Dining Out: La Cantina, Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne

by April@MyFoodTrail on August 24, 2010

in Melbourne, Quick Lunch, Spanish

La Cantina
Queen Victoria Market
513 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne VIC

La Cantina - Outside

Whenever I need something from Queen Victoria Market, I normally try to go during my one hour lunch break at work. It’s pretty rushed though – by the time I get there, I have to quickly grab what I need and then head back to work. It also means I can’t buy much because I have to carry it back home on the train. I really should go more on the weekend and drag hubby along to help carry stuff, but parking around the market is a nightmare.

We happened to be passing through the area on the way home on Sunday and I said to hubby, let’s go past the market and if we manage to find street parking, we’ll go! Lucky for us, there was a spare spot right in front! I call that meant to be! Hehe!

We were intending to grab a quick eat-on-the-run lunch of the delicious boreks in the food hall, but we walked past La Cantina near the Peel Street side of Victoria Market. There were a lot of people eating there so we decided to give it a go.

La Cantina is a small shop front, with a few bar seats inside the actual restaurant and more seats in the market across the walkway. It is Spanish tapas restaurant with a few Mexican dishes. Before this year, our only experience with Mexican food was the cheese and too much sauce stodgy slop you find at food courts and Mexican fast food joints. When we went to America in April, people were telling us we should try Mexican food in Los Angeles because it is so different to what we get here. And they were right! Mexican food in America is so fresh and flavoursome, even at the fast food places. It totally changed our view on Mexican food.

There is nothing on the La Cantina menu over $10. We started with the patatas bravas (fried potatoes) which was served with side of Mama Luka’s rice and a creamy bustamante mayonnaise and a salsa verde. I tried to Google what is bustamante but came up with nothing! The rice was a bit dry, like basmati, but when we mixed the salsa verde through the rice, it gave it a really nice flavour. The potatoes were to die for, so crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. I wanted more!

La Cantina - Patatas bravas
Patatas bravas – fried potatoes served with bustamante mayonnaise and a salsa verde $6

We wanted to get the beef and pork tacos as our second dish, but unfortunately they had run out. We got a chicken burrito instead and it was HUGE! It was full of fresh ingredients, I probably should have opened it up and taken a photo of all the ingredients! This is what a chicken burrito should taste like.

La Cantina - Chicken burrito
Chicken burrito – tender chicken strips with lettuce, tomato, cheese, beans, salsa & avocado wrapped in a toasted corn tortilla $8.50 (specials board)

Overall: La Cantina is a great, cheap place to make a pit stop for lunch before heading off to do your market shopping. If you love potatoes, you have to try their patatas bravas. We’ll definitely be back.

Over & Out, April xx

La Cantina on Urbanspoon


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