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FOOD & DRINK

The Barrio Cellar Team to Open New Kings Cross Mexican Restaurant, Chula

It will open in none other than the old Hugos Kings Cross space.
By Jonathan Ford
September 21, 2017
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The Barrio Cellar Team to Open New Kings Cross Mexican Restaurant, Chula

It will open in none other than the old Hugos Kings Cross space.
By Jonathan Ford
September 21, 2017
  shares

Sydney lost a stalwart of the Kings Cross nightclub scene when Hugos closed its doors back in 2015. But the site of former venue is slowly being brought back to life. First, the team from Double Bay's now-closed Casablanca announced they were opening a Miami-inspired lounge bar in the Bayswater Road space, and now two of Sydney's young-gun restaurateurs have revealed they'll be launching a 'concept' Mexican restaurant in the same dwelling.

Fei Jai and Barrio Cellar's owners Nicole Galloway and Peter Lew have revealed grand plans for their new space — which, by coincidence, is just across the road from their former venue, Barrio Chino. Their next project, a restaurant revolving around authentic, Mexican seafood and vegetable dishes, will occupy the long-vacant premises. Reese Griffiths, founder of The Agave Cartel, has come on board to oversee the agave-heavy drinks list, and talent from Mexico City will soon be confirmed as head of kitchen.

The menu will be a bit more refined than that of Barrio Cellar's, and will include authentic Latin American delights with a strong regional focus, such as ceviche, aguachile, charcoal whole fish and tostadas. There'll also be a tortilla dish with tlayuda (a traditional black bean puree) charcoal meats from Oaxaca in Mexico's south that pays homage to the building's former pizza-making resident.

"Mexican is a very special culture and cuisine so we wanted to create a menu that celebrates the rich traditions and flavours, while treating it with a contemporary hand. Simple food that's seriously flavourful and visual," says Galloway.

Chula's interior is styled with the Mexican countryside in mind. With tones that channel countryside and beach, along with vintage cabinets, linen, tiled murals and an agave garden, you'll feel like you're in a Mexican country cantina.

The new restaurant's name, Chula, has a double meaning. In Mexican slang, it's both 'pretty' and 'hot', and both the restaurant's stunning interior and picante menu can be described using this one word.

"Kings Cross is our home, we raise our children here, we've had four businesses in the area," Galloway says. "King Cross has gone through an enormous amount of change over the last few years, and the idea of it coming back to life with new residential projects, bars, eateries and retail is an incredibly exciting prospect."

There's currently no confirmed open date for Chula, but if you're looking to get back into the Hugos space, Flamingo Lounge is set to open at the end of the month.

Chula will be located at 33 Bayswater Road, Sydney. An opening date will be released further down the track. We'll keep you updated. 

Published on September 21, 2017 by Jonathan Ford

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