International Margarita Day is celebrated every year on the 22nd February. The happiest day of the year shines the spotlight on the Margarita, the extremely popular tequila cocktail, which SIMON EVANS, Executive Chef has perfected at South Coast dining destination, Bangalay Dining!

The regions most hatted chef who proudly calls the Shoalhaven Heads his home, loves nothing more than celebrating over a margarita, or two.  For Evans, who truly loves being a chef, his coastal surrounds and the local and native ingredients within his reach, like Saltbush – the secret ingredient to Bangalay’s Signature Saltbush Margaritas – provide him with an abundance of inspiration.

“I like to keep things simple and utilise as many as ingredients as possible that are within reach. I’m passionate about foraging for wild food, most people don’t realise a simple stroll along the beach will take you past an abundance of dune dwelling wild food. Here in the Illawarra one of my favourites is Saltbush. The leaves are fleshy with a salty, earthy flavour that when dried are the perfect garnish for our signature Saltbush Margaritas.”

With a loyal following locally and an established profile further afield, Evans and his team have cemented their position as the South Coast’s premier dining go-to with many awards and accolades; most recently securing their very first ‘Hat’ in the 2023 Good Food Guide Awards as well as a WIN in the Restaurant In a Hotel/Resort category at the 2022 Restaurant and Catering Awards.

Evans, started his career in his home country of Wales, UK at Welsh restaurant of the year, Y Polyn, a ‘gastropub’ serving simple, perfectly executed dishes using the best local Welsh produce. His signature traits including hyper-locality, attention to detail and simplicity, have stayed with Simon throughout his career and play a big part in his approach to dining.

To honour International Margarita Day, make your own Margarita at home via the recipe below or join Evans at Bangalay Dining from 3-5pm daily for happy hour and try one of his Saltbush Margaritas for yourself!

Bangalay Dining’s Signature Saltbush Margarita Recipe!


  • 45ml Altos Tequila30ml lime juice (freshly squeezed preferable)
  • 15ml Continental Triple Sec
  • 10ml agave syrup
  • Saltbush salt (for the rim of glass). 


  • Run a slice of lime around the rim of a rocks glass, and coat in saltbush salt. 
  • Add tequila, lime juice, triple sec and agave into Boston cocktail shaker. Shake. 
  • Strain into rocks glass over a large ice cube. Enjoy!

Bangalay Dining Hours

Dinner: Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Monday 6-8pm
Lunch: Thursday – Monday 12-3pm
Happy Hour: Thursday – Monday 3-5pm
Breakfast: 7 days


Instagram: @bangalayluxuryvillas | @bangalaydining

Facebook: @bangalayluxuryvillas

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