With travels to Mexico in the distance of 2013, I am getting more and more involved with the cuisine and it's array of spices, and the drinks that can cool me down quicker than I can blink. So when you find out about new Mexican places popping up in conversations it does urge me to get a peddle on and try them all, but my list is growing rather fast with the Mexican cuisine becoming more and more popular compared to the day where your choice of Mexican was just Taco Bill.
Not that I am here to complain, these new places hitting the Melbourne scene, are fresh and not microwaved produce which is ideal to anyones diet. Perfect fresh bold flavours the way that Mexican food is served and of course enjoyed.
Fonda Mexican based in Richmond has splashes of fiesta colours on the frames and stools but keeps a cool tone in general, so it is not overwhelming but very modern in it's layout. If you're one to take in the scene completely before getting into your meals, check out the detail in the roofing and the magnificent red wired chandelier that hangs over the communal wooden table.
Filled with those who are after a quick casual lunch that has a great upbeat atmosphere with powering music over head to get everyone bopping their heads to the beat was a great way to spend my Sunday afternoon. It was great to see the staff having fun behind the counter but at the same time being fast and efficient with the service of meals.
Drinks on the table within minutes of sitting back at the table from their counter service was somewhat impressive, but what was more impressive were the jar styled presentation of drinks. One thing that Melbourne has begun to take on as the new in thing in restaurants. Not that I'm complaining..... being served a large Vegemite sized jar of horchata is nothing to frown at nor at $4.50 per jar. More like grinning from ear to ear. This cooling rice milk based drink with hints of cinnamon is something I'm looking forward too each time I drink one. Laying back on the Mexican coast line with this in hand could be anyones dream, but I'm going to enjoy it more when it's reality. The Margaritas in more slender tall jars were just like alcoholic tropical slushies with passionfruit shining through. Very easy to drink and very tasty.
To get us started for the day we nibble some pork scratchings and chips smothered in some kick ass chipotle mayo. The pork scratchings were similar to the prawn crackers in Chinese restaurants but of course with a pork flavour. Somewhat unusual, this light unusual cracker I guess you could call them were different but had flavour. Served with good old guacamole it got the palate going.
The golden fries are always a winner at anyones table and with the burst of burning chipotle flavours through the mayo got your chilli sweats going instantly. However once you have one, you can't bare to stop going back for more. Nourish is really all you could say.
For our main dishes we got our hands around a Goat taco and their quesadilla, whilst friends went for the buritos. The Goat taco served in a soft shell was tender and juicy. This small tasty handful of taco was fresh and burst with natural flavours. I would have loved this to be a bigger meal itself as it was too delicious, but defiantly a great snack or starter. Noting was too over powering and was just smooth on the palate.
Quesadilla's were amazing and highly recommended. Going out on a limb I went for the cactus whilst Paul headed for the Chorizo. The pickled cactus was accompanied with spiced black beans and queso fresco (cheese) and served with a salsa on the side. Cactus is something that I can't really explain unless you try it. I guess textually it's like eating something like a cooked pepper, the flesh smooth but skin has this king of squeak to it. Not a powerful flavour at all so it's something easy to try even if you just do it once. With the salsa on the side, it did tend to go a little soggy, but I enjoyed it all the same - the crispier ends better though.
The chorizo smacked full of flavour, bold and powerful. Almost not getting a taste of this one as Paul was enjoying it so much I had to battle him for the last mouthful. Lucky I was to taste it, magnificent is how I guess both of us would put it. Simple flavours of chorizo, queso fresco, jalapeno and salsa roja yelled chilli lovers delight. If you are after strong flavours and chilli hits I wouldn't go think any further, this is perfect for you. Crisp tortilla bread filled with this concoction was delicious.
The buritos were over flowing with fillings, but was asked to make mention that they state 12" in size. Now after great discussion we believe that when flat out on the bench these tortillas could in fact be 12", however when rolled up and filled then served it is not a 12" anymore, but about 9-10". They are however so huge almost unable to fit them in your mouth because they are jammed to the brim with ingredients, I wouldn't shy too far away from enjoying one.
We had a great afternoon and enjoyed the atmosphere immensely, so it's sure to be expected for my return. With them not taking reservations, it's only sure to be expected that evenings can get quiet full and weekends continuous. But with their service being so fast, you wouldn't need to wait too long for a table to become available.
I will be sure to make myself at home at Fonda and relax with a ice cold horchata in the summer months. They say the Mi Casa Su Casa and I am looking forward to it being more so.
248 Swan Street