Touche Hombre, Melbourne

Dining Out: Touche Hombre, Melbourne

by April@MyFoodTrail on May 9, 2012

in Dining Out, Melbourne, Mexican

Touché Hombre
Corner Lonsdale Street & Tattersalls Lane, Melbourne VIC
(03) 9663 0811
www.touchehombre.com.au

Life has gotten in the way of blogging again. I’ve been distracted with other things like researching about my upcoming overseas trip, reading the Hunger Games trilogy and playing with my new iPad! I’m determined to clear some of my backlog so I come back from my holiday with a clean slate and can tell you all about my adventures.

Mexican seems to be the hottest cuisine in 2012. I’ve eaten as many tacos this year as I have previously in my whole life! One of the newest Mexican eateries to hit the streets of Melbourne is the funky Touché Hombre. Located in the Melbourne CBD on Lonsdale Street, near the corner of Swanston St, Touché Hombre endeavours to be a mix of LA street style and creativity, along with Mexican taco culture.

Touche Hombre - Neon Signs

Cool neon signs near the front of the restaurant

A few weeks ago, a bunch of us food bloggers were invited to Touché Hombre to sample some of the Mexican fare. Touché Hombre owner, Davis, was on hand to tell us all about his new venture and the food, but the place was pumping for a Tuesday night so we couldn’t really hear beyond the people sitting next to us. You’ll have to also excuse the photos as the lighting was red and not very good for food photos. Thanks to Ms I-Hua for holding out her iPhone to try and improve the lighting!

Touche Hombre – Tequila sign

Illuminating Tequila

We started off with a margarita called “La Margarita De Octubre 1941”. It had Espolon Reposado tequila, Damiana Mexicana, Agave Sec liqueur, fresh pressed lime and lemon. The menu also had “Con hielo y sal rosada” which I had to use Google Translate to find out it means “pink ice and salt”. This cocktail was ridiculously easy to drink and my favourite of the night. The cocktails were poured from a gigantic chicken jug.

Another cocktail we had was the Blood Orange Madagascar, made from Casco Viejo Reposado, blood orange and Orange Colombo liqueur on the rocks with vanilla sugar drops and scented straws and again poured through the beak of a massive chicken jug! I liked this one too.

Touche Hombre - Chicken cocktails

The margarita & blood orange Madagascar cocktails, with the chicken jugs

The first item to come out was the tostaditos de pollo. This was shredded chicken mixed with chipotle mayo sitting on a crispy tortilla round, drizzled with some mango jam and sprinkled with black sesame seeds. There was a lot of flavour in one small bite.

Touche Hombre – Chicken tostaditos

Tostaditos de pollo – Spiced chicken, mango jam, toasted sesame and chipotle mayo

Next up was the elotes callejeros. Google translate tells me it means corn street, which I’m guessing is supposed to be like corn street food. It was grilled corn with butter, coriander, paprika and grated cheese. I’ve recently started making this at home and all the additions to the corn really do take the humble corn cob to a whole new level.

Touche Hombre – Grilled corn

Elotes Callejeros – Grilled corn, cilantro, smoked paprika, butter and grated Egmont cheese $6

The third dish we tried was the ceviche of fish and mussels, served with crunchy tortilla chips. The slight tartness of the ceviche and tomato went well with the guacamole – a great dip to have with the tortilla chips.

Touche Hombre - Ceviche

Ceviche – Diced fish, mussels, cilantro, chilli, red onion, tomato and guacamole with tortilla chips $12

The lamb ribs came up next. They were seasoned with merquen, which is a combination of different hot spices, and you could also taste the sweetness of the honey. The meat was suitably tender.

Touche Hombre – Lamb ribs

Fatty lamb ribs – Merquen, cilantro, lemon, honey $8

We progressed to the tacos next. There are 9 tacos available on the menu and we got to try 3 of them. First was the tacos de jaiba, which was soft shell crab tacos. The soft shell crabs were battered and deep fried, then topped corn cream, shredded cabbage and pea shoots. The soft shell crab wasn’t as crunchy as I would have liked.

Touche Hombre – Soft shell crab tacos

Tacos de Jaiba – Soft shell crab, corn cream, pea shoots, lime and mint $7

The second taco was the breakfast taco and it was definitely my favourite. It had a very tasty pork salchichas (sausage), hidden beneath an omelette, cheese, beans, shredded cabbage, avocado, salsa and fried onions. I would be happy eating this every day for breakfast!

Touche Hombre – Breakfast tacos

Breakfast taco – Omelette, salchichas, Egmont cheese, beans, avocado, salsa, fried onions with habanero cream $6.50

The last taco was the tacos del coronel, which had marinated chargrilled chicken, chimichurri, shredded cabbage and toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds). This was okay, but it was hard to beat the breakfast taco.

Touche Hombre – Chicken tacos

Tacos del coronel – Chargrilled chicken, chimichurri and toasted pepitas $6

As a palate cleanser while waiting for dessert, we all got a small shot of Espolon tequila. I had already downed my shot of tequila before hearing that you are supposed to sip it to enjoy the smooth flavour. Oops, hehe! It definitely was a lot smoother than the cheap tequila I drank in my Uni days.

Touche Hombre – Espolon tequila

Espolon 100% pure agave tequila

I was half expecting a dessert taco, but alas, there wasn’t one. I don’t know why nobody has invented a dessert taco, I’m sure it would be well received! We got to try all three desserts at Touché Hombre, which is available as a platter for $18. The chocolate and chilli peanut cookie was like an ice cream sandwich, except it was a parfait instead of ice cream and it didn’t melt everywhere. I’ve never been a fan of chocolate and chilli and the chilli in this cookie was very pronounced, leaving behind a spicy after taste.

Touche Hombre - Chocolate & chilli peanut cookie

Chocolate and chilli peanut cookie $7

The second dessert was called dulce de leche, though I’m not sure why, given that the dulce de leche is only a small dollop on the top. The light strawberry parfait was sandwiched between two layers and sprinkled with chopped pistachios and dulce de leche.

Touche Hombre - Dulce de leche & strawberry parfait

Dulce de leche – Strawberry parfait, pistachio and dulce de leche $7

The final dessert was the rice pudding and cinnamon. Shaped like the previous dulce de leche, this had caramel parfait and rice pudding, then rolled in a cinnamon sugar.

Touche Hombre – Rice pudding & cinnamon

Rice pudding and cinnamon – Caramel parfait, rice pudding and cinnamon sugar $7

Overall: Touché Hombre is a cool, funky restaurant that would be great to impress a first date… except you might be straining to hear each other talk! Touché Hombre was packed on a Tuesday night, just a month or so after opening and noise levels do get quite high. The menu is modest and casual, and the food is good. The highlight for me was the breakfast taco.

Over & Out, April xx

April dined as a guest of Touché Hombre.

Touché Hombre on Urbanspoon

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Em May 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm

*sigh* I love researching holidays, and I just got a new iPad too, so I know where you are coming from.
All that food looks amazing, I am loving the Mexican craze!

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April@MyFoodTrail May 10, 2012 at 10:18 am

Hopefully it turns into a cuisine in Australia that is not just a “craze”!

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Tv Food and Drink May 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Exceptionally fantastic pics… maybe because it’s my kind of food!

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April@MyFoodTrail May 10, 2012 at 10:20 am

Thanks! I thought the photos were pretty bad because of the lighting, but I’m glad the Mexican food helped you see past that! :)

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Eirene May 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm

I made the same mistake of gulping the tequila too!

I wonder if Melbourne is ever going to tire of the Mexican craze…

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April@MyFoodTrail May 10, 2012 at 10:20 am

Hahaha :)
Hopefully it’s not just a craze and it turns into a permanent cuisine.

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Michelle May 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm

gosh, the overexposure is tempting me to pay this place a visit!

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April@MyFoodTrail May 10, 2012 at 10:21 am

I haven’t been to many Mexican places so I can’t compare it to anything, but if you go, get the breakfast taco. I don’t think anything can compare with that!

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Hannah May 9, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Man, by the time Canberra gets good Mexican I bet Melbourne will be onto, like, Inuit cuisine.

I want the desserts.

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April@MyFoodTrail May 10, 2012 at 10:22 am

Hahaha, too funny! Well… umm… at least you get the politicians first?! :P

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Winston May 10, 2012 at 11:30 pm

All of your posts have really got me intrigued by this place… And I love the neon light fixtures, so cool and funny haha… Can’t wait to try the breakfast taco too. Sounds awesome!

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April@MyFoodTrail May 11, 2012 at 2:14 pm

It’s worth a visit, for the breakfast taco and to see the fitout of the place! They even have old school video arcade machines!

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Daisy@Nevertoosweet May 11, 2012 at 9:29 am

Even though i just had breakfast not so long ago lol reading your post made me SO hungry now! Especially the desserts at the end HAHAHA I had some REALLY bad mexican food the other so i think i should come to Touche Hombre instead hehe YUM YUM!

Don’t worry we understand how busy life can get and it’s hard sometimes finding time to blog hehe and with the new Ipad lol you’re never gonna have time :P i’m addicted to buying the magazines on it lol

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April@MyFoodTrail May 11, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I haven’t had to pay for any apps yet. Been downloading free magazines and haven’t even had time to read them so no point actually paying for magazines! :)

In case you don’t know, you can get two issues of Donna Hay for free and one issue of Masterchef magazine for free. You can also download the Qantas inflight magazine for free and this other cool travel related one called TRVL magazine.

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Ames May 11, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Gah, I’ve been hunkering out to try Touche Hombre out but I’m never around late enough for dinner and not in the city on Fridays to try it for lunch! *sigh* but I’ll just have to wait for the holiday season to set in to pay it a visit! That Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookie looks to die for!!

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April@MyFoodTrail May 11, 2012 at 2:19 pm

You can always go for an afternoon snack?! ;) That’s if they are open all day.

I would have preferred the chocolate and peanut butter cookie without the chilli, but I guess it is a Mexican place after all!

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msihua May 11, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Man there was so much food!! I love love love that lamb…. Mmmm

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April@MyFoodTrail May 16, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Tender lamb ribs well seasoned are so delicious!

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Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) May 31, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Loving the surge of Mexican food in both Melbourne and Sydney, but I must admit I have yet to spot chicken jugs anywhere else =p

Hope you’re enjoying your holidays!

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April@MyFoodTrail June 14, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Thanks Rita! Hope you are enjoying your holidays too!

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Annoyed June 23, 2012 at 12:17 am

Very disappointed with TH. We got to the restaurant early (pre 6pm) to be put on the waiting list and were told a table would be a half hour to an hour wait. All ok. But when we came back an hour and a half later, having not heard anything, we were told there might not be a table after all. That possibilty should have been raised from the outset, instead of dicking us around. Very poor customer service. We won’t be returning.

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April@MyFoodTrail June 25, 2012 at 9:51 am

Sorry to hear that. Not knowing the circumstances I can’t really comment, but maybe in the long time you were gone, they could have given your table away.

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Helen Wright September 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm

I hope that Touché Hombre will be paying Mr. Whaite for his design that they’ve clearly used for their neon sign: http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_llr6o5e84z1qhv2wyo1_r2_500.gif

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