A new Mexican-inspired pop-up restaurant has opened in Chatswood after hospitality group House of Pocket (Stitch, Button Bar, Pocket Bar) was given the greenlight by Willoughby Council to help diversify the local nightlife. It’s calling the Concourse home for the next six months.

“The demographic in the area is rapidly changing, and there’s not a lot out here apart from your one pub and lots of restaurants,” says House of Pocket CEO Karl Schlothauer. “ ... The city has some really great offerings, but sometimes on a Monday or Tuesday night you just want to go to your local to grab a cocktail or taco,” he says.

Opening Chingon Cantina is not House of Pocket’s first foray outside of the city, it also runs Crooked Tailor in Castle Hill and Pocket Bar in Terrigal.

The food at Chingon Cantina has Mexican and Cuban influences. Dishes include al pastor (spit-grilled) tacos with pineapple salsa, kingfish ceviche lightly cured in a Vietnamese citrus dressing, Cuba Libre ribs served with pickled cabbage, and churros with dulce de leche.

The light-filled venue spills onto the Concourse (in the space formerly occupied by cafe Lid & Jar) and is decked out with plants, wooden panelling and leather booths. They are perfect for reclining with a cocktail designed by Raphael Redant from Stich – all rum- and tequila-focused.

There are classics such as Mojito and Pina Colada, but our pick is either the Mexicano (tequila, mango agave, lime and topped with sparkling wine) or Mikey Goes to Miami (white rum, fresh pineapple, whipped almond and strawberry).

While the kitchen is only open from 4pm, there are plans for Chingon Cantina to become an all-day eatery and the six-month pop-up to become a permanent Chatswood resident. “We’d like to stay but it’s up to the punters.”

Chingon Cantina
The Concourse, 407–411 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood

Hours:
Daily 4pm–12am

houseofpocket.com.au