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Jun 24, 2007 11:12 PM

No Mexican in Melbourne

I'm new to Melbourne and i can't seem to find any Mexican restaurants.

No one seems to be able to help me out either.

Any ideas?


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  1. cocoon..

    There's been quite a lot of discussion on this of late... Scroll down the Aussie board and you'll see quite a few suggestions for susan in australia and rworange about it...

    1. check out pg's links - then go only to Los Amates...

      Mexicali Rose was incredibly dissapointing - and Tres Tacos had good Tex-Mex -

      The Aztec place out by Tullamarine sometimes has a selection of cans and dried chiles if you wnat to make your own...

      22 Replies
      1. re: sandra in australia

        Damn about Mexicali Rose, Sandra.... It got some great reviews..

        Maybe it's gone all fusion.. like Tex-Mex, but Oz-Mex instead... rworange DID suggest Vegemite mole!!!

        Care to expand on why you didn't like it??

        You are now, of course, Melbourne's roving Chow Hound reporter on all things Mexican!!!

        1. re: purple goddess

          Yeah, PG, when are you going to try Los Amates? I keep checking the Australian board every now and then. There was one thumbs up and one thumbs down. Don't make me fly to Australia to try the joint personally :-)

          1. re: rworange

            We haven't been in Melb alot over the past 2 months... been down the beach house supervising the building of My Big Fat Greek Oven... but totally planning to check it out soon..

            Don't worry, darl.. I shall report in... or meet you at the airport....

          2. re: purple goddess

            PG it wasn't even fusion-y, it was not good food, pre packaged avocado in the guac, salsa from a jar - greasy soggy corn chips - my mole was dire... the taquitos were sprinkled with peanuts (?)

            Well, as of tomorrow I will be the roving Sydney reporter on all things Mexican! And American....

            1. re: sandra in australia

              Hang in there.... even in L.A. there are still a few places that fit that description. I have heard that Australia has become a desired destination for Mexican skilled workers.

              If you keep tabs on this portal, you might find some authentic eats coming near you (I think a good Mexican cook could successfully use Asian & Australian ingredients to produce essentially Mexican dishes).


              1. re: sandra in australia

                GACK!!! Will def be giving it a miss then..

                Still haven't made it to Los Amates.... but absolutely plan to soon..

                Damn.. can't believe we missed catching up before you moved.... We'll be there in September... maybe we can catch up then???

                1. re: sandra in australia

                  welcome to Sydney Sandra! unfortunately Sydney is not really the place to find great mexican food either... even our tex mex is appalling. there are a few places to try however.
                  Guzman y Gomez 175 King St, Newtown is a small "cantina" - not a restaurant and yet not quite a fast food joint either. a succinct list of items, several types of salsa, and the staff are usually good at matching the right salsa with each item. I have been a few times - it's inexpensive and delicious (how authentic it is, I wouldn't have a clue)
                  the sydney morning herald review:

                  On the North Shore, is Vera Cruz, 314 Military Rd, Cremorne. I haven't been there for years, but it has survived for a long time, in what is a very fickle marketplace. if you go, let me know as maybe it's time for a revisit...
                  smh review says "This is pure Mexico, down to the boutique beers and coarse, cinnamon Ibarra chocolate":

                  the only other place that rates a mention in the SMH online guide is Fidel's (which sounds like a mixed bag):

                  good luck!

                  1. re: kmh

                    kmh, thanks for the links and info, we drove past Vera Cruz, now knowing what it was and did a double take! Will have to check it out - I do have some addresses of Mexican supply places, when I unpack them I'll go see and report back, one of them is in North Rocks I think...

                    PG - We'll be here in Sept - it all got a bit manic towards the end there in Melbourne!

                    1. re: sandra in australia

                      no problem.

                      The essential ingredient (477 Pacific Highway, Crows Nest) also has some specialty chiles, mole etc.

                      I believe there is/was a place for authentic ingredients in mona vale but i can't find the reference I had for it.

                      1. re: sandra in australia

                        hello sandra, have you managed to try anything?
                        i have found out another, cafe pacifico which claims to have authentic "californian-mexican food" whatever that may be. 95 Riley street east sydney.

                        1. re: kmh

                          Hi kmh - haven't managed to go try any of them yet, but quieter weeks are on the near horizon! Anyone interested in a Mexican adventure with me?

                          1. re: sandra in australia

                            I can highly recommend Mexican Adventures with Sandra!!!!

                            1. re: purple goddess

                              i'm keen to try los amates. i was told it is most definitely passable by someone who lived in mexico for 8 years.

                              1. re: emma

                                We've been meaning to try it, too!!

                                Sandra and Mr goddess and I tried to catch up to do it, but, alas.. busy lives, and all of that...

                                When is Day of the Dead??

                                Maybe we could organize a date??

                                1. re: purple goddess

                                  Day of the Dead is November 1st -

                                  emma, I am Mexican, and I would say it's more than passable, it's very good!

                                  PG, why don't you hop on a plane and we can have a little Mexican adventure here, eh? The Misters can go sailing and we can eat!!

                                  1. re: sandra in australia

                                    mmmmmmm sailing and eating. two of my favourite things.

                            2. re: sandra in australia

                              Hi Sandra, I am Mexican, I live in Baxter, Vic. I have been searching the internet to order Mexican supplies. I have gotten a hold of Corn Masa , so I make my own corn tortillas and flour. I did make tamales and they came out pretty good. What I really need are the whole corn husks, It is to much hassle putting the small ones together to wrap. The only Mexican place I have been to is Taco Bill, it was ughhh. I will stick to my Mexican cooking. I get my spices sent by my mum, from San Antonio. Tx, It gets expensive but it is worth it. Yes, a true Mexican can cook using Australian products. for the salsa, I grow my own serrano, jalapeno & other veggies. Would love to find Mexican products here.

                              1. re: Noeloftx

                                have you tried the essential ingredient?

                                1. re: kmh

                                  What is the essential ingredient?

                                2. re: Noeloftx

                                  Have you been to Aztec out by Tullamarine? They have a lot of stuff - it's like a warehouse and they take you in the back to their little showroom -

                                  Mostly Herdez, La Costena cans, but some dried chiles, corn husks and flor de jamaica sometimes -

                                  Also, go try Los Amates, it's pretty good...

                                  1. re: Noeloftx

                                    I live on the Southern Peninsula. Where do you buy your corn masa?

                    2. This website may be helpful to you I'm from Sydney so can't be much help with specific places in Melbourne. Good luck and good eating.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: bondi2026

                        Thnaks for that. Seems like the site is "coming soon" ??? Will save to favourites...

                      2. A Thornbury friend mentioned last night that Mi Corazon Cantina in Lygon Street, Brunswick was quite good. They also have a huge selection of Tequilas and sometimes live music. We got dragged to Montezumas last week - I never want to look at franchised Tex/Mex food for at least 5yrs, even if I'm hungover....eeeoooorh! I think I'll stick to my home made Ceviche, tamales and empanadas followed by chilli chocolate in future.

                        1. I am not a huge fan of Mexican food, but I have been to Los Amates it was OK... I wouldn't go back for the food (but as I said I'm not a fan of Mexican). The frozen margaritas were yummy.No-one has mentioned Blue Corn in St Kilda...Lots of people really like it...

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: Chocolate Eddie

                            Blue Corn is Tex-Mex, and this thread was more about Mexican...

                            Can I just ask? If you're not a huge fan of Mexican, why go? I'm not a huge fan of Indian food, and I avoid Indian restos...

                            1. re: sandra in australia

                              sandra, did you see the article on "mexican" food in this weeks good living?

                              1. re: kmh

                                NO! I missed it... is it still around somewhere? Do you have a copy?

                                  1. re: kmh

                                    Thanks kmh - now I'm on a mission to try them all! I tried Veracriuz and it was allright, very fusion'y...

                                    Have you tried any of them?

                                    1. re: sandra in australia

                                      i am no authority on mexican food at all; after living in the USA mexican in australia lost all appeal to me.

                                      I have been to guzman y gomez in newtown and quite enjoy it. it is a lot lighter and fresher than the usual slop - char grilled, black beans, and really tasty salsas to boot. the first time i went the staff were very knowledgable and able to discuss which salsas were best with what, but on another occasion the person behind the counter was not as "involved" with the food.

                                      whether it is authentic or not seems up for debate by some, but it is getting quite a following and even has a facebook group!

                                      newtons cocina is mentioned and I have looked at it, but never been - i think i just got sick of the disappointment (sounds pathetic i know).
                                      I have not been to vera cruz for years but recall it being a lovely evening.

                                      philosophically speaking, I think that in Australia we are largely under-aware of central and south america and tend to just group it all under one heading when of course, it is not. I know there are substantial populations of argentinians, chileans in australia, but culinary speaking, we don't see a great deal of evidence of it.

                                      sorry I am not of more help. I have my finger on the pulse of things but mexican is just something I have bowed out of until someone comes to me and says "WOW you really have to try this!"
                                      I await your announcement keenly!!!

                                      1. re: kmh

                                        My aunt has a place in Geelong called Mexicali Mama, and it is apparently very good. i haven't been there for ages. It's in Moorabool street, and about 1 hour from Melbourne.