Food and Drink


We’re Fonda Fonda

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Melbourne is a town that likes fads, whether it’s food trucks, pop up stores or Masterchef spin-offs. Another is ‘Mexican food that isn’t from Taco Bills‘.

The infamous lines down the stairs at Mamasita and the buzz around Trippy Taco’s recent relocation are testament to the taco love, so it’s not really surprising the Mexican wave has now come to Richmond.

Fonda opened a week ago and has been doing a cracking trade ever since. Opened for lunch and dinner with a liquor license coming this week, the new restaurant does Mexican street food that’s a little fancy. There’s also an old postie’s bike out the front.

No, Fonda isn’t named after Henry Fonda, though that would be something. I’m told Fonda means ‘Little Inn’ in Mexican Mexican/Spanish slang, and that’s the mojo owners Tim McDonald and David Youl are trying to bring to their new venture.

They’ve worked with Lupita Manz, a chef from Guanajuato who adapted recipes from her family’s own Fonda and collaborated with chef Ravi Presser (ex Cumulus, Circa and Kinfolk) to create a local twist on the classic dishes (could Oz-Mex be the next hashtag?)

This means a short, sharp menu of all the Tex-Mex hits: burritos, tacos, quesadillas and ensalades. The flour and corn tortillas are from the Abbotsford Convent and are hand pressed on site. Burritos come with fillings with Kangaroo Fillet (avocado, quinoa, sweet potato, smoky relish, coriander, $14) and Grilled Chicken (quinoa, salsa verde, pico de gallo, quesa fresco, $13.5).

Tacos come in fish, pork and vegetarian varieties, while sides of fat chips and grilled corn round off the menu. I go for the Kangaroo Burrito.

My bur-rooto (sorry) was served fresh with big juicy chunks of Skippy liberally spread throughout. I can take or leave quinoa but the smoky sweet potato added a caramel punch while the El Yucateco hot sauce brought the whole thing home. Is it worth 14 clams? Probably not. But there are cheaper things on the menu.

I wash down my fauna lunch with some home made Horchata, basically rice pudding in a jar. This stuff is great, probably bad for you, but when in Fonda…

It’s served in a jar and a cute paper straw that went limp and soggy halfway through my slurping. Still, it looked nice.

All in all, I’m fonda Fonda. It’s got nice open windows, the food may be a little pricey but it’s good quality stuff. And it’s not Taco Bills.

Fonda Mexican
248 Swan St, Richmond
9429 0085
Sun – Thurs 11am – 10pm
Fri – Sat 11am – midnight

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