Corner Lonsdale Street & Tattersalls Lane, Melbourne VIC
(03) 9663 0811
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.