The Eastern Hotel at Bondi Junction (right where the Westfield shopping centre is) has just enjoyed a Mexican facelift. The results are utterly pleasing, and now it's your turn to enjoy some insanely good South West Mexican food, and if you're game some cocktails too. Paradise awaits from the 22nd of November 2012. Welcome to El Topo.
I was fortunate to have been invited to a preview of what to expect at El Topo. If you're coming in via the Oxford Street entrance at Street Level, you need to catch the elevators to level 3, otherwise you can enter in from Westfields. This is (hands down) one of Sydney's best and luxurious rooftop bars.
In the food stakes, executive chef Matt Fitzgerald (of Bentley Bar and Bathers Pavlion fame) knows how to get the spice levels to an all time high, in tandem with running a busy kitchen that is super organised. A variety of different canapes were enjoyed, including a couple of serious tacos. For starters, some simple corn chips with home made guacamole was enjoyed. If you're in the mood for Mexican food on the east side, so far you're in really good hands. The guacamole dip was flavoursome, creamy and just fantastic. Definitely a great cocktail companion.
Next stop some spicy Mexican nuts came out of hiding. They were simple and had that authentic spice flavour. The chips and the guacamole dip is winning thus far. The tacos come out on a wooden bench like plate where they have a bit of support to lean on. Fresh lettuce and cheese, yet the meat is just divine with some more spice. A variety of herbs were also enjoyed with this canape style main dish. Sneak in a sip of water from your water bottle just in case. Heavens forbid you might need it.
My El Topo cocktail being made in front of my very eyes
A great social watering hole. If you sit inside, you will feel like you're in the middle east, rather than in chic inner city Sydney land. Tasteful tiling and decor. Really colourful and exotic. Expect the same outside, and tiles in the bar area. There was also a DJ playing outside (in the rooftop area) dishing out some full on chill out tunes. The scallops and the fish canapes looked small, yet were utterly divine and filling. The spice level would have jumped off the richter scale. That with the El Topo signature cocktail, and you don't know what you're in for.
The El Topo cocktail was made with efficiency, style and finesse. The whole experience of watching the super efficient bar staff making the cocktail in front of your very eyes is cause enough to put you into an unconscious spin. It is like vodka, tequila and cider meet and become friends. Three is never a crowd anymore. This cocktail is super strong and is not for the faint hearted.
That cocktail timing in with the oysters and scallops enabled my mouth to spin with spice and chilli. Even as the time came to alight from the same train from Bondi Junction to Wolli Creek, home is still 10 minutes away and the spice still hadn't gone away
when I made it home from Bondi Junction a mere 30-40 minutes after I left the intense (albeit amazing) El Topo experience. This is how strong the cocktail (in particular) was. Yet I will come back. Mexican food and cocktails can all of a sudden become addictive. If you pay El Topo a visit, you will undertand why. The preview event was tops. A fun and playful Mexican playground.