I had not yet visited My Mexican Cousin even though it opened months ago. I found the perfect excuse to go - a free University of Melbourne Orchestra concert at the Melbourne Recital Centre - and finally made my way over. Despite the name, they're not a Mexican restaurant despite the recent plethora of Mexican restaurant openings and are actually serving up Creole food.
I had somehow accidentally added their website to my favourite tabs on my browser and I keep hitting that button whenever I'm changing tabs on Firefox. It's been driving me insane but the natural consequence of this is that I'd spent a lot of time looking at their menu online over the last couple of weeks and, despite criticisms directed at the menu on numerous blogs, this self-confessed foodie was pretty excited about some praline bacon and gumbo
So, what's the verdict?
Well, our server outside was pretty inattentive and, at times, incompetent. She was rushing about and not paying particularly good attention to anyone in our area. We were forced to share a table with another couple and, when our food came out, it frequently was offered to them first and vice versa. Thankfully, another waitress took our order and helpfully suggested that we would not get out on time for the concert if we ordered the gumbo and she suggested items on the menu that would take a little less time to be out. We weren't given a drinks menu and had to order a glass of pinot noir each with no clue as to price or quality and there was some confusion about the location of my credit card (which they take as security for people dining outside) and it took around 10 minutes after we had paid to get it back.
Now for the good. I found the prices agreeable and representative of good value for money and the food was great. Maybe more than great. We ordered the fried chicken, pork balls and beef ribs. Disappointingly, the menu was different from that on the website that I'd been staring at for weeks but we were very happy with what we got. The beef ribs, in particular, were tasty and succulent.
We decided to come back for desserts after the concert and sat inside where service was much better. We order the beignets with salted caramel dipping sauce and the dark chocolate mousse with raspberry and orange sauce.
If you've never been to My Mexican Cousin you absolutely need to go there and try these beignets. They're a donut and they're light and fluffy and the caramel was deliciously salty and, alone, warrant a return trip to Sturt Street and prove that all was not loss despite the absence of praline bacon from the menu. If you're like me, great food trumps a bit of shoddy service every time.
As a side note, I also recommend that you try to secure tickets to the next concert from the University of Melbourne Orchestra because it would be the perfect cheap date night.