Aquavivas is in the little pocket of restaurants along Stanley Street, opened last year and they are making a name for themselves (in a good way!)! The Fernandes boys own this little bar cum restaurant which is in a two storey terrace with lots of dark wood, dark navy blue walls and velvet covered comfy chairs. The back door opens out onto a long terrace and upstairs there is a dining room with lounges and low tables. It is softly lit with tea light candles scattered around the low tables. Their love of music shines through too with musical instruments scattered throughout. The bar is cozy and intimate, perfect for small groups , there is even the 'Mini Mansion' which is a table for two under the stairs with the option to curtain off the intimate area, perfect for a romantic rendezvous.
As for the food, they serve up delicious modern Australian dishes with a Portuguese influence and are all designed to share. Dishes with quirky names like 'chickpea planks' (chickpea chips), 'juvenile cephalopods' (calamari) and 'controversial watermelon' (cured watermelon) will have you smiling and salivating. There is also happy hour cocktails or in our case, a jug of Pimm's along with charcuterie boards, cheese boards ($20) or serves of chicken wings.
The menu appears to be seasonal and there are far to many dishes for me to choose tonight...so we decide on a charcuterie board along with a jug of Pimm's and settle in before Jay starts his set.
The boys really go out of their way to let you know what's on the plate and are eager to please, they are enthusiastic and you can see their passion and excitement.....me, not only am I drooling over the plate, I am also drooling over the accent!
The Pimm's is refreshing and minty
ciabatta, rabbit and quince terrine, house cured bresola, pickled onion and cabbage, hydro pigs, chicken liver parfait and crackers with caraway seeds.
I think I moaned with the first mouthful of chicken liver parfait and I know I was smiling with every bite of the rabbit terrine and those hydro pig's...are crunchy bites of deliciousness and I could eat just a bowl full of those (and they sell them too!). I would highly recommend one of these boards - to share or not! The cheese board look pretty inviting to, but that was not ours to touch!
As for Jay? His set went fantastic and I loved listening to him play and sing.. His voice is very Jeff Buckley and his sound is very Blue/Folksy. Guitar, harmonica and a great voice. I've asked him for a signed album! Lawyer by day.....singer by night.....I can dig it!
I nicked a chickpea chip off Jay's plate as I was leaving, for research purposes of course! and it was crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside, dipped in a garlicy dip and it's a winner!
I'll be back boys.....and I'm bringing some friends..........
77 Stanley Street, Darlinghurst
Phone: +61 2 9380 7639