Where: 538 Bourke Street, Surry Hills 2010
Opening Hours: Restaurant: Mon - Sun 12pm - 10pm, Pub: Mon - Sat 12pm - 12am, Sun 12pm - 10pm
Phone: 02 9360 4717
What exactly is tapas? I hear that word thrown around so much, it seems to be quickly becoming completely devoid of meaning. Thankfully, then, tapas is only one small part of what the newly renovated Carrington has to offer. Instead, the Pintxos and Xampanyerias on this menu are opening up a whole new world to patrons.
Let me clarify. Pintxos are associated with the seasides of San Sebastian in northern Spain, the Basque equivalent of tapas which is typically served in bars. Melbourne already has Naked For Satan, so they beat us here slightly. But the Carrington has saved our souls by taking things up a notch and offering Barcelona-style Xampanyerias as well.
Vegetarians and pescaterians will delight in this ever-changing menu, which currently offers Patatas Bravas, Eggplant and Hommus, Salt Cod Croquettes and delicious triangles of Paella, topped with Calamari, alongside meatier favourites like Chorizo in Cider and the intriguingly titled Top-To-Toe Pie. To finish, pick either the Pedro Ximenez Trifle or Churros - Spanish donuts with dipping chocolate. The bar holds up its end of the bargain, with Claras, a shandy with house-made lemon soda, Kalimotxos, a basic mix of port and cola or, for the more adventurous, the Single Mother - involving red wine, Southern Comfort, ginger beer and nutmeg.
It's no surprise to those in the know that some of the same lads responsible for the Flinders and the Norfolk's reinvention are also behind this venture. Like its predecessors, the Carrington remains fundamentally an old Australian pub: the framework is almost unchanged from the pub of the same name that stood here before. The revised interior, however, is a whole new world, channeling the vibe of the same bars that inspired the food and drinks menus. It's the same mix of faithfulness and irreverence that is quickly becoming a signature: think fish and whales hanging from the ceiling, beautiful patterned wall tiles and paraphernalia everywhere.
As soon as you can get a seat inside (and this place looks set to be busy), make sure you do. The Carrington is most certainly a new kid on the block worth trying.
Salt Cod Croquettes, Paella topped with Calamari, Churros and a Claras shandy
Good For Groups: