11 Jul

For Argentine Independence: Gardel’s smoked kingfish tartare

What, you didn’t realise that the other day, July 9th, was Argentinean Independence Day? Boludo!

Okay, okay, we won’t give you a hard time about it, because… well, we nearly forgot ourselves. Luckily, a quick check of the calendar reminded us that on that fateful day in 1816, the country that gave us dulce de leche, tango and the magic click (y’know, the sparking thingamajig that lights your stove), announced its formal separation of Spain, a delayed result of a revolution that began soon after Napoleon knocked King Ferdinand VII of Spain off his regal perch. As you do when you’re an emperor with a Napoleon complex.

So it seemed like a perfect time to share an online video pilot that Michael and Xorigin producer Darryl Thoms created late last year. Shaken & Stirred was created with the idea of producing an online video series pairing signature cocktails and dishes from Australia’s best restaurants. For the first episode, they started with Sydney’s Argentinean hotspot, Porteno, and filmed how to make a specialty from chefs Ben and Elvis’ upstairs Gardel’s Bar: their most-excellent smoked kingfish tartare with avocado puree & crispy tortilla.

Matching the dish is bartender Simon McGoram – co-founder of Kettle One Bar Tours and drinks editor for Bartender magazine – who whips up a pretty mean, grown-up version of a margarita, which he pours into a martini glass rimmed with celery salt. Noice. We won’t make any comments on Simon’s shaker-face, but feel free to make your own conclusions.

As it happens, the bar is named after Carlos Gardel, Argentina’s most famed tango musician, who was supposedly shot by Che Guevera’s dad, but didn’t leave the building until his plane crashed and burned in 1935. A homage bar to a tango god – now, that’s as good a testimony to Argentine independence as any.