Opening a restaurant in a lockdown is a gamble, but fortunately for Gabriel Pérez and Edgar Vigo, co-founders of new Mexican eatery Chicano, that gamble has paid off. Situated on Gough Street, Chicano has quickly become a neighbourhood favourite. On our visit, the place was packed on both levels, something of a daily occurrence.
Chicano is a term used to describe a person born in the United States who is of Mexican descent (this is Gabriel, who is from LA, while Edgar is Peruvian). The inspiration behind the new joint was to bring some of the dishes that Gabriel enjoyed in his childhood and the home cooking of his humble abuela (grandmother) to Hong Kong. The warm atmosphere that he and Edgar have created makes diners feel at home. Travelling to see family remains difficult if you’re living in the 852, so we all need some of this homeyness right now.
Tostada de ceviche de pulpo ($128): octopus, lime, avocado and salsa macha (a rich chilli oil from Veracruz). This dish features a healthy portion of well-cooked octopus, along with the nutty, tangy, spicy salsa macha – the perfect way to kick off a meal (followed by a shot of tequila, of course).
Tacos de pescado ($128): black cod, cabbage, crema and salsa roja. The black cod is covered in a crispy batter and sits on homemade corn tortillas, topped with delicately spicy red salsa. Each portion comes with three tacos, but I would have preferred four (sharing the last one was hard).
Camarones a la diabla ($198): tiger prawns in “devil” sauce. These prawns are fantastic. To keep waste down, Chef Edgar fries and grinds the prawn heads for use in the red chilli sauce. As my friend commented, unlike at other Mexican restaurants around town, the spice levels at Chicano are just right. We followed this dish with another shot of tequila and a margarita (because we can).
Churros ($58): I was full by the time these arrived with their side of salted caramel sauce, but they’re churros, after all – need I say more? I found the room to devour my share. A delicious way to end a fantastic meal.
We think Chicano is here to stay and will become a mainstay on the HK dining scene for many years. The vibe is warm and homey. The food is authentic, different to other Mexican restaurants in town. I will be back again for sure – I just hope they have a table.
15 Gough Street, Central, 5595 3334
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.