Bringing beats, barbacoa, mezcals and Mayan food techniques to Darling Harbour.
Inspired by memorable meals in Tulum, the trio behind Wild Sage at Barangaroo, Miller’s Kitchen in Cammeray and Whitton in South Eveleigh heritage Locomotive Workshop have opened their doors at King Street Wharf with their dream venture, Alegre.
Alegre is an upmarket Mexican restaurant bringing beats, barbacoa, mezcals and Mayan food techniques to Darling Harbour. The menu pays homage to traditional Mayan cooking methods infused with distinctly Australian native ingredients.
“We can’t dig the earth at King Street Wharf to cook but we have the next best thing – the Jasper charcoal oven – smoldering day and night, around the clock. Charcoal heat cannot be controlled like an oven so precision and patience are paramount,” co-owner Rasel Rasheduzzaman says.
The team use a lot of preserving techniques. “Corn isn’t available all year but through drying, pickling and curing this food it can be enjoyed for longer. Techniques like cooking under the earth will be brought to Alegre; all sauces and meat will be cooked in charcoal.”
Alegre boasts a crudo raw bar fusing Mexican curing techniques, a Josper charcoal oven for all meats and sauces, and an overabundance of mezcals and tequilas. Dishes of note include guajillo cured kingfish with citrus dressing, chipotle pearls, jalapeño, avocado and fresh coriander or the passionfruit scallop ceviche (pictured above) with avocado cream, pickled cumquat, passionfruit gel, jalapeño, lime and tapioca crisps. For mains, order the crispy skin half duck with mole madre and mojo or the 500g Tajima wagyu rib eye on the bone MB6+, mole madre, burnt lime and pickled chilli
Exotic accompaniments of compressed watermelon, queso Oaxaca, chilli salt and pickled cumquats, or chargrilled corn with smoked cheese sauce and chipotle dressing are on hand to elevate any main dish.
Desserts include a blue corn tart with sweet corn custard and buttermilk sorbet and sesión mocha tequila with coconut sorbet, chocolate ganache and coconut praline.
Alegre has over 150 tequila and mezcals available to try including the Corazon Anejo awarded the World’s Best Tequila 2021, which hails from a female-owned distillery; or the rare Clase Azul Ultra of which only 100 cases are produced each year.
One of the highlights of the dining experience is the venue itself. Architectural designer Kathryn Ashley Studio (SD17, Alpha, Nour) took up the challenge to bring a mix of fabulous and fiesta to Darling Harbour. The interior architecture design offers organic soft edges and lush planting to create zones within the space to draw patrons through and allow intimate seating areas. The trio of owners wanted to recreate the holiday vibe found in Tulum and offer the patron a more Bohemian- chic modern tropical vibe.
Alegre is at King Street Wharf, 21 Lime St, Sydney NSW 2000.