Imagine yourself reclined in a lounge, taking in the bird’s eye view of the city rooftops. Out of the rustic stone building comes a smiling face, carrying a margarita and a plate of delicious modern Mexican food; a tortilla, made of traditional blue corn maize, topped with local seafood ceviche, fresh herbs, and a hint of chilli. If you close your eyes you’d be high above the bustling streets of Mexico City, one of the world’s most populated and cosmopolitan cities.
Fortunately, you don’t have to travel that far to capture this unique Mexican experience. Kua Bistro and Bar is about to launch itself upon Adelaide in the CBD’s Gilbert Place. You know Gilbert Place … just off King William; the one that has been known for decades as the home of the Pancake Kitchen and, more recently, the nautical-themed bar, Hains & Co.
Husband and wife team, Ivan and Sonia Pichardo, are no strangers to amazing Mexican hospitality. To those in the eastern suburbs, you’d know Maiz and Mezcal, their earlier success. And now they’re very excited about the opening of Kua, meaning “eat” in Aztec.
“It’s been a lot of hard work”, Sonia explains. “The building is heritage listed, was once a horse stable, and in a very neglected state when we took it over. But the stone façade is very similar to Mexican architecture, so it’s been a project of passion and love more than stress”.
Kua consists of Bistro-style dining for 70 people on the ground floor, adjacent to a laneway-style bar, connecting right through to Peel Street. And then there’s the pièce de résistance; stairs leading to the rooftop bar, designed for 40 people. From both bars, patrons can order food from the bistro and bar food when the bistro closes.
The menu, created by international chef Ricardo Ramirez, is based on traditional Mexican ingredients including corn, chilli, and herbs, but with modern twists like marinated Wagyu beef, served alongside soft white corn tortillas. Expect your cocktail with a twist too; the Espresso Martini, part of the cocktail menu created by Mexican company Barra 57, comes spiced up with hints of chilli and cardamom.
Sonia says the couple’s goal is to recreate Mexican hospitality. “We want to you feel like you’ve been invited to somebody’s house”, she says. “Whether happy or sad news, we celebrate with food in Mexico. We want you to eat, drink, party, and share the dream with us”.
Kua Bistro and Bar opens sometime early December so, be on the look out, you won’t want to miss the grand opening.