233 Lonsdale Street
Last night, I was invited by the Maison Davis team to their latest project, Touche Hombre, along with a few other bloggers. Alongside Mamasita, Newmarket Hotel, Pacos Taco, Taco Truck - we have a new addition, right in the heart of the CBD, proving that the Mexican wave is far from over. Barely a month old and adopting a walk in only policy. Owner Davis Yu joined us for the night, and he was brimming with passion and youthful exuberance.
La Margarita De Octubre 1941 - Espolon Reposado Tequila, Damiana Mexicana, Agave Sec Liqueur, Fresh Pressed Lemon & Lime ($15.5// Supersize $55)
The margarita was divine, yet secretly quite lethal. It packs a punch but it tastes so good you just want to keep them coming. I loved the shards of salt crystals all over the side of the tin mug. There is never enough salt on the rim, so why limit ourselves. I don’t think I’ve had a better one in Melbourne yet.
Tostaditos de Pollo - Spiced Chicken, Mango Jam, Toasted Sesame & Chipotle Mayo ($12)
Compared to the other dishes, I’d probably give this one a miss. A little like chicken mayo on a chip.
Elotes Callejeros - Grilled Corn, Cilantro, Smoked Paprika, Butter & Grated Egmont Cheese ($6)
Chargrilled and sweet, with melted cheese, but lacking the satisfying crunch and juiciness.
Credit has to go to msihua for patiently and painstakingly holding up a source of light for me throughout the night, saving me (and you) from a series of dark, red tinged pictures (see Margarita picture above), or deigning to the use of flash (see Tostaditos picture above). Thank you hun!
Ceviche - Diced Fish, Mussels, Cilantro, Chilli, Red Onion, Tomato & Guacamole with Tortilla Chips ($12)
The tangy mussels, fish, tomatoes and onions were nicely tempered by the creamy cool guacamole, heaped on a crunchy tortilla chip.
Blood Orange Madagascar - Casco Viejo Reposado, Blood Orange & Orange Colombo Liqueur on the Rocks with Vanilla Sugar Drops & Scented Straws ($15.5//$62)
Probably my next favourite after the Margarita. On the sweeter side, the blood orange is beautiful. The underlying flavour mildly reminds me of sarsaparilla.
Fatty Lamb Ribs - Merquen, Cilantro, Lemon & Honey ($8)
This. was. amazing. Easily one of the highlights of the night. Bite sized morsels, beautifully crisp, yet tender, luscious, fatty, honeyed and practically falls off the bone. Perfect beer food and it gives Aylesbury Rooftop Bar a run for its money with this dish.
La Paloma - Tromba Blanco, Fresh Pink Grapefruit, Organic Agave Nectar, A Mexican Pinch of Salt charged with Toronja Salt ($17.5//$68)
True to its word, you can taste the grapefruit, it’s not as sweet as the other two, almost slightly salty.
Taco de Jaiba - Soft Shell Crab, Corn Cream, Pea Shoots, Lime & Mint ($7)
And the taco madness begins - their specialty. They have a knack for making the tacos look positively delectable. The soft shell crab is crispy and crunchy, I love the squeeze of lime all over. The pea shoots & corn cream are heaped on top, and makes for a great mouthful. I would have liked the corn cream to pull through with a stronger flavour.
Breakfast Taco - Omelette, Salchicas, Egmont Cheese, Beans, Avocado, Salsa, and Fried Onions with habanero cream
The salchicas was tender and beautifully seasoned. The care and precision that went into the taco filling did not go unnoted. With each mouthful, all I could taste, all I wanted to taste was that gorgeous piece of pork.
Michelada Bitchin’ Mexican Beer Cocktail - Tecate Mexican Lager, Touche’s Salsa & Hombre’s Chipotle Puree served in a jar finished with Fresh Lime, Ice & a Salted Rim ($9)
The best way to describe this is a Bloody Mary watered down by beer.
Taco del Coronel - Chargrilled Chicken, Chimichurri & Toasted Pepitas ($6)
The chicken was deliciously tender, atop the chimichurri smear.
For the more adventurous, there’s the intriguing Taco El Secreto, which pays homage to the offal popularly found in Mexican street tacos. I heard rumours that Lamb Belly was on the menu for the night.
Touche Hombre takes pride in its tequila. Stocking an impressive range especially flown into the country, we were presented with a sipping tequila, available in their Flights of Three - a selection of three tequilas, perfect for the undecided. Doing away with the traditional lime and salt, the tequila is smooth and the burn at the end is appeased by the sweet grapefruit sliver. And you sit there, savouring the two.
Chocolate, Chilli & Peanut Chip Cookie ($7)
Visually, you know it’s going to be good. Thick crumbly cookies, sandwiches a cool creamy peanut butter parfait and the chilli kicks in nicely at the end. Peanut butter lovers will adore this. If you ever wondered why chocolate & chilli make for a good pairing, give this a go.
Caramel Parfait, Rice Pudding & Cinnamon Sugar ($7)
The least likely suspect, and yet easily my favourite of the three. This was the first one I sampled, and I adored the sensation when I picked it up. The chocolate sponge is feather light soft and if I were to imagine holding a piece of cloud, this would be it. Biting into the cold caramel parfait was a wonderful surprise, it’s almost like an ice cream sandwich, but the parfait has more give and it’s not as icy cold.
Strawberry Parfait, Pistachio & Dulce de Leche ($7)
The strawberry parfait was undeniably gorgeous. The dulce de leche on the other hand made it a dessert you had to pick up and quickly pop in your mouth before it slipped out of your fingers.
That’s right, it’s another Mexican place. But looking at the queues building up at Mamasita night after night, surely Melbourne has room for one more. It’s dark and the music is loud - perfect for a table overrun with drinks on a Friday night followed by tacos & little sweet bites. That’s if you can get in.
NOTE: I was extended an invitation by Touche Hombre & AMPR, and this review is based solely on my personal thoughts of the atmosphere, the quality and aesthetics of the food & sweets treats we were presented with on the night.