Hacienda is a glamorous baby blue and fairyfloss coloured vista bar with great snacks. Located in a prime location with views of Circular Quay and the Harbour Bridge it is also part of the Pullman Quay Grand Hotel. There's a delightful list of signature cocktails (or they can make you up a bespoke one) as well as delicious Miami style snacks from chorizo balls to Cuban sandwiches. It's perfect for a sunny day (and psst you can book too!)!
It's been a long time since I saw Joan Holloway. She now works for the folks that own Hacienda and suggested that we have lunch there one Friday afternoon. The weather was perfect-it was a crisp Winter's Day but from the view of our lounges at Hacienda it could have been the height of summer such was the broad rays of sunshine and the heat coming through the window.
I have to admit I can't stop taking photos of the interior at Hacienda. It's beeeyootiful with plenty of foliage, brass and pastel colours. But I really need to attend to the matter at hand - ordering a drink and some food. I ask for a cocktail recommendation. The drinks menu is focused on rum and American whiskys with fruity flavours. I like things light, fruity, tart with a hit of bitters. Nothing strong or that's going to hit me hard as I've got two meetings after our lunch.
Monk’s secret to happiness $21 (right)
They recommend a "Monk’s secret to happiness" with gin, Dom Bénédictine, passionfruit, raspberry syrup, sugar syrup, lemon juice, lime juice, egg white and cherry bitters. It comes with edible flowers on top and is pretty much exactly what I want with a light balance of fruity flavours. Joan gets a bespoke cocktail made with champagne for her.
Chorizo Balls $17
Chorizo in balls? This is the first item that catches my eye. It's potato and chorizo balls on a bed of chilli cheese sauce. The balls are breaded so that there's a thin crunchy layer on the outside and then it's filled with chopped up chorizo. Just leave a plate of these by me and I'll be a very happy camper.
Jerk Chicken Slider $21
The jerk chicken sliders are great for sharing and they are filled with fat slices of skinless jerk chicken with slaw and chipotle mayo. While they're tasty the jerk chicken isn't very spicy.
The Cubano $20
The Cubano comes in a cigar box which is pretty adorable. It's a variation on the Cuban sandwich, more a toasted panini pressed sandwich version featuring smokey pork shoulder, mojo marinade, Marrickville pickles and cheese. I love spreading the chimi churri sauce on this to give it a bit more moisture.
Spiced lamb riblets $21
For something more substantial the spiced lamb riblets are very good. The lamb is very tender and the meat comes off the bone easily making this good snacking food. It comes with a delicious chimmi churri sauce that lifts the rich meat's flavour.
Char grilled octopus, lemon and eggplant $18
The char grilled braised octopus is very tender and served with lemon and eggplant dip which is a tad bitter. It's actually much better with the chimmi churri sauce above.
Pao de quejo $12
There are two desserts on the menu: tiny, chewy little tapioca cheese bites served with dark chocolate sauce and churros. The cheese breads are actually better without the chocolate but it's fine with it too. But it does feel a bit odd.
The churros comes adorably packaged up in a little parchment parcel. A little warning, eat these on a plate because they will sprinkle cinnamon sugar all over you with every bite!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you have a favourite bar with a view? What sort of bar snacks do you like? Something simple or something a bit more elaborate like this? How often do you eat your main meal at a bar?
NQN was a guest of Hacienda (Joan wouldn't let her pay) but all opinions remain her own.
61 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9256 4000