Food and Drink
Posted by Becca Z
24. Mar, 2012
My theory about the recent explosion of taquerías in Melbourne is that tacos are included in the magic no-fail zone of cheese combined with a carb. You have to try really, really hard to screw up that combination. I can say that. I’m lactose intolerant and even I can’t resist.
Touche Hombre seems to address taco fatigue with their “Los Angeles in the 80s” theme. It’s the tacquiera Marty McFly would frequent when he wasn’t time travelling. The bar is made of wood from the old Princes Pier, a deejay booth sits in the corner and there are judiciously placed neon signs throughout the space. If you somehow get bored, there are two arcade machines right next to the bar for you to entertain yourself with.
The haphazard 80s pop-culture vibe is carried through to the website, which touts Touche Hombre’s tagline as being “Heroes de Medio Caparazon”, or “Heroes in a Half Shell”. Given that the owner of the restaurant is Davis Yu, of Millswyn fame, the well-thought out interior design is matched with a tight menu.
Drinks have a suitably Mexican focus, with an entire range of tequilas to choose from. If you can’t decide, there are Flights of Three to sample. The newly arrived ice-grinder is being put to good use, with Snow Cones on the menu. The Tahitian lime & mint snow cone that I ordered with an optional shot of tequila was light and fresh, the ice was ground to just the right consistency so that it didn’t dissolve into a puddle within the first three minutes.
The suspenders-clad staff are more than helpful and well-informed. My server didn’t bat an eyelid when I said my friend did not eat spice and requested for spicy salsa to be served on the side of our shared nachos. Except for the tacos, all dishes on the menu are designed to be shared, coming in generous sizes.
The soft shell crab taco comes recommended, although the El Secreto would be my tip, if you’re feeling adventurous. The description on the menu says to “ask your waiter”, but when I did, my server smiled slyly and tapped her nose, “When customers ask that, we’re meant to say ‘Shhhhhhhh’.”
For the record, my server did make sure the El Secreto for the night would suit my dietary requirements and told me that it was a “winter taco”. It turned out to be braised ox tail in a rich sauce.
Desserts are ice-cream sandwiches, with our choice of dulce de leche perfectly complementing the strawberry parfait and crushed pistachio.
Overall, while tacos have been popping up everywhere of late, I’d suggest that Touche Hombre may be a stayer. Or as Bill and Ted say, “Party on, dude”.
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