sandwich (maybe the best thing since sliced bread - or in it) is a lock.
A glass of muscat and two desserts bring things to a sweet close: "fat from heaven", a fl an traditionally made from yolks left over from clarifying sherry, and dulce de leche ice-cream with Sasi's favourite ingredient, bacon.
Join us for dinner at 6.30pm on Monday 25 July at Mercado, 4 Ash St, Sydney, NSW. The cost of $130 includes five courses and a $10 donation to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation.
To book, call (02) 9221 6444. For more on the OCRF, call 1300 OVARIAN or visit ocrf.com.au.
- Buffalo milk ricotta, truffle honey
- Fish and chips
- Ortiz anchovy tart, roasted bullhorn peppers
Mandarin and Almond Spritz
- Smoked wagyu tongue in brioche, pickled green tomato
- House-made truffle mortadella, pickled guindillas
2014 Eidosela "Breizo" Albariño, Rías Baixas
- Turkish ravioli of wood-fired pumpkin, yoghurt and isot pepper
2014 Muga Barrel-Fermented Viura, Rioja
- Spit-roasted whole suckling pig
- Dripping potatoes, roasted garlic crème fraîche
- Wood-fired carrots, almond dukkah, tea-soaked currants
2014 El Castro "de Valtuille" Mencia, Bierzo, or 2014 Celler Cecilio Billo Garnatxa Syrah Blend, Priorat
- Fat from heaven
- Dulce de leche ice-cream, butterscotch, candied bacon
2012 Fusta Nova Moscatel, Valencia