Tequila by the beach. Can you think of four words that should never be put together and nevertheless are so tantalisingly attractive that you can’t help but whisper them quietly to yourself? At the Anchor, a newish Bondi bar just around the corner from Icebergs, you can enjoy tequila in just about any way you can think of thanks to a crack team lead by star Sydney boozetarian, Andy Penney. Go for a Margarita – the menu claims they can “shake, blend, stir, throw, roll or blaze ’em.” And they’re right. They can.
As with any excellent bar, you’ve got the opportunity to order whatever you care to name or go omakase (though if you put your trust in the bartender here your drink may in fact come out blue). They also do Daiquiris any way you like (Nuclear, Hemingway, shaken and slushified) and feature a surprisingly impressive wine list. We’re big fans of the Macheté – a shake up of Jalapeño-infused tequila, guava and citrus with a chilli-salt rim. It's like Danny Trejo spit in your face after eating a taco. In a good way.
As you might expect from a bar called Anchor, it’s decked out like a pirate’s cantina – all high wooden tables and an open kitchen where you can watch tattooed swashbuckler Zac Pauling (ex-Porteño
) at work bashing out fish tacos and tuna tataki with watermelon and pork belly.
You’ll want to either get the seat by the window for a face full of ocean breezes or there are a couple of tables outside for the filthy smokers. Come the cooler months, we’re picturing bunkering down with a Hot Buttered Rum (house-spiced rum and butter, cloves, cinnamon with a twist) or maybe just warming the cockles with a few shots of mezcal and a beer chaser.
There are a few Penney classics that’ve come with him from his last bar – Kings Cross nightclub 21
– such as the Hunny Gilmour (gin, pineapple, maraschino, ginger, chamomile, rose and honey). But we’re very keen for a bit of mid-afternoon brunch (yeah, we know, but brunch is for anytime) and an Anchor Mary 2. It sounds so wrong it has to be genius. It’s a bit like a Bloody Maria and Bloody Caesar mixed up with clamato juice (with the goodness of clams!) and tequila, but then it’s garnished with a crab claw. Because really, when you boil it down, what drink isn’t improved with some help from a friendly crustacean?
Set sail for Anchor on the 333 to Bondi and drown yourself in a tequila party.