Bar Patrón explores south-eastern Mexico with Yucatan regional dinner
Casually-chic, modern Mexican cantina Bar Patrón is taking gastronomic travellers on a tour of Yucatan from its Sydney harbour-view restaurant, with its first regional dinner of the year on Thursday, 6 February.
Inspired by traditional Yucatecan food, which draws on native, European, Caribbean and Middle Eastern flavours, Head Chef Axell Torres has created an innovative, four-course, seven-dish culinary adventure that is available for one evening, from 7pm.
The menu, which bursts with traditional dishes and exotic fruit and vegetables, is $75 per person, including a welcome margarita. Matching wine is available for an additional $30 per person.
Yucatecan trademark dishes will be showcased, including xec, a crunchy, spicy, citrus salad; and cochinita pibil, which is slow-cooked pork, marinated in achiote and finger limes, then wrapped and cooked in banana leaves, before being shredded and stuffed in tacos along with habanero, onions and coriander.
Other unique dishes include sopa de lima – traditionally a lima-flavoured soup served with shredded turkey, but delivered by Chef Axell as a yuzu-infused broth with duck magret, couscous and sorrel; and poc chuc, the Yucatan version of BBQ pork, served by Chef Axell as a smoked Kurobuta pork chop with burnt lemon, salsa martajada, herbs and avocado.
Horchata, a traditional drink made from rice milk, vanilla and cinnamon, is served dessert-style with coconut ice cream and rice two ways: Korean rice cakes, and crispy rice with tapioca pudding.
Chef Axell said Yucatecan cuisine delivers abundant riches in terms of flavour and unique ingredients, which he has drawn upon with the practicality of a commercial kitchen and the availability of certain ingredients in mind, along with his own unique style.
“In Yucatan, cochinita pibil is wrapped in banana leaf and baked in a pit, which we can’t do here, but slow-cooking for 24 hours, sous vide, then roasting in the oven delivers a terrific result that won’t disappoint our guests,” he says.
“Across the menu I’ve replicated other flavours, such as native sour orange, which we don’t have in Australia, with various other ingredients, including yuzu and finger limes, with equally fabulous results.”
Salbute: crispy-thick tortilla, fried Blue-Eye Trevalla, salsa macha, pickled onions, karkalla
Xec: native citrus, flowers and herb salad, pecorino crème, chicharron
Cochinita: slow-cooked cochinita pibil-style pork belly, finger limes, habanero, onions, coriander
Tikin xic: grilled, marinated King George Whiting, banana peppers, freeze-dried mandarin, sea spray
Sopa de lima: duck breast, lemon myrtle and yuzu-infused broth, couscous, sorrel
Poc chuc: smoked Kurobuta pork loin chop, burnt lemon, salsa martajada, herbs, avocado
Horchata: coconut ice cream, rice two ways, tapioca, cinnamon, caramel, violas