Grab your drinks from the walk-in beer fridge, take a seat under the disco balls, and enjoy dazzling Italian dishes from two of the best culinary creatives in town MR LIQUOR’S DIRTY ITALIAN DISCO: REVIEWED BY ANTHONY HUCKSTEP
Mr Liquor’s Dirty Italian Disco, Mascot.
MY culinary heart was crushed the day dynamic duo Jemma Whiteman and Mike Eggert closed the doors on Chinese eating house, Good Luck Pinbone. The BYO dive captured the essence of why we dine out – cracking food, good times with people we like and extraordinary affordability.
With news of an Italian iteration of the Pinbone pop-up – Mr Liquor’s Dirty Italian Disco – in an equally unloved former bottleshop at the Tennyson Hotel in Mascot, I was filled with a mix of anticipation and fear. Could they do it again? Would the Italian allure match the Sichuan seduction?
Well, for the most part yes, but this is Pinbone XL. Now backed by the grunt of the Merivale empire, there’s a bit more room to swing their foodie credentials. Mirror balls hang from the rafters and bounce colour around a room of wooden tables, mismatched chairs, a wall inked with cartoons and a screen playing fond and unfortunate video clips.
It feels like one of those home renovation shows, half-finished, turning someone’s garage into a budget entertainment space – minus the rusty fridge full of VB. Of course, there is a beer fridge. A giant bottleshop walk-in filled with all manner of poison. Just peruse the aisles and place it on your bill. It’s all geared around a party atmosphere and generous, big-flavoured food that flies out of the kitchen faster than you can say puttanesca.
Crisp sardine fish fingers are bolstered by sardine aioli. A warm, delicate meatloaf is sheer joy with butter pickles; while peas, broad beans, mint and ricotta bruschetta is summer on a plate. House-made nduja is a light, creamy, spicy thrill, while toothsome pappardelle in a pesto powered by pecorino, and gnocchetti with braised lamb are both plate-lickingly good.
It’s noisy, fun and reminds you why Italian is widely considered the most convivial communal table on the planet.
FROM TOP Housed in a former bottleshop, Mr Liquor’s Dirty Italian Disco offers fun Italian fare from the city’s most notorious pop-up chef duo.