Nestled beneath five giant table lamps in the ultra-modern Deutsche Bank Place foyer, I find myself smiling.
It could be bartender Sarah Jane Clare’s Jamon & Char-grilled Pineapple Sazerac ($18) warming my heart with smooth butter-washed cognac, or maybe I just like this spot?
You can treat it like a bar by starting with a Red Wolf ($15) – the cocktail you have when you can’t decide between a beer and an aperitif...
...before getting stuck into finger food like Caramelised Lamb Ribs ($12) made sticky and delicious by golden syrup.
Or there are cute Bocadillos ($7/each) – they’re sliders from a Spanish mother – with grilled chorizo, piquillo peppers and lashings of saffron aioli.
You could also treat this spot like a restaurant, and allow charming host Pascal Lebreux to “take you on a journey”. He might suggest a pretty plate of local Octopus Carpaccio ($22) against a cracking white Grenache – the 2012 La Miranda de Secastilla Garnacha Blanca ($59/bottle).
He may also want to demonstrate that “your youth wasn’t that bad” by getting some Caramelised Brussels Sprouts ($8) onto your table. Let him, they rival Porteño’s popular vincotto version.
Silky Sautéed Squid Ink Gnocchi ($23) and the 2012 Terra Sancta Estate Pinot Noir ($80/bottle) should see you through until the gurgling fountains become silent pools of reflection.
Mordeo Bistro & Bar
Shop 1, 126 Philip Street, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9232 1306