The restaurant is called Chula and it’s about to become your go-to spot when you’ve got the hankering for some tostadas. What used to be Hugo’s Pizza has turned into an eatery celebrating the more traditional roots of regional Mexican cuisine, helmed by couple Nicole Galloway and Peter Lew who own the tequila bar Barrio Cellar in Martin Place.
It's a return home for the couple, who used to run Barrio Chino across the street (it's now Mug Life). Motivated by their extensive travels all over Mexico, Galloway and Lew are serving up tostadas with an emphasis on seafood and vegetables; aguachile (Mexican shrimp cocktail); whole charcoal fish; and ceviche. And to ensure this is the real deal they're bringing a chef over from Mexico City to helm the kitchen.
In homage to the pizzeria that was previously on site, the menu is also offering tlayuda, a staple dish from the Mexican city Oaxaca. Reminiscent of a pizza at first glance, a tortilla base is fried or toasted and spread with refried beans and asiento (unrefined pork lard). Toppings usually include lettuce or cabbage, avocado (duh), some sort of meat, cheese and salsa.
At the bar, you’ll be able to nab fruity flavoured cocktails that will soothe the tongue after all the hot sauce. It's a safe bet that the focus will be on agave spirits thanks to bartender Reece Griffith, founder of The Agave Cartel. Prepare yourself for tequila and mezcal any way you can imagine.
‘Chula’ is slang for both ‘beautiful’ and ‘hot’ in Spanish, which Galloway and Lew are hoping will be reflected in the menu’s flavours as well as the restaurant decor reminiscent of the Mexican country-side.
Chula will open this October at 33 Bayswater Road, Kings Cross.
Check out the best Mexican restaurants in Sydney.