Truly amazing experience at Hacienda in Bree Street on Sunday.

We went looking for something different and we certainly found it. We arrived without a reservation on a Sunday afternoon and there were still tables available, although the main part of the restaurant was full. The atmosphere is wonderfully vibrant. The staff are on point, and were always around when needed. By the time we left the place was full to capacity.

Executve chef Justin Barker, also exec chef of Burger & Lobster and Iron Steak, has done a noteworthy job creating this menu.

We shared something from the starters, plates & bowls, mains and tapas pages. If you want your dishes to arrive as starters followed by mains, put your order in as you want them to arrive because food comes out when it’s ready and in no particular order. The idea is sharing and tasting.

When you arrive you’re treated to some home made Totopos and dips.

We ordered the Guajullo Dusted Corn, Quesedilla de Pollo, Baja Lobster and the Chorizo Prawns. I’m not going to even try to describe the flavours, they were insane, every last one. For dessert we had the churros which were great. I think the other desserts on the menu were more show stoppers, so if you go try those and let me know. You get a nice little surprise after your meal which I’ve spoiled for you in the pics – makes you feel like a kid again, and the whole place is full of ooh’s and ah’s as these make their way to the tables. Really creative stuff, and so much fun!

My only disappointment was the wine – for a wine snob whose wife is allergic to sulphites in wine, there’s limited options for wine by tue glass, so I tried the Spider pig bro/zay Risé(meh) instead of going with my first choice. Should have stuck with the Haut Cabriere. Then I tried to redeem this with the Durbanville Hulley Collectors Chardonnay. Also not a great choice. I mean, it’s not as if we’re pressed for choice to find exceptional, great value wines. I could recommend a few improvements to the wine list. That was my only negative.

One great discovery was the Mezcal. It’s in the same family as Tequila, but it’s not tequila. My wife had the Alpius San Miguel and described it as the smokey tequila equivalent of a brandy. It was truly delicious.

They open on a Sunday for lunch where most of the other decent places are closed. Good thing to bear in mind.

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