Could an ancient cuisine help revive the fortunes of one of Sydney's faded eat streets?
Casa Merida co-owner Pablo Galindo Vargas is hoping Mayan cuisine will bring diners back to big-in-the-'90s Kellett Street, tucked behind the main drag of Kings Cross in Potts Point.
"The whole (area) is coming back, but in a different way; not so rowdy," he says.
Sliding in beside another new hottie, Ezra, helps. And the strip's stalwart, Caffe Roma, just keeps on motoring along.
Galindo recommends cochinita pibil (Mayan-style slow-cooked smoked pork) for anyone feeling out the cuisine, which makes liberal use of the "Mayan condiment" achiote paste for colour and flavour. You can wash it down with a Maya martini made with Seville orange gin, mescal and dry vermouth.
Galindo and his business partner, Liber Osorio, have more opening action on the way.
Next month their hospitality group, Milpa Collective, will open Santa Catarina, a mezcal bar on Clarence Street, followed by Londres 126, a "gastro cantina".
Open Wed-Fri 5pm-midnight; Sat-Sun noon-midnight.
Shop 1, 5 Kellet Street, Potts Point, 02 7226 8802, casamerida.com.au