Gwen O’Toole is an accomplished writer focusing on travel, food, wine and events management. Follow her on Instagram @Gwennieo
Published June 26th 2015
Say Hola to Hello Jose
Ok, I have to admit I've been a bit selfish here. I was invited in to check out the newly opened Hello Jose, located just a stone's throw (i.e. essentially across the street) from the Queen Vic Markets. And selfishly, I've been a little bit reluctant to do this write up because sometimes you find a place that is just so stinking amazing that you sort of don't want the general masses to find out about it and make it impossible to get a seat there anymore.
"Located on Peel St near the Queen Vic Markets; say hola to Hello Jose. Image: The Ideas Library
Yeah, dilemma. So it's with some reservation that I'm telling you all about Hello Jose, the honest to goodness best little Mexican bar I know of.
Once you step inside, you'll notice two things, 1. It's a cosy little place. And we mean it fits about 30 people standing. So get in early to nab yourself a seat and be ready to settle in for the night. And 2. the atmosphere is absolutely joyful; welcoming staff, great vibe, fabulous music (seriously we asked for their Spotify playlist so we can continue to love the tunes later).
What you get inside Hello Jose is a little bit like street food meets a Mexican food truck vibe but it's indoors (or sit outside if you're keen) and with a fab drinks list.
Inside Hello Jose. Get in early to grab a seat and settle in. Image: The Ideas Library
You won't be bogged down by a huge menu, Jose likes to keep things simple and nobody likes menu-envy. So what you'll find are some refreshing beer options, a selection of tasty Mexican treats and a Tequila menu that will impress the pickiest connoisseur.
What they do best. Image credit: The Ideas Library
You'll find the menu online by clicking here if you're the type who likes to know what you're in for.
On arrival, guests are served free popcorn and as you might expect there's a range of hot sauces from a little spicy to "someone get me a glass of milk before I choke...." spicy. So you'll have all the pre-made suaces you could ever want to set your tacos on fuego (fire).
They also make two sauces in house. We tried a bit of both and couldn't pick a fave.
First up we ordered the tostadita (which are tiny little bite sized tacos made of blue corn and topped with either ceviche or (as we ordered them), chorizo and chipotle cream, capsicum. onion and cheese.
A little squeeze of lime = heaven.
We think they look a little bit like Jose, sort of like when you get Jesus' face appearing in toast. Image: The Ideas Library
Since there were two of us we ordered up some of the tastiest sangria around (which is great news if it's a school night or you're not a tequila convert) and ordered up our tacos.
We sussed out the fish taco with beer battered fish and a spicy cream and slaw as well as the shlow (yep, that's what they call it) cooked beef taco with jalapenos and each trying the other's, we seriously couldn't pick who got the better deal.
The fish taco as well as the beef taco at Hello Jose. Image:The Ideas Library
If you're still keen for more, you can order up churros as well.
It's a great place to bring a small group of mates, or duck in after you've done a shop at the Queen Vic markets. Our suggestion is that the guys behind Hello Jose have really created something amazing here, so get in now before the rest of Melbourne discovers this amazing little hotspot.