Howard’s Cantina and Cocktail Bar is located above the Rose of Australia Hotel. Historically, this iconic venue in Erskenville has been there almost as long as the town itself – 1874! Since then it has been a popular venue amongst Sydneysiders to visit for a drink or bite to eat. It has undergone a number of renovations including the newest venture – Howard’s Cantina and Cocktail Bar. The Cantina itself is in keeping with the eclectic style of the area. The new cocktail drink menu has launched and the Cantina opens from Thursday May 11.
We were lucky enough to attend the media launch and heard a wonderful speech from Scott Leach, whose father bought the property 21 years ago. Howard’s Cantina is named after Scott’s father. They are proud to have incorporated different aspects of his father’s interests in the property: flowers and greens (he was a greenkeeper) as well as bench tables as he enjoyed shared dining.
We tried some of the handcrafted cocktails, a ‘Paloma’, ‘espresso martini’ and a smoked negroni with infused Grand Marnier hicktory chips, as well as a ‘whisky sour’ that was topped with Barossa shiraz. The bar is sophisticated and staffed by some talented cocktail makers.
From the tapas menu, there was seaweed crisp with lightly dressed cucumber, raw tuna sitting atop house water crackers with smoked shallot and preserved lemons, we tried a beautiful trout pastrami with horseradish and crème fraiche, bresola with smoked tomato petal and orange.
One of our favourite foods of the night was the appleboy smoked lamb ribs with fresh oregano, lemon and chilli, such a beautiful flavor and the meat was cooked perfectly.
Another great little snack was the mini pork and veal sausage rolls, with a rhubarb puree and aioli. The Howard’s lobster roll was creamy and topped with caviar so good it had most of us losing our minds.
The orange cake and rocky road were outstanding desserts. With so many great food options to try, I would strongly suggest a couple of visit! We’ll certainly be going back!The atmosphere is fun, comfortable and music playing by a DJ to make for a great ambience. Thank you to Papaya PR for extending the invitation and The Rose of Australia, Erskenville for having us and providing wonderful hospitality.