At a glance - Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead is a Mexican Spanish Tapas Restaurant Bar  in the centre of St Kilda on Fitzroy Street with an extensive cocktail list. 

The restaurant had a wide variety of spirits on display at the bar with the back drop of an eye catching piece of artwork on the wall. 

To start with, we enjoyed a cold refreshing light Argentinian Beer which was perfect after a hot day. 

The buffalo wings (of which we chose the spicy option) was tender and packed full of flavour. The thyme and citrus infusions along with the special homemade wing sauce provided an excellent start to the meal. 

The Nachos were filled with the usual ingredients of guacamole, jalapeno, generous cheese, black beans, capsicum and corn which was served in the ceramic bowl it was cooked in. A generous serving of this classic dish was also accompanied with sour cream which provided us with a refreshing contrast. 

A quartet of tacos were   served on blue corn tortillas with deconstructed toppings. The fish taco was well cooked which resulted in a light and tasty taco. The slow cooked beef taco was a delight topped with homemade cheese. The chicken taco was also a great dish which was refreshing with the slaw served in it. 

Overall, Day of the Dead was a nice casual place to relax with some great food and extensive drinks list. 

 

By Helena Lea.

Day of the Dead Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Morgan’s Beach Shack

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Morgan’s Beach Shack.
Since opening its doors in January last year, Morgan’s Beach Shack has swiftly established a firm following among locals and travellers alike.

Led by seasoned hospitality veterans, Julian Gerner and Paul Olynyk, who also co-own the Royal Saxon in Richmond, the venue continues to be a hotspot for its fresh food, great atmosphere, live music and endless games of ping pong.
With panoramic views of the Mornington Peninsula, Morgan’s Beach Shack has a very distinctive visual narrative that pays homage to its enviable seaside setting. Designed by award-winning Six Degrees Architects, a firm whose iconic style has defined the face of some of Melbourne’s most renowned venues, the interiors are layered with recycled materials: lobster pots are turned into lampshades, lifebuoys are suspended from old timber beams, and a pair of rowing oars sits against sandstone bricks. The effect is playful, relaxed and contemporary.
Rare Beef salad

The menu takes cues from Baja-style cuisine, a Californian take on Mexican. We loved their moreish kingfish ceviche, fresh salads and stunning tacos.
Kingfish ceviche, Cured kingfish, fresh peppers, chilli salt, fennel + tendrils

The ceviche was our favourite dish. Displaying technique and skilful restraint, the kingfish was beautifully presented and accompanied by a citrus-based marinade that cured the kingfish. It was a wonderful mélange of salinity, sweetness and acidity.
Baja battered soft shell crab w. sweet corn salsa, jalapeno crema + fresh herbs

We adored the beautifully crispy and juicy soft shell crab. The deep fried crustacean pieces were coated in a semi-thick crisp batter that encapsulated firm, sweet flesh. With a touch of spicy jalapeno crema and freshness from the sweet corn salsa and fresh herbs, it was a playful and delicious dish.
Ancient grain salad

We enjoyed both our ancient grain salad and rare beef salad. The ancient grain salad in particular was a stand out. An enlivening salad of chicken, farro, quinoa, chia, chickpeas, roasted almonds, tendrils and creamy goats curd brought together with an olive oil dressing, the salad was a medley of exciting flavours and textures.
With uninterrupted views overlooking one of Australia’s most famous bays, Morgan’s Beach Shack is a spectacular place to take in what Sorrento has to offer.


Location: 1-3 Esplanade, Sorrento, VIC
Phone: (03) 5984 3121
Cuisine: Mexican, American, Burgers, Steak


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Touché Hombre

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Touché Hombre.
3 years on, Touché Hombre is still pleasing the crowds with its LA street style and Mexican taco culture.
The scene is clearly set – Touché Hombre is trendily and impeccably restrained “grungy“. The tables, shelving and the bar top are adorned with wood salvaged from Princess Pier. Naked bulbs hang from the ceilings and the splashes of neon at the entrance create a distinctive chaotic night time feel that compliments the Mexican street inspired menu.
The cocktail list continues to offer Touché’s famous super-sized chicken jug filled with ‘La Margarita Del Tommy’ and other delicious concoctions such as the Kafir Lime & Chilli Margarita made with tapatio reposado infused with kafir lime, chilli, ginger and citrus.
The food itself is of a high standard. It is Mexican soul food – simple, to the point and executed well. The flavours on every dish are well balanced and full of flavour. It was clear that quality ingredients had been sourced. The menu boasts a selection of tostaditos, grilled corn, fresh ceviche and a wonderful list of delectable tacos. 
Our favourite savoury dishes from our visit were the Mejilla tacos and the Touché fried chicken. 
The Mejilla tacos were filled with melt in your mouth slow cooked pork cheek and complemented by milky habanero cream, and fresh BBQ corn salsa. 
The fried chicken was tender, juicy and distinctly flavoursome. We loved how this crispy bar staple was done impeccably well without compromise.
Our evening concluded with their lovely ice cream sangas. The chocolate ice cream sandwich was divine. The slight spiciness of the chilli in the biscuit complemented the luxurious peanut butter ice cream. It was a match made in heaven.  
A restaurant bar with a party vibe and street art style with its own soul of fresh cantina style dishes by and a seductive spin on traditional cocktails, Touché Hombre continues to be one of Melbourne’s favourite Mexican joints.


Location: Cnr Tattersalls Lane & Lonsdale St, Melbourne 
Phone: 03 9663 0811
Link: touchehombre.com.au
Cuisine: Mexican, Latin American 


Click to add a blog post for Touché Hombre on Zomato

Koba Korean Street Food

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Koba.
Korean-Mexican fusion has taken off in the United States and it seems only a matter of time til it does the same here.
In the meantime, leading the charge is Koba, a unique representation of Korean-Mexican fusion in Melbourne. 
The menu is simple and to the point. You pick your burrito, taco or rice dish and pick your choice of protein and order some sides to share.
The korritos are a whole lot of yum.  Imagine a heap of savoury caramelized kimchi, a mound of sizzling bulgogi, cheese, tomato salsa all topped off with a generous drizzle of mayonnaise (plus more kimchi).
The kimchi fries are wildly popular. Like chilli fries but with an addictive twang, it is a great side dish to share or have on your own.
Koba’s rendition of the bibimbap is another winner. Not quite fusion but certainly hits the spot with crisp fresh vegetables, gochujang (chilli pepper paste) and goes extremely well when paired with their beautiful spicy pork.
Jump on board the Tex-Mex Korean fusion bandwagon at Koba:  fresh and original food in a joyful setting at an affordable price.  

Location: 119 Hardware Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9973 8425
Cuisine: Korean, Asian, Mexican


KOBA on Urbanspoon

Recipe: Murray Valley Pork Mole

Gastrology bloggers received the product courtesy of Murray Valley Pork.
Mole is a popular spicy Mexican sauce which has a decadent taste from being made with chocolate.

The pulled pork mole is one of our favourite Mexican dishes. Here is our super easy cheat's pulled pork mole recipe using Murray Valley Pork Topside. 

Ingredients

1.4 kg Murray Valley Pork Topside, rindless (cap-off)
450g Mayordomo Black Mole
Instructions
  1. Prepare the mole according to instructions in a saucepan. 
  2. Brown the pork in a separate saucepan.
  3. Slow cook the pork in a slow cooker for 8 hours on the "low" setting.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the slow cooker to a board, leave to cool a little, then use forks or your fingers to tear into shreds.
  5. Serve!
We served our pulled pork mole with some brown rice and a fresh rocket salad.
Holy Mole(y)! This dish was simply delicious. The pulled Murray Valley Pork meat was tender and delicious with the perfect hint of heat. We loved the taste of the rich mole chilli-chocolate sauce which had developed a delicious depth of flavour from being cooked with the pork. The hint of sweetness from the moles was cut beautifully by the fresh salad, and the brown rice brought the whole dish together.
Get your hands on some Murray Valley Pork -> Find your nearest stockist here!

Four Chefs @ Ms Collins

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Ms Collins.
Combining good food, fashion, music and art, Ms Collins is pushing the boundaries for Melbourne bars. 
The venue, which occupies the former Silk Road site at 425 Collins St, Melbourne, is the latest venture for Roar Projects, an established hospitality group responsible for Alumbra in the Docklands. 
Comprising four primary partners – Hatem Saleh, Simon Digby, Sami Saleh and Tony Perna – Roar Projects has a portfolio of experience that positions the team to successfully deliver a world-class night venue.
The venue is sexy and bold with luminous material against a dark backdrop.
Ms Collins proudly showcases her four identity chefs Jacques Reymond, Paul Wilson (Icebergs), Daniel WIlson (Huxtable) and Riccardo Momesso (Valentino) and beverage partner, Veuve Clicquot.
We indulged in eight dishes which were served with matching wines (two dishes from each chef) as well as desserts over a cheeky espresso martini.
Our favourite dish was Paul Wilson's Empanadas de picadillo with mission fig mole. The wonderfully flaky empanadas were filled with melt in your mouth slow cooked lamb and drizzled with sweet mole sauce. Topped with pepitas for some added texture, the empanadas were just beautiful. Another crowd pleaser was Daniel Wilson's Southern fried chicken ribs with jalapéno mayo. A popular bar staple, the meaty chicken ribs, more substantial and less finicky than chicken wing pieces, were crusted with a flavoursome spice mix and then perfectly fried to achieve a moreish crunchy exterior. 
Ms Collins takes you on a journey of culinary and liquid experiences from France (Jacques Reymond), to Mexico (Paul Wilson), America (Daniel Wilson) and Italy (Riccardo Momesso). A lovely venue in which to immerse yourself in each global corner of the world over a cocktail (or five).

Location: 425 Collins Street  Melbourne
Phone: 03 8614 2222 
Cuisine: French, Mexican, American, Italian, International

Ms Collins on Urbanspoon

La Condesa - Johnston Street's new Mexican Cantina and watering hole

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of La Condesa.
Gastrology bloggers recently attended the launch of La Condesa Cantina.

Originally Fitzroy’s ultimate balmy taco destination of summer, La Condesa popped up in Melbourne in the spring of 2013.  
Nestled on Fitzroy's buzzing Johnston Street, it began as a quaint taqueria for gringos locos to get their fill of tacos and tequila. Following the success of this stint, they decided to expand their operation to more permanent digs next door at 234 Johnston Street. 

We enjoyed sipping on Paloma cocktails and sampled several items form their menu which showcased traditional flavours with a Fitzroy twist. The corn and fried chicken dhishes were of particular note. We loved how the touches of spice cut through the sweetness of the corn and how perfectly battered and fried the chicken was.
La Condesa pays homage to the buzzing bohemian quarter and vibrant nightlife of Condesa in Mexico City, where the latest in food, art and culture is showcased and young artists and entrepreneurs - known as condechis, come out to play.

Location: 234 Johnston Street, Fitzroy
Phone: 03 9419 5675
Cuisine: Mexican

La Condesa Taqueria on Urbanspoon

Brunch @ Las Chicas

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Las Chicas.
Las Chicas is the perfect embodiment of a thriving Melbourne café. It has rightfully earned its standing as a weekend brunch mecca, drawing in the crowds week in week out with its consistently excellent food, fantastic coffee and cheerful wait staff.
Las Chicas has succeeded in crafting a convivial atmosphere in which to enjoy a lazy weekend brunch. 
Left: Green goodness - Kale, spinach, spirulina, probiotic powder, cucumber, banana, dates, nuts & coconut water
Right: Nutrient enhancer - Kiwi, watermelon, agave & probiotics 
Field mushroom burger 
Yarra Valley feta, sundried tomato tapenade, kale, walnut pesto with taro chips

With a rich and succulent field mushroom, the burger had, sandwiched between two halves of a slightly sweet brioche bun, Yarra Valley feta, sundried tomato tapenade, kale, walnut pesto.  It was a modern yet classic veggie burger and was absolutely delicious.  The taro chips were crisp and perfectly seasoned. 
Sesame seared tuna 
Yellow fin tuna, purple carrots, cucumber ribbons, mint, coriander with a sweet mirin, ginger and soy caramel dressing 

This dish was well balanced, loaded with umami and complex. The ginger and soy caramel dressing cradled the fragrant mint and coriander and brought the whole dish together. The tuna itself was both beautiful and beautifully prepared.
The coffee at Las Chicas is excellent. The profound respect for the humble beverage is palpable.
Las Chicas uses AllPRESS Supremo – a sweet bold coffee with a taste of red berries and cocoa. The beans are sourced from Brazil, Colombia and Papua New Guinea and then prepared and served to patrons by adept baristas.
Melbourne has an ever growing brunch culture, making the café industry a particularly competitive and vibrant one. Las Chicas serves delicious, fresh and seasonal food, which makes it a cut above.  Given its popularity, we suggest that you visit, as we did, during the odd hours of the day to avoid excessive wait times during peak hours.
Location: 203 Carlisle Street, Balaclava
Phone: 03 9531 3699
Link: http://www.laschicas.com.au/
Cuisine: Mexican, International, Modern Australian, Coffee, Breakfast/Brunch

Las Chicas on Urbanspoon

Month of The Prince @ Acland St Cantina - Taco Tuesdays | Cantina Crab Shack Thursdays and MORE... [April 2014]

Location: 2 Acland Street, St Kilda
Phone: (03) 9536 1175
Link: www.aclandstcantina.com.au
Cuisine: Mexican
Overall Impression: 9/10 

Clear your schedule, prepare the palate, polish your crown and get set for a festival of the senses as the Prince of Wales celebrates Month of The Prince in April 2014. Not only does April see the arrival of Prince William and Kate Middleton to Australia, but it also sees a hive of activity invade the iconic Prince of Wales complex in St Kilda, with a spate of feature events, exclusive guest-chef dinners, street festivals, live performances, lunch specials and accommodation packages available throughout the month.
Our all-time favourite Mexican haunt, Acland St Cantina celebrates "Month of The Prince" this April with lots of exciting foodie specials.

Cantina Crab Shack - Every Thursday in April
Every Thursday, Acland St Cantina’s Crab Shack will feature an evolving menu of deep-sea delights from everyone's favourite crustacean.  Clamp your claws around spanner crab tostadas, soft shell crab tacos and stuffed zucchini flowers. 

What: Cantina Crab Shack
When: Every Thursday in April
How much: $25 for 3 Baja California-inspired crab bites;  $50 for 3 bites + Veracruzbraised whole blue swimmer crab
Taco Tuesdays - Every Tuesday (duh!) in April
Every Tuesday, Acland St Cantina will be offering up some Mexican delights, all wrapped up in a soft tortilla.

What: Taco Tuesdays
When: Every Tuesday in April
Cost: $20 for 5 tacos; $10 margarita specials 

Read our review of Acland St Cantina here.

Other highlights include...

Savages and Hicks, Circa The Prince, Monday 7th April
Sydney’s chef of the moment, Brent Savage from Bentley Restaurant + Bar, join’s Circa’s Ashly Hicks to showcase a night of outstanding seasonal produce and flavor-forward fare with a five course menu. Wines will be matched by Bentley sommelier Nick Hildebrandt and Circa’s Sally Humble.
Tickets: Priced at $195 including 5 courses + matched wine.

Circa Through The Ages, Tuesday 15th April
A degustation dinner that will bring together some of Circa’s most memorable heads chefs, who will each prepare a dish from their time in tenure. Guest chefs include Matt Wilkinson, Philippa Sibley, David Moyle, Jake Nicolson, Ashly Hicks and Stephen Burke. Wine matched by past and present Circa sommeliers including Sally Humble, Chris Crawford, Matt Brooke and Sarah Ward.
Tickets: Priced at $165 including 5 courses + matched wine.

Street Feud, The Deck, Sunday 27th April
A street food stand-off between Melbourne’s sticky finger specialists on The Deck at Circa, including Hanoi Hannah, Saigon Sally, Charlie Dumpling, Acland St Cantina, Newmarket Hotel and more. Street Feud invites the public to scoff and score Melbourne’s favourite side-walk serves.
Tickets: Priced at $39 including a dish from each participating vendor

Lunch Like a Prince, Circa, April
Circa invites you to lunch like a prince on a poor man’s budget with a $25 two course menu + wine, available every Monday to Friday in April.

Live Music, Prince Bandroom and Prince Public Bar
Keep your ear buds on a high post Grand Prix, as April cranks up the decibels with huge local and international acts rocking the Prince Bandroom, including The Fratellis (April 4), Kodaline (April 5), Michael Franti & Spearhead (April 16), Devendra Banhart (April 17) and Yacht Club DJÕs (April 18). Get down and grungy at the Prince Public Bar with free live gigs by Drunk Mums, The Mighty Boys, Mimi V and Denver Maxx on April 4, plus a formidable line up including Gossamer Pride, Harvey Cartel, The Tarantinos, Papa G & The Starcats and Arthur Penn & The Funk Ten on April 26.

Live Like A Prince, The Prince Hotel
Live like royalty at The Prince Palace (Hotel) for stays in April, with a regal accommodation package that includes twin share accommodation, dinner for two at Circa, royal cocktails for two at Circa Bar and breakfast for two at Acland St Cantina.
Package Price: $450 per couple.

Check out more information on Month of the Prince here. 

Crust's new Upper Crust Pizzas

Crust Pizza has unveiled their newest additions to the Upper Crust Pizza menu which turns your favourite sandwiches into pizzas. 
This range is inspired by current Australian food trends and draws inspiration from South American cuisine.

First established in Sydney in late 2001 with the ambition of changing consumer perceptions regarding take away pizza by creating great tasting, quality gourmet home delivered products, Crust has grown to incorporate 130 outlets and a reputation for market leadership amongst the gourmet take away pizza market. 

These four new delicious choices are all that you would expect from a Crust pizza - great tasting and made from quality gourmet ingredients. 
BLT with Avocado Salsa
Baby Spinach layered with Tomato & Twice Cooked Bacon, topped with Fresh Avocado Salsa, Garlic Aioli, Cracked Pepper & Sea Salt on a Spinach & Ricotta Base

Stepping up the stakes on a café staple, this pizza features key BLT sandwich ingredients with gourmet twist. Fresh baby spinach is layered with tangy tomato and twice cooked bacon. The pizza also includes delicious toppings of creamy avocado salsa, garlic aioli, cracked pepper and sea salt.
Pulled Pork and Slaw
Twice Cooked Shredded Pork & Caramelised Onions, topped with Fresh Pear, Vietnamese Slaw & Garlic Aioli on a BBQ base

Crust celebrates South American flavours with this pizza. The hero ingredient is the tender twice cooked shredded pork which is complimented by caramelised onions topped with fresh pear, Vietnamese slaw and garlic aioli on a barbeque base.
Salt and Pepper Calamari
Dusted Calamari, Roasted Capsicum, Shallots & Toasted Pine Nuts, topped with Pesto Aioli & Lemon

Seafood lovers rejoice! This delicious pizza is served with generous amounts of well-cooked dusted calamari, roasted capsicum, shallots and toasted pine nuts topped with pesto aioli and finished with a squeeze of lemon.
Black Bean Burrito
Black Bean Casserole, Roasted Capsicum, Jalapenos & Caramelised Onions, served with Fresh Avocado Salsa on a Spicy Tomato Salsa base

A tribute to Mexican cuisine, this pizza will have your mouth singing. Creamy and flavoursome black bean casserole is paired with roasted capsicum, jalapenos and caramelised onions and finished with a fresh avocado salsa on a spicy tomato salsa base.

The four new pizzas in the Upper Crust range are available in stores nationally and can be ordered online at www.crust.com.au or by calling your local Crust store.
Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Retail Food Group.

2013 Mission Mexican Festival launch @ Mad Mex

Gastrology bloggers were privileged to attend the launch of the 2013 Mission Mexican Festival (that will be held on Sunday!) last night.

The Mad Mex (QV) restaurant was temporarily shut down for this special event and we were delighted by an array of Mexican-themed surprises. 
Our evening stated with a behind the scenes look at this year's Mission Mexican Festival. We were given the opportunity to hear all about the good things the Mexican Festival Committee have in store for all Victorians and their taste buds this year. Last year, the inaugural Mission Mexican Festival, which coincides each year with Mexican Independence day, attracted over 25,000 people to Federation Square.

This year it is set to be even bigger, brighter and more delicious. Melbourne food and culture lovers are invited to attend the free family event, which is supported by MEXVIC (The Mexican Social & Cultural Association of Victoria). The Hon Nicholas Kotsiras MP, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship and Minister for Energy and Resources will officially open the event. 
We also learned a bit about Mad Mex and what has made the chain so successful. Since opening its first store in December 2007 in Crown Street, Sydney, Mad Mex has remained true to its founding principles: Fresh and Healthy, Fast and Delicious, Authentic and Exciting. Today, it is one of Australia’s most respected Mexican brands. 
Next, we were treated to a tequila taste testing which was a great component of the evening. We learned about the history of the drink, the different varieties of tequila, and the traditional ways to drink it and, of course, sampled different types of the popular Mexican spirit. 
The night ended with everyone rolling up their sleeves and getting down and dirty, burrito-style. Attendees were given the opportunity to create their very own Mad Mex burrito! 
We were pleased to see and taste what Mad Mex had to offer. The food served is gourmet Baja style Mexican food that is healthy, hearty and full of flavour. Think fresh produce, flavour filled salsas, authentic slow roasted and grilled meats wrapped up in fresh tortillas or tacos – Yum! And if you’re thirsty, Mad Mex offers a selection of imported Mexican beers, cocktails and soft drinks. 

Federation Square comes to colourful life on Sunday September 15 with the authentic smells, tastes and sounds of Mexico. More details here.

Mad Mex on Urbanspoon Mad Mex Fresh Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon Mad Mex - Fresh Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: Bay City Burrito

Location: 4 Shakespeare Grove, St Kilda
Phone: 03 9534 1582
Link: http://www.baycityburrito.com/
Cuisine: Mexican, American, International
Overall Impression: 8/10

Bay City Burrito (BCB) has arrived with the vision of serving the Mission burrito, which traces back to the Mission District in San Francisco. It all started in the 1960s, when San Francisco’s working class were feeling the heat from the economic recession. Burritos were bulked up with beans and rice to satiate people on the cheap. 
Now, BCB is rolling the Mission District Burrito on its tortilla by adding quality produce, grilled marinated chicken and steak, carnitas style pork, and seafood. Sticking to tradition, the burritos are produced on a steam table assembly line, characterised by a large stuffed tortilla and wrapped in aluminium foil. 
Owner Gary Mink was born and bred in San Francisco, and like a true local, Mink always headed to family-owned taquerias in the Mission for his authentic burrito fix. 
When Mink moved to Melbourne, he enlisted the skills of design studio SouthSouthWest and Melbourne designer Dermot Lenaghan to develop the Mission District Burrito concept for all to enjoy. Guided by the knowledge that the family-owned, ethnic eateries are what give the Mission District and its food its soul, the team now serves Melbourne authentic Mission style burritos. 
BCB is an eatery that represents the vibrant culture of San Francisco’s Mission District from the inside out. Like St. Kilda, the Mission District is a melting pot of colour and culture. And like San Francisco’s Mission District, St. Kilda is the perfect first home for BCB this side of the equator. 

BCB’s ultimate goal is simple: to serve the best damn burritos in town. The menu boasts an extensive selection of Mission-style burritos, alongside tacos, quesadillas, nachos, salads and Latino-inspired meat and seafood dishes. 
The burritos were excellent. Each had the right proportion of rice, beans and meat. The tortillas tasted fresh and the condiments (i.e. guacamole and salsa) brought a wonderful freshness and moisture to the meat and the tortilla. We tasted a variety of burritos and all the meats were cooked to perfecto. 

We were pleased to hear that everything at BCB is prepared on site each day and made fresh to order while you wait. Patrons can chat with cooks and watch as they grill tortillas on the spot and assemble burritos using a selection of wholesome ingredients, rolled tight and served fresh. 

Fully licensed, BCB offers a selection of beer and signature margaritas to perfectly complement any meal in Bay City's recycled wood and concrete-themed dining room. 
Whether you’re looking for a snack or a meal, Bay City Burrito offers a diverse menu to suit everyone’s taste and dietary requirements (gluten free, vegetarian and vegan). The entire menu is available for dine-in or take-away. With St. Kilda beach a few minutes away, Luna Park across the road and Acland Street around the corner, BCB is ideal for groups of friends out for a hearty feed that is easy on the hip pocket; the time-constrained; families after a fresh, authentic treat; and those longing for the magic of the Mission District. 

Bay City Burrito on Urbanspoon

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of BCB.

What's new @ ASC

Location: 2 Acland Street, St Kilda
Phone: (03) 9536 1175
Link: www.aclandstcantina.com.au
Cuisine: Mexican
Overall Impression: 9/10

Boasting some of the best Mexican food in Melbourne, Acland St Cantina has in recent times established itself as a prime destination for accessible yet sophisticated dining and entertaining. From a relaxed breakfast in the diner to dinner and drinks in the sleek tequila bar and funky restaurant, ASC is extremely versatile.
One of the reasons we love ASC is the constant stream of new dishes that regularly make their way onto the menu. The new ASC menu is vibrant, fresh and innovative with a strong focus on seasonality and locally sourced produce. Here is a collection of a few of our favourite dishes from their new menu which have kept us coming back for more. 
ceviche - scallop escabeche w. fennel, watercress & ruby grapefruit
queso fundido (Mexican cheese fondue served w. warm tortillas or tortilla chips) - heritage pumpkins, padron peppers & black cabbage
prawn & pumpkin tacos w. spicy peanut mole

The Asian accents of this spicy peanut mole blended beautifully with the fresh prawns and sweet pumpkin. 
smoked duck tinga sopes, mandarin & fennel salad w. mezcal dressing

The tinga sopes (corn masa cakes) were beautifully crispy on the outside and deliciously savoury and creamy on the inside. The duck was smoky and full of flavour. The mandarin and fennel salad added a beautiful acidity and freshness to the dish. 
pueblan style rabbit tamales w. chestnuts, bacon & cavolo nero

Served in classic Mesoamerican style, the tamales arrived tucked in corn husks. Generous amounts of sweet rabbit were dispersed throughout the sweet corn dough. There is something about the sweet corn dough used to make the tamales that is simply moreish. This is one of our favourite dishes on the menu at ASC. 
chipotle glazed cantina pig ribs w. apple slaw 
cerveza braised beef cheek & tongue w. refried beans & tortillas

The beef cheek and tongue was tender and delicious, with caramel undertones courtesy of being slow-braised in beer. The creamy texture of the refried beans made them the perfect accompaniment.   
spiced rice pudding, dulce de leche cream, blood oranges 

The newest dessert on the ASC menu, the spiced rice pudding is well-balanced with the tartness of the blood orange cutting through the creaminess of the dulce de leche cream. This dessert is a masterclass  in textural balance and layered flavour. 
ice cream & sorbet selection 

The passionate staff, excellent food and wonderful wine list combined with being just minutes away from beautiful St Kilda beach make ASC a shining light in Melbourne’s progressive dining scene.

Dawn to Dusk @ ASC

Location: 2 Acland Street, St Kilda
Phone: (03) 9536 1175
Link: www.aclandstcantina.com.au
Cuisine: Mexican
Overall Impression: 9/10

From the early hours of the morning, to the wee hours of the night (and everything in between) Acland Street Cantina is always open and serving up quality Mexican fare. Because of this, Acland Street Cantina has become a bit of a "local" for us.
Despite visiting many cafes and restaurants over the years, Gastrology bloggers have rarely found a place where you can get an early morning breakfast, a lazy brunch, a delicious lunch, a spicy dinner,  or late night munchies all from the same place! 

Because of this, we thought we would share our experiences at ASC, from dawn to dusk.


9:00 am - breakfast

From the early hours of the morning until 11am everyday, ASC serves a delicious breakfast menu.
gingerbread hotcakes with caramelised pineapple and desert lime
poached organic eggs with smoked salmon
corn arepas rancheros style beans, pork belly, morcilla, chorizo poached or fried eggs 


12:30 pm - brunch/lunch

Lovers of Mexican fare that are bored by regular brunch options will rejoice at the ability to enjoy brunch with a tasty Mexican twist.
ASC's diner area is the perfect spot for a lazy brunch that is tasty, satisfying and interesting.
milawa chook & corn quesadilla 
baja med bbq vegetable salad w. heirloom tomatoes, bbq vegetables, oregano, olives, cojita cheese lime & evoo dressing served w. grilled skirt steak 
spinach quesadilla, wild mushrooms, ezpazote & huitlacoche crema


3:00 pm - afternoon delight

                  
Don't go past the café de olla which is a traditional Mexican coffee. This traditional coffee is sweet with a beautiful aromatic flavour courtesy of cinnamon and piloncillo - perfect for this winter weather!
And here are a few things to go with your teas and coffees...
prickly pear, organic banana and salted caramel ice cream (also available to go) 
dulce de leche scrolls 

pan de semita


7:30 pm - dinner

A sexy, gritty space devoted to the worship of Mexican food and drinks, combined with tunes from resident DJ Happy Juan, means ASC presents a seductive dinner proposition.
While there are many Mexican restaurants serving caricature, fast food versions of Mexican cuisine, the dishes at ASC display a sophistication, authenticity and attention to detail that makes it unrivalled in Melbourne.

Here are some of our favourite dinner dishes from ASC...
tasting plate of 3 moles
red mole with tallabrook goat, green mole with pork barbecua, black mole with duck 
pollo al horno
wood bbq chilli chicken with tomatillo verde 
huitlacoche tamales with green rice 
blue corn tacos with prawn, wild mushrooms and epazote 
wild mushroom and huitlachoche quesadillas with goat's cheese crema 
bohemia braised lamb short rib empanadas with mission fig black mole

And make sure you save space for dessert...
triple chocolate and chilli trifle with passionfruit 
 spiced chocolate caramel with peanut butter ice cream 
milk chocolate and peanut sublime, candy bar style 
salted caramel ice cream churros tacos 


1:00 am - late night munchies

It's past midnight and you're starving. If you're looking for a late night snack, ASC really hits the spot.
Because sometimes you just want good food to go...
our take-away from ASC
milawa chook and corn quesadilla & organic black angus beef rib quesadillas
ancient grain salad
The chefs bring a polish and precision to Mexican cuisine that is rare in Melbourne - every dish we have ordered from our numerous visits has been consistently excellent. ASC is definitely one of this year’s ‘it’ restaurants.

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Mexican Brunch @ ASC

Location: 2 Acland Street, St Kilda
Phone: (03) 9536 1175
Link: www.aclandstcantina.com.au
Cuisine: Mexican
Overall Impression: 9/10
Lovers of Mexican fare that are bored by regular brunch options will rejoice at the ability to enjoy brunch with a tasty Mexican twist.
As long term fans of Acland Street Cantina, we were delighted to discover that ASC's diner area is the perfect spot for a lazy brunch that is both tasty, satisfying and interesting. 
corn arepas rancheros style beans, pork belly, morcilla, chorizo poached or fried eggs 

The arepas were beautiful. Fluffy and moist on the inside and perfectly crisp on the outside, they had a lovely grittiness from the ground corn. The egg whites were delicate and the yolk oozed out of the centre - perfect. The beans, pork belly and chorizo were delicious and worked beautifully together. 
milawa chook & corn quesadilla 

Described deceptively simply on the menu, this dish arrived with a vibrant quinoa and chickpea salad beside the wonderfully seasoned (including an ample dose of chilli!) chicken quesadilla. A very flavoursome dish. 
baja med bbq vegetable salad w. heirloom tomatoes, bbq vegetables, oregano, olives, cojita cheese lime & evoo dressing served w. grilled skirt steak 

The term "Baja Med" refers to the fusion of Mexican, Mediterranean, and Asian flavours and accurately sums up this salad. It was fresh, interesting and bursting with flavour. 
spinach quesadilla, wild mushrooms, ezpazote & huitlacoche crema

A sophisticated take on the spinach and cheese quesa, this was wonderful. The deliciously grilled tortilla was a filled with a flavour explosion of wild mushrooms, spinach and a crema made from what has become one of our favourite ingredients, huitlachoche (Mexican truffle). 
café de olla 

We couldn't go pass the café de olla which is a traditional Mexican coffee. As expected, the coffee was sweet with a beautiful aromatic flavour courtesy of cinnamon and piloncillo - perfect for this winter weather! 
And even though it was just brunch, there was no way we were leaving without dessert! 
prickly pear, organic banana and salted caramel ice cream (also available to go) 
dulce de leche scrolls 
Whilst brunch venues in Melbourne are all the rage, most are serving the same tried and true dishes. For those seeking more interesting brunch options, ASC provides a compelling alternative. 

You might be interested in our Friday nights @ Acland Street Cantina post too.

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