Ahead of travel restrictions being lifted, check out the new menu at locals’ favourite restaurant Barrio Eatery & Bar in Byron Bay – which should be the top of everyone’s list when visiting the area. Open from breakfast through to dinner, Barrio is a place to meet, connect, share and eat – a home away from home. In the evening, the lights go down, dinner is served, and great bottles of natural and world-renowned wines are opened.
The wood-fired oven and open-flame grill is the heart of the restaurant, and the Middle Eastern inspired dishes are centred around the distinctive flavours imparted through this style of cooking. A complex arrangement of hooks, chains and flames allow for simultaneous fast and slow cooking; tuna is cured into bacon for breakfast bagels; slow ferment sourdough flatbread is grilled with chicken fat and za’atar; Kinkawooka mussels are steamed and smoked before being submerged in preserved lemon and olive oil; large pieces of Provenir hanger steak rest on top of the grill; while ‘to-order’ beef hearts sizzle on skewers below, then thinly sliced and served with house-made taramasalata (a twist on vitello tonnato).
Then there’s the return of the tuna kibbeh, which is back after popular demand and soon to become a signature dish – raw yellowfin tuna, cracked wheat, sumac, flying fish roe – delicious.
Typical dishes include:
Za’atar, chicken fat flatbread
Seasonal ferments and pickles
Cured fish plate with tuna bacon, smoked mussels, kingfish pastirma
Tuna kibbeh with raw yellowfin tuna, cracked wheat, sumac, flying fish roe
Provenir beef, pickled radicchio, house mustard
Lamb kofta, tahini yoghurt, sumac onion, parsley salad
Fremantle octopus, harissa
Grilled swordfish, caper butter, radish, turnip
The concise revolving wine list features local and international wineries from all over the world that support traditional, biodynamic and organic practices. An interesting selection of sparkling, white, orange (on skins), reds and chilled reds, are also available by the glass.
Expect cocktails such as Tropical Fairy with absinthe, elderflower liqueur, pineapple, coconut, Peychaud’s bitters; Another Bloody Negroni (on tap) with tequila, mescal, Campari, blood orange; and Penny Lane Pom with Havana Club 3yr, Pama pomegranate liqueur, lime.
The 80-seat restaurant features an industrial style interior with concrete floors and an open kitchen with wood-fired oven and grill, softened by rammed earth bar, bare wood communal tables (seating up to 12), and an abundance of plants and green foliage, which decorate and add colour to the neutral tones. Tables are a mix of long and communal for an informal eating experience, along with a selection of bar stalls and smaller tables for more intimate dining. The outside terrace area seats up to 80 and picnic rugs are available for lounging on the grass in the warmer months.
Barrio Eatery & Bar
1 Porter Street, Byron Bay NSW 2481
Mon to Sat: Breakfast 7am–12pm; Lunch 12pm–3pm
Dinner: Thurs to Sat 5pm–late
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Reservations: email@example.com / 0411323165
Top image: Jess Kearney