Melbourne event enthusiast and moderately priced food eatery reviewer that expects Top Notch service and the use of fresh ingredients at all eateries.
Published July 9th 2014
No more cheese and sour cream You deserve real Mexican food
The market for Mexican food in Melbourne is changing, people are no longer satisfied eating the common Americanised perception of authentic Mexican food.
Traditional Mexican food is not salty, nor is it yellow cheese and sour cream, or hard shell tacos. Fish tacos are not common on the mainland in Mexico. Providing diners with the taste of authentic Mexican has caught on in Melbourne. The masses of people that attend and positively speak of Mamasita's Restaurant in the CBD testifies to this.
La Tortilleria (trying saying that if you can't pronounce 'tortilla') located in the city fringe suburb Kensington, is another establishment that shares the value of authenticity.
La Tortilleria's tortilla's are stone-ground with their own corn in a traditional Mexican mill, then baked fresh daily in-house. You are able to view the corn in the mill, and the tortillas being made, as if you were at Willy Wonka's Tortilla Factory. La Tortilleria supplies their home made tortillas and corn dough to Mamasita's, one of the many restaurants that boasts the product.
When I arrived at La Tortilleria, a grubby plastic menu was not slapped down on the table as it has been as a way of greeting me in the past at 'Mexican' Restaurants in Melbourne. Rather, a friendly employee at La Tortilleria professionally presented the menu and explained the specials.
The menu can be quite daunting upon first appearance. With numerous small and cheap dishes available, you could go either way - order a light meal or make a big meal out of many light meals. La Tortilleria has you sorted though, with tasting plates available.
My friend and I ordered the set menu, under the menu's header 'just feed me.' I mentioned I was Pescatarian and the waitress kindly informed me that without a problem the set menu can be done vegetarian. I was impressed.
For $30 per head we received five items, five of which we had no idea what they were, only because we are not educated on authentic Mexican cuisine like the staff at La Tortilleria are. There wasn't a problem with not knowing what dish was going to come out next on the giant Corona serving platter, as we knew that that food was going to be great from our first taste of the delicious corn chips on the table.
After doing my research on the online menu, I can tell you we had the perfect guacamole, served with totopos (home made wholegrain corn tortilla chips). A rolled up tortilla or 'flautas' with potato filling, deep fried and topped with salsa was our first substantial dish and this was enjoyable. The zucchini flower quesadilla was also delightful but looking back, the De Hongos Tostadas (baked tortilla with refried beans, lettuce, crema and mushrooms was the highlight of the menu for me.
I hope my friend enjoyed the mystery of his non-vegetarian set menu as much as I enjoyed mine. I encourage people to be daring and go for the Amigo's share plate or set menu, as the experience is rewarding.
Vegetarian or vegan dishes are available on request, and the house made tortilla's are available to purchase. I encourage you to take some home and get creative with your Mexican cooking.
For all the greenies and health nuts out there, the tortilla's are Gluten Free, Preservative and Additive Free, Cholesterol Free, Saturated and Trans Fat Free, Vegan and 100% Locally-Made from Australian Ingredients.
Why? You deserve authentic Mexican food, with Gluten free and vegetarian/ vegan options.
When:Tuesday Tacos Dinner from 6:00pm onwards (Special Tuesday Tacos Menu) Wednesday and Thursday Dinner from 6:00pm onwards Friday, Saturday and Sunday Lunch from 11:30am to 3:00pm Dinner from 6:00pm onwards