Barrio Cellar team to open Mexican restaurant Chula in Kings Cross (Sydney)

The team behind late-night favourite Barrio Cellar and Cantonese restaurant Fei Jai are about to expand to a third venue, putting the finishing touches on a Mexican dining concept on Kings Cross’ Bayswater Road. Titled Chula, the new restaurant will be led by Nicole Galloway and Peter Lew while Reece Griffiths has come on board to help the bar. A to-be-announced chef will be coming all the way from Mexico City to take care of the kitchen, which will feature in the space best known as the former digs of Hugo’s Pizza.

Designed as the big sister to Barrio Cellar, Chula promises a refined take on Mexican traditions, taking an adventurous approach to the various regions throughout the country, inspiring dishes like the signature Tlayuda, a traditional Oaxacan dish that takes a toasted tortilla base and tops it with black bean puree and charcoal meat. Also on the menu will be a range of tostada, aguachile, ceviche and charcoal whole fish along with other seafood and vegetables.

“Over the past six years we’ve been inspired through our travels to the different regions of Mexico, working with like-minded chefs, restaurateurs and producers”, offered Galloway. “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”.

Along with a specially designed Tequila shrine featured as part of a garden-inspired back bar, Chula will be brimming with an energetic drinks list, curated by Griffiths with a heady dose of inspiration coming from the people, place and culture of Mexico. This means fresh, vibrant flavours, a strong use of seasonal fruits, and textural elements to help complement the spice and citrus of the food. Agave spirits will be featured heavily in the cocktail list, while the wine list leans towards texture and aromatics.

Feature image: Kai Leishman