El Camino Cantina Manly
Unlimited free tortilla chips and salsa, frozen Margaritas and colourful sombreros kept the original El Camino Cantina in The Rocks bustling. And this replication of the crowd favourite is on the revamped rooftop of Manly’s wharf. It’s by Rockpool Dining Group (Rockpool Bar and Grill Spice Temple, Bar Patrón and more) where chef Neil Perry is the group’s chief brand and culinary officer.
The 365-seat restaurant, half of which overlooks the harbour from an outdoor terrace, has a much lighter colour scheme than the flagship. It’s reminiscent of a beach hacienda – it has cacti, intricate tiling, exposed bricks and stone finishes – mixed with neon lights, a rock’n’roll soundtrack and muscle car-inspired fittings.
Behind the horseshoe-shaped bar there are eight machines churning frozen Margaritas. They come in three flavours – classic, mango and strawberry – and you can opt for a 400-millilitre or 700-millilitre glass. If you’ve got a real thirst there’s a two-litre tower.
The new venue doesn’t stray too far from the Tex-Mex formula. There’s guacamole, jalapeno poppers, chargrilled fajitas with a choice of protein, quesadillas and nine different tacos.