Mexicali Rose and Mexicali Cantina are sister restaurants, with the former located in Richmond and the latter in Essendon. Both appendages share the same menu offering authentic and delectable Mexican food and margaritas. The main difference between the two branches is that the Richmond-based Mexicali Rose is open for lunch (Friday only), while Mexicali Cantina is only open at dinnertime.
The shared menu includes appetisers (Botanas) such as stuffed jalapenos, nachos as well as various dips. From there, one can choose between medium-sized meals (Antojitos) or more sizable main courses (Comidas). Burritos, Enchiladas, Fajitas, Quesadillas, Salads and Tacos are all on the menu and are available with various meat and vegetable fillings. Individual combination plates of these different styles are also available, in addition to set banquets for groups.
The vegetarian options (which seem few and far between on the menu but are available on request) are satisfying and delicious. A notable example is the Quesadillas de Tinga, a dish consisting of corn tortillas with succulent roasted tomatoes and chipotle chile, topped with guacamole, melted cheese and served with salad.
A varied selection of traditional Mexican sweets is also on hand for those craving dessert. Notable inclusions are the popular Mexican style donut Churros served with warm chocolate dipping sauce and the Enchilada de Manzana, consisting of stewed apples baked in cinnamon flour tortillas and served with custard, berry coulis and ice cream.
A trip to either Mexicali Rose or Mexicali Cantina is made complete with a quality tipple. The selection of frozen margaritas alone is extraordinary, with over twenty types on offer, including Strawberry and Cointreau as well as Midori and Pineapple. The selection of tequilas, wines, punch and cocktails is perhaps equally impressive and includes old-favourites such as Sangria and Mojitos.