I'm no expert on Spanish cuisine, but I grew up in Manila eating a lot of it. Whether it was during family gatherings or eating out for dinner, Paellas, lengua estofado, cochinillo asado (suckling pig) and jamon played a big part in my childhood. Enough about my childhood and let me introduce you to a new kid in town.
Mercado (spanish for Market) is the latest tasty addition to the Ash St/Martin Place dining scene. It's a bar and restaurant located on a sub lane/street level is a restaurant with chic interior and elegant mood lighting. Nathan Sasi (ex-Nomad and ex-Rockpool), the dude behind those amazing goats cheese churros and other dishes when Nomad first opened is the owner and head chef of Mercado. Expect exceptional Mediterranean flavours with mostly Spanish and Moorish influenced dishes. Traces of his work at Nomad can be seen on the menu. The cheese, charcuterie, pickles, bread, sauces etc are all made in-house. Most of the snacks comes with a side of their amazing sourdough made from spelt, whole wheat, corn & rye. This is what Chocolatesuze and I had on the night:
Before our orders came out, Nathan brought out some snacks for us to try on the house such as; buffalo ricotta with truffle honey, oregano and a side of toasted sourdough ($16) and also fish and chips ($12).
|Buffalo ricotta with truffle honey and oregano|
The buffalo ricotta was so light and fluffy. Along with truffle and oregano, it reminded us of Nathan's goats cheese churros back in Nomad.
|Fish and chips|
Mercado's fish and chips is not the traditional snack that consists of a battered fish and hot chips. Instead, it's a smart interpretation of it, which consists of housemade potato crisps and addictive smoky fish dip.
We ordered some of their charcuterie offerings, which in my opinion is some of the best I've had in Sydney!
|Wagyu cecina with wood fire beets and quest garrotte|
The smoky and buttery wagyu cecina ($22) was nicely complimented by the sweetness of the wood fire beets and light queso garrotxa.
The truffle mortadella ($19) had a nice fatty soft texture with next level hints of earthy notes from the truffle. The guindillas peppers that came with the mortadella was sweet and sour with heat that slowly creeps up at the back of the palate.
|Ortiz anchovies tart with roasted bull horn|
The Ortiz anchovies tart with roasted bull horn ($14) was superb. It's a delicate snack that balances intense and subtle flavours.
|Smoked wagyu tongue and pickled green tomato|
One of the most instagrammed snack here at the moment is their smoked wagyu tongue and pickled green tomato in a super buttery toasted brioche ($14). It was the best toastie I've had to date. The wagyu tongue was tender, buttery and smoky. The pickled green tomato gave balance to this rich snack.
|Foie gras parfait with pickles and toast|
Their foie gras parfait with pickles and toast ($29) was mind blowing! The foie gras parfait was like an exquisite sweet and creamy liver pâté but with a smooth whipped-liked consistency.
|Spit roasted David Blackmore wagyu blade|
The spit roasted David Blackmore wagyu blade ($52) is a massive steak that was cooked perfectly medium rare. It was fatty, juicy and flavoursome with a nice caramelised charred surface. It came with a meaty tasting gravy that almost had a jus-like consistency.
|Dripping potatoes with roasted garlic and creme fraiche|
We picked the dripping potatoes with roasted garlic and crème fraîche ($16) as an accompaniment to our wagyu blade main. The chunks of potato were so crisped on the outside and fluffy inside. It was nicely seasoned and flavoured with salt and rosemary.
|Fat from heaven|
Last but not least, we had the "fat from heaven" ($16) for dessert. It's a milk flan with vanilla bean and caramel with sticks of short bread. Though the texture was a little bit light than I what I would prefer, it was still nice and smooth. The vanilla in the actual flan and orange in the caramel was a nice touch along with the beautiful short breads.
The service is outstanding, the venue is fab and the food is excellent. I'll be back soon Mercado!
4 Ash Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9221 6444
Mon to Fri 12pm-2:30pm
Mon to Thurs 5:30pm-10pm
Fri and Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm