Sydney's favourite Mexican bar is joining forces with GT's 2018 Bar of the Year, Bar Rochford, for a three-day event at Rochford's Canberra digs that puts the spotlight on Mexican food and drink. And it promises to be an all-out party.
Rochford chef Louis Couttopes has spent the last six weeks combing through Mexican cookbooks for a menu that he hopes will reflect the regional realities of Mexico's cuisine. Rather than Tex-Mex staples, he plans to serve plenty of vegetable dishes, including caramelised plantain, yoghurt and chamomile, as well as punchy seafood dishes, such as chargrilled prawns marinated in a chipotle-mezcal sauce.
There'll still be tacos on the menu but these ones are filled with smoked beef tongue and salsa verde, grilled choko topped with house-made queso fresco or perhaps cochinita pibil, a Yucatán dish of suckling pig rubbed with spices and cooked in banana leaves for many hours. If you like hot sauce, you're in safe hands. The Rochford crew make their own and, helpfully, rank each sauce's heat levels out of 10 so you know exactly what you're in for.
It wouldn't be a fiesta without some agave-based spirits on the table. The Tio's and Rochford crews are raiding the liquor cabinet, developing a list of six cocktails, among them a Native Plum Margarita and a heady mix of tequila, mezcal, agave syrup, Pampelle and habanero oil that's dubbed Cupid's Trick. There'll also be a selection of reposado, blanco and añejo tequilas served neat on the night with sangrita.
Rochford x Tio's, 12-14 April, Bar Rochford, 1/65 London Cct, Canberra, ACT, (02) 6230 6222, barrochford.com.