Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Mexican in Melbourne


 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi Melbourne eGulleteers,

In a few weeks I'll be visiting Melbourne (I'm an expat Melburnian coming back to see family), and on my already long list of things to do, I'd like to add a meal at one of Melbourne's better Mexican restaurants (of which, from memory, there may be very few).

It's a long term dream of mine to open a mexican place somewhere, probably starting with a taqueria, and hopefully building up to something more substantial.

I'm spoilt rotten here in the U.S., not only from the local selections, as I live in East Harlem, where most of the mexican restaurants are staffed by expats from Puebla, but doubly so as my wife is mexican american with an vast ancestral cookbook. I dread coming back to live in Melbourne and not having access to a simple but great taco filled with chorizo, carnitas, cecina, you name it... I'm sure there are lots of tapas places around, but is there anything purely mexican of note?

So this trip will be partly to find out what the lay of the land is - growing up, the only options available were the predictable and pretty awful Taco Bill-type bean and cheese places. Has anything changed?

I look forward to reading any opinions you might have,

Angus.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

but there used to be a place in Carlton North known as Mexicali Rose... not sure if its still there, but it was a damn sight better than TB.

Mexicali Rose is on Swan Street in Richmond these days.....just a few minutes stroll from the Corner Hotel.

There is also Bluecorn on Barkly Street in St.Kilda.

As for myself, I'm not a fan of Mexican food, but my missus reckons that Mexicali Rose is the better of the two.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I live in Dunedin New Zealand and we have a very sparse selction of places that sell Mexican food.  Only two Mexican restaurants ( one only opened last week ). The one that I have been to was poor to say the least.

I thought Viva Zapata in Dunedin was pretty decent overall. Great tequila list.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Melbourne has very slim pickings.

There is a small place on Johnston St - can't recall the name - average but it is better than the un-nameable chains

Come Home!!!

ps check out Movida - for an idea of what spanish/latin does well here

"The purpose of a cookery book is one & unmistakable. Its object can conceivably be no other than to increase the happiness of mankind - Joseph Conrad"

www.booksforcooks.com.au

new & old books about wine, food & the culinary arts bought & sold

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Melbourne has very slim pickings.

There is a small place on Johnston St - can't recall the name - average but it is better than the un-nameable chains

Hi Tim LTNS... where on Johnston St mate?

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Opposite Casa Iberica, the spanish foodstore - which for anguso - should be his first & only stop in Melbourne as that is where his partner will find the best range of stuff to make authentic home cooked food - and hopefully he'll invite us along!

"The purpose of a cookery book is one & unmistakable. Its object can conceivably be no other than to increase the happiness of mankind - Joseph Conrad"

www.booksforcooks.com.au

new & old books about wine, food & the culinary arts bought & sold

Link to comment
Share on other sites

where on Johnston St mate?

It is, I think, Los Amates. I haven't been, but when I was strolling down Johnston street last year, at the Spanish Festival thing, they had a storefront stand, and they were serving Gordas, with a great black bean topping/filling.

try finding gordas at any mexican restaurant in Melbourne. It was enough to put them on my list, though as I've said, I haven't yet made it. I also looked at the menu at Bluecorn in St. Kilda once while walking by, and it looked good, different and legit mexicano, in a nouveau sort of way. Also plan to try it some year!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mexicali Rose certainly used to be very good, it was the first non-TacoBill mex I'd experienced and I was very impressed. Pollo Mole was something I'd previously only read about. Chocolate and chilli with chicken - who'd have thought!

We've since made it ourselves a couple of times thanks to a friend who found a place to buy bottled mole sauce (probably that spanish grocer in Fitzroy). The first experience in the kitchen was doubly memorable owing to the jar's unique "press-on" lid. I ended up wearing a considerable amount of mole after a wrestle involving a (thankfully blunt) knife. If you look carefully you can just see a brown stain up the left arm of that shirt!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry it took me a while to respond - thank you all for your thoughts - I'll be tracking down all the leads you mention, am quite interested to see what Bluecorn is doing - someone here had also mentioned it to me. It seems from what I've read that they are pushing beyond the traditional. I guess in St Kilda that's a prerequisite, given the other options in the area.

One concern I have about Mexican food in Australia is the perception that it's probably not very good for you. People who think that may well have a point, but there are just as many examples of light and fresh mexican food (especially dishes from the coast) as there are for each plate of beans, lard and jack cheese. I wonder whether it gets in the way of greater acceptance.

It's really only been (from what I'm told) the last 15 years that have seen a change in that perception here in New York - let's hope that such a change might occur in Melbourne, or Australia. I would've thought Melbourne is as adventurous (or moreso) as any other city...

Notwithstanding all the above, as I type, I'm starting to salivate at the prospect of my weekly lunchtime Taco feast on 116th Street in East Harlem. It's no health food, but it's not my full time diet... I'll see if I can take a couple of pics while I'm at it and post them...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

aztec foods is a good source for mex products though their marketing is aimed at the Australianmarket so they are naturally expensive but well assorted meanwhile (sorry) Fortunato's shop and Casa iberica are kind of suppliers to the community and there is wher I have been shoppping for my own ethnic needs needs for yonks

Fortunatos' shop is 320 Ascot Vale Rd, Monee Ponds and casa iberica's address I belive is well known here

Buena suerte

chau!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

aztec foods is a good source for mex products though their marketing is aimed at the Australianmarket so they are naturally expensive but well assorted meanwhile (sorry) Fortunato's shop and Casa iberica are kind of suppliers to the community and there is wher I have been shoppping for my own ethnic needs needs for yonks

Fortunatos' shop is 320 Ascot Vale Rd, Monee Ponds and casa iberica's address I belive is well known here

Buena suerte

chau!

Just been to 320 Ascot Vale Rd., it was great, though the range is not as big as casa iberica , they stock a lot more Mexican products, and it is only 5 minutes away, it is a pity I didn't find out earlier( been driving pass there for years , wonder how I could have missed it) now they got a big for sale sign on the window :sad: the prople there are really friendly too. thank you Piazzola.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

aztec foods is a good source for mex products though their marketing is aimed at the Australianmarket so they are naturally expensive but well assorted meanwhile (sorry) Fortunato's shop and Casa iberica are kind of suppliers to the community and there is wher I have been shoppping for my own ethnic needs needs for yonks

Fortunatos' shop is 320 Ascot Vale Rd, Monee Ponds and casa iberica's address I belive is well known here

Buena suerte

chau!

Just been to 320 Ascot Vale Rd., it was great, though the range is not as big as casa iberica , they stock a lot more Mexican products, and it is only 5 minutes away, it is a pity I didn't find out earlier( been driving pass there for years , wonder how I could have missed it) now they got a big for sale sign on the window :sad: the prople there are really friendly too. thank you Piazzola.

No problems glad that I could help

Fortunato and his mob are great people

BTW Johnston Street Fiesta 2005 will be held over two days:

19 and 20 November 2005

http://www.hispanicfiesta.com.au/

chau!

Edited by piazzola (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just been to 320 Ascot Vale Rd., it was great, though the range is not as big as casa iberica , they stock a lot more Mexican products, and it is only 5 minutes away, it is a pity I didn't find out earlier( been driving pass there for years , wonder how I could have missed it) now they got a big for sale sign on the window :sad: the prople there are really friendly too. thank you Piazzola.

I literally drive past that address every morning and every night as well Dim Sim... and I have never seen or noticed it either! I am definitely going to have a look, what a great potential find. I've been schlepping out to Tulla for stuff from Aztec the last couple times, so this is a great development.

As for growing fresh chiles, I can report major success with the only one I tried, which was fresh habaneros last summer. The plant didn't fruit til well into the summer (Feb from memory) but once it did, i got at least 20 beautiful bright orange chilis from it.

Very heartening to see all the interest, replies, suggestions and posts on this topic.

BTW Dim Sim, if you live/work out this way, maybe you've seen something called "Tres Tacos" (!!!) on, I think, Racecourse Road, just up from Flemington racecourse? I've seen it, but something keeps me from actually trying it out...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BTW Dim Sim, if you live/work out this way, maybe you've seen something called "Tres Tacos" (!!!) on, I think, Racecourse Road, just up from Flemington racecourse? I've seen it, but something keeps me from actually trying it out...

yes, I have been to Tres Tacos a number of times, some nights I feel like having Australian Mexican food like Taco, enchiladas, frijoles ( in fact you can order something called "stacked ehchiladas" on the menu and you get all of those things on one plate, a bit like the local chinese combination :biggrin: , you get a fried egg on top too, I did say Australian Mexican :laugh: ) I live within walking distance so it is convinient for me to walk there, I won't travel across town for it though, come to think of it I did have some nice tamales there once but there are not always on the menu.

The Ascot Vale store stocks things like chipotle in adobo sauce, masa flour, and the Mexican chocolate, which I used to travel to Aztec for, I remember the good old days when we used to have Daimaru, I used to be able to get hominy there too. :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mexicali Rose ROCKS.

I first came across the place when they were in Carlton. Great uni hang out in those days, with margherita and taco nights a plenty.

Somewhat more refined now.

We had:

- 1x Corona

- 1x Tequila Sunrise

- 1x La Combinacion = selection of beef filled goodies: taquito, enchilada, and one more

- 1x Seafood Combinacion = ditto as above, but with prawns and an awesome battered fish taco, with a mild red salsa.

total damage, $50.70

I think we have a WINNER.

Probably going back tonight... long story, don't ask why...

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

- 1x La Combinacion = selection of beef filled goodies: taquito, enchilada, and one more

- 1x Seafood Combinacion = ditto as above, but with prawns and an awesome battered fish taco, with a mild red salsa.

total damage, $50.70

Gotta say, their combinacion's are bloody good value.

I did notice that you didn't go for desserts. From memory, their chilli chocolate ice cream was very good, as is their Mexican creme brulee. The brulee is somewhat thicker and sweeter than the traditional French one.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Attended a session at Mexicali again last night.

Chili was a little dry, but man, them fried fish taco's... to die for.

No dessert this time neither Shin... no sweet tooth at the moment lah...

Will be attempting the Johnson St option soon...

And also, Mexicali Rose have a customer card system, eat there like, 5 or 6 times and get a Main course free... or something or rather... but worth going in any case.

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
Chili was a little dry, but man, them fried fish taco's... to die for.

Went to Mexicali Rose tonight. I still don't get why people go ga-ga over Mexican food. I did have the fish tacos....they were nice and all, but not really all that memorable. I think I'll go back to the beef combination next time.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Can't find the exact topic where we talked about growing fresh chiles but this one is close enough.

I just wanted to report that my poblanos did absolutely fantastically here in Melbourne. Next season I'll start earlier (probably inside) to get a larger crop. It is heaven to have the real thing again.

Thanks to whoever it was who encouraged me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jango, you've benefitted from close to perfect growing conditions down in Mornington. Sea breeze, dry air. Good for chiles!

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jango,

Excellent news! What I'd reallylike to know is what you did with them. Did you stuff them or dry some for winter? My plantings came to naught, I planted too late. Next year, though...

If only Jack Nicholson could have narrated my dinner, it would have been perfect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jango,

Excellent news!  What I'd reallylike to know is what you did with them.  Did you stuff them or dry some for winter?  My plantings came to naught, I planted too late.  Next year, though...

What I'm doing with them is roasting them and making a sauce with onions, garlic and mexican oregano. Then I can use the sauce in a variety of dishes or use as a condiment - whatever I feel like. Although simple to make it is SO deeply flavourful, and quintessentially Mexican as Rick Bayless says.

My inspiration is his Mexican Kitchen - a marvellous book which I picked up second hand at Books For Cooks ages ago. Ever since reading this book we've always made corn tortillas by hand, and the difference between fresh and packaged is astonishing.

Yes, start really early - I think I will about early Sept. Where are you getting the seeds from? Do you need some?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jango,

I will need the seeds. I was hoping to have some brought to m by visiting friends but I think there will be Customs issues. Do you have a supplier?

Do you have any of Diana Kennedy's books? They are wonderful. Although I do have a soft spot for Bayless as we used to eat at his restaurants when we were in Chicago.

If only Jack Nicholson could have narrated my dinner, it would have been perfect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jango,

I will need the seeds.  I was hoping to have some brought to m by visiting friends but I think there will be Customs issues.  Do you have a supplier?

Do you have any of Diana Kennedy's books?  They are wonderful.  Although I do have a soft spot for Bayless as we used to eat at his restaurants when we were in Chicago.

I'll be happy to provide seeds - contact me via this board. You can't bring them in from the USA - customs will be all over you like a rash. I got mine from a little store in North Melbourne which sold all things chile. They've either moved or gone out of business.

Yes I love Diana Kennedy's books - they are dauntingly authentic. In another food forum we practically had open warfare over Mexican cookbook authors. What passion. It was fitting that it was about Mexican..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you have any of Diana Kennedy's books?  They are wonderful.  Although I do have a soft spot for Bayless as we used to eat at his restaurants when we were in Chicago.

What's the best Kennedy cookbook to start with? The missus is a big fan of Mexican food, so I really should try and cook it for her once in a while.

Daniel Chan aka "Shinboners"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By cyalexa
      Salsa Para Enchiladas  
      3 ancho chiles
      2 New Mexico chiles
      2 chipotle chiles
      1 clove garlic, sliced
      2 TB flour
      2 TB vegetable oil
      1 tsp vinegar
      ¾ tsp salt
      ¼ tsp dried oregano
      2 cups broth, stock, or (filtered) chili soaking liquid
      Rinse, stem and seed chiles. Place in saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil. Cover and remove from heat and let soften and cool. While the chiles are cooling, gently sauté garlic slices in oil until they are soft and golden brown. Remove the garlic from the oil, with a slotted spoon and reserve. Make a light roux by adding the flour to the oil and sautéing briefly. Drain the chilies and puree them with the garlic slices and half of the liquid. Strain the puree back into the saucepan. Pour the remainder of the liquid through the sieve to loosen any remaining chili pulp. Add the roux to the saucepan and whisk to blend. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan, bring to a boil then and simmer 15-20 minutes. Taste and add additional salt and vinegar if necessary.
    • By gulfporter
      Grilled fish recipe from Mexico. 
       
      Pescado Zarendeado
       
      4 large dried ancho chiles 2 dried chiles de arból (omit if you prefer a milder sauce) ½ small onion, chopped 8 ounces canned tomato sauce 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced 3 tablespoons Ponzu sauce (or substitute ½ soy sauce, ½ lime juice) 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup mayonnaise 2 kilos Pargo blanco or red snapper (huachinango) one 2-kilo fish or two 1-kilo fish. Butterflied from the belly out.  Remove and discard the stems and seeds from chiles. Place the chiles in a bowl and cover completely with boiling water and then soak for 40 minutes.
      Remove the chiles and place in a food processor with ½ cup of the soaking liquid, the onion, tomato sauce, garlic, Ponzu, Worcestershire and the salt. Process until very smooth. Sieve the mixture into a bowl, then add the mayonnaise and blend.
      Set aside 2/3 cup of the blended sauce to serve with the cooked fish. The rest will be used to prepare the fish for the grill.
      Slather the flesh-side of the fish with the sauce and then place, skin-side down on a hot charcoal or gas grill. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the fish. (About 15 minutes for a one-kilo snapper on my gas grill at medium-high, lid closed).
      Place cooked fish on a large platter; use a spoon to remove the flesh.
      Serve with fresh tortillas and pickled onions. Pass the reserved sauce.
      Pickled Red Onions
      Thinly slice a medium red onion into a glass bowl, toss with the juice of a large lime, one or two finely minced serrano chiles and ¼ teaspoon salt. Best if marinated overnight in the fridge.
    • By Kasia
      My quesadilla
       
      Today I would like to share with you the recipe for a dish which meets holiday requirements. It is easy, and it doesn't need sophisticated ingredients or an oven. A frying pan is enough. Quesadilla, the dish in question, is a tortilla with melted cheese. The rest of the ingredients you choose at your discretion. Red beans, pepper, chorizo or fried meat all work brilliantly. I added fried pieces of turkey leg. Thanks to this, my dish could be a holiday dinner.

      Ingredients (for 2 people)
      4 tortillas
      300g of turkey leg
      half a chili pepper
      half an onion
      1 clove of garlic
      2 tablespoons of oil
      200g of tinned sweetcorn
      200g of tinned red beans
      fresh pepper
      200g of mozzarella cheese
      salt and pepper

      Cube the meat. Fry the diced onion, garlic and chili pepper in oil. Add the spiced-up-with-salt-and-pepper meat and fry on a low heat until the meat is soft. Cube the pepper. Drain the sweetcorn and red beans and slice the mozzarella cheese. Put the tortilla into a dry, heated pan. Arrange the meat, sweetcorn and red beans on it. Cover with the slices of the mozzarella cheese and the second tortilla. Fry on a low heat for a while. Turn it and fry a bit more until the cheese has melted. Put it on a plate and cut it into triangles.

      Enjoy your meal!
       
       
       

    • By Pierogi
      Mexican Rice
      Serves 4 as Side.

      1 T olive oil
      1 small onion, finely chopped
      2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
      1-1/2 c long-grain rice
      3 c low-salt chicken broth or stock
      2 med-size tomatoes (about 12 oz total), chopped
      1 can (4&1/2 oz) chopped green chilies
      1 tsp chili powder
      1/2 tsp salt
      1/4 tsp pepper
      1/2 c fresh chopped cilantro
      1/2 c pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced

      Heat oil in 4-quart saucepan over med-high heat until hot. (Make sure you use a large enough pot, I tried to make it fit into a 3&1/2 quart pot and it was very tight). Add onion & garlic, cook until soft. Add rice, and stir well, cook, stirring occasionally, until rice toasts a bit and turns golden, about 3-5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, chiles, chili powder, and S&P. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, until rice is done, about 25 min. You may have some liquid still left.
      Turn off heat and stir in cilantro and olives, Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
      Keywords: Side, Rice, Mexican, Easy
      ( RG2089 )
    • By chardgirl
      Greens Tacos
      I like to make these for breakfast or lunch: I try to eat dark leafy greens most days one way or another.

      3/4 lb greens, cleaned well and sliced into approximate 1 inch pieces (today I used arugula and radish greens, leaving the radish ‘roots' in the fridge to be munched on later. the greens are good to eat, but
      2 tsp cooking oil
      2 stalks green garlic, cleaned as a leek and chopped, or another allium family, whatever you have on hand (onion, green onion, garlic, leek.....)

      Pinch red pepper flakes or cayenne
      2 T cream cheese
      4 small corn tortillas or 2-3 larger flour ones

      Heat the oil and add the garlic, having the greens ready to go, and cook garlic for about 30 seconds. Then add greens and cook until bright green and wilted, add red pepper (and salt and black pepper if you like). Take off heat and stir in cream cheese. Heat tortillas, divide filling among them. Eat and enjoy.
      Keywords: Vegetables, Easy, Vegetarian
      ( RG1521 )
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...