Diners may be able to eat almost every cuisine on the planet here in Sydney but there’s never been a strong representation from the Basque region. That’s surprising, given its farm-to-plate ethos, the simplicity 0f the cookery and championing of local produce – somewhat similar to our own food culture. But that has all changed with the opening of Ortzi. From the team behind Italian heart-throb Sagra comes an electric and engaging look at the area’s unique southern French and northern Spanish food, via Australia’s stunning seasonal ingredients. In a smart, up-and-down space with white walls, black chairs and concrete bar, guests peer down from the mezzanine while others wrap their laughing gear around a sea of snacks and share plates. Start with pintxos of jamon Iberico, white anchovies and ajo blanco (bread and almond soup). The raciones include calamari and kipflers or tuna and red pepper, while sand whiting with smoked endive and skirt steak with romesco star in the platos. Take a bunch of your friends, order lots of dishes and jump into a Spanish wine or two as well.
Open Friday-Saturday for lunch and Tuesday-Saturday for dinner
Best for: An atmosphere of sharing
Stand-out dish: Jamón and idiazabal croquettes
Fab factor: The authentic enthusiasm for Basque-style cooking
Address: 6 Hunt Street, Surry Hills
Phone number: (02) 9211 2414