Toby Wilson’s six-month lease at Dixon House food court is up at the end of the month, but his Ghostboy Cantina will live on. The Mexican-inspired, Asian-influenced taqueria will arrive at Tio’s Cerveceria in Surry Hills on July 20.
“They offered me the space at the bar and I thought it would be a good match because the food we make is really well suited to drinking with mates, and beer,” says Wilson.
“It evolved pretty naturally,” says Alex Dowd, co-owner of Tio’s. “Toby has a great head for food and he approaches things really creatively; we like collaborating with people like that.”
Taking up residence at the end of the main bar, the new Ghostboy will initially offer six or seven tacos and sides (including a duck carnitas taco with orange and cacao nib, and a ceviche tostada with seaweed guacamole), and gradually remodel the bar menu. Wilson wants to make his own Mexican-style chorizo, which will be served in a taco with potatoes, seasonal fruit and Thai basil. He also hopes to introduce a garnish stand, with house-made salsas. “It will be slightly different but in the same vein [as Ghostboy Cantina],” he says.
He also has plans to introduce a Tio’s-only dessert. “We weren’t allowed to do those at Dixon House,” he says. “It’s going to be based on a Mexican rice pudding – arroz con leche.”
He’s thinking about serving it with malt powder, pad thai–style fried peanuts and dulce de leche, but that concept is still cooking.
Meanwhile, the last fortnight at the Dixon House location will feature all the fan-favourite tacos alongside tacos, sides and fries designed by guest chefs. Wilson plans to carry these “Temp Taquero” nights into the new space, but this time “the guys behind the bars might get involved with that too, creating a drink to go with the tacos”, he says. Ghostboy’s arrival at Tio’s will be just in time for World Tequila Day on July 24.
“We’re going to put on a tasting and celebrate all things tequila, and getting into the tacos is a pretty good way to do it,” says Dowd.
Ghostboy Cantina’s last day of service at Dixon House food court is June 27. It will open at Tio’s Cerveceria, 4-14 Foster Street, Surry Hills, on July 20, from Wednesday to Saturday, 6pm to midnight.