Yesterday I attended the launch of Howard's Cantina and Cocktail Bar in Erskineville and what a fabulous venue it is! Situated upstairs in the Rose of Australia Hotel, the bar is well-suited to the eccentric suburb. The new cocktail menu is available from Thursday May and the Cantina will be open from Thursday 11th May.
Howard's is named after the late Leach family patriarch, a greens keeper, who bought the landmark hotel 21 years ago and was a stalwart in the local community. Son and publican, Scott Leach, said the new space is conducive of all his dad held dear. Howard especially liked gardening so you will see plenty of greenery decorating the venue. The bar has a real social vibe to it and I'm sure it will be a popular watering hole with both locals and visitors to the area.
Executive Chef Chris Bell presents a sharing style menu with his urban twist on wholesome favourites. For example; white wine poached lobster tail butty, avruga caviar and iceberg lettuce and the whole whey braised lamb shoulder.
There’s even a subtle nod to the hotel’s distinguished history as a popular drinking haunt of Sydney’s lorded politicians, journalists and eccentric celebrities with a dessert dubbed the “David and Margaret show” featuring coca-cola sorbet and buttered popcorn.
Sides, cheekily dubbed ‘wingmen’, include whole ‘cauliflower, crisp anchovies, peanut and pickled turnip’, ‘smoked pumpkin wedge, whipped garlic, mint seeds’ and ‘mash our way’. The cocktail menu is laced with creative detail adding a unique flavour to beloved classics. The negroni features a smoke garnish made from hickory chips soaked in Grand Marnier, while the whiskey sour includes a float of Barossa Shiraz alongside the traditional sour mash, egg white and zesty lemon. The quirky, retro design was the brainchild of the Leach family and has been tailored to generate conversation. With requests for unique weddings and corporate parties streaming in, the space promises to be a function hotspot. For more information please firstname.lastname@example.org or call Georgia on (02) 9565 144.