Food and Drink
Posted by Jo Greggains
29. May, 2013
As I cycle down an industrial street in Kensington the sounds of Mexico somehow reach my ears. I find myself outside a little blue shack, with a living kitchen growing out front. Music pipes cheerily onto the street to entertain the queue of Spanish voices. It’s a good bet even before I walk through the doors that I’m going to like La Tortilleria.
The warm family-like atmosphere inside is bursting with smiles and dripping fingers as people tuck into their food, squeezed in together like one big happy taco.
Owners Diana, who used to work in a tortilleria in Mexico, and Gerardo create a relaxed vibe amongst the hungry chaos. I sit next to a Mexican family who smiled the entire way through their meal and swore to me that those tacos taste just the same as they do at home. The happiness around me was infectious.
You can’t go wrong on the simple menu of tacos and quesadillas ($4.5 each), guacamole with tortilla chips ($6) and sopes ($6). Unfortunately they’d run out of pork by the time I got there but the free-range carne asada taco was a great stand-in, flavoured with herbs from the front garden.
Made on-site, each tortilla takes 16 hours to make from start to finish using the centuries-old nixtamal method. The process begins by soaking the wholegrain corn overnight before stone-grinding it into masa (dough) and then finishing it off in the tortilla press. This ancient Aztec method increases vitamin and calcium levels and also makes the tortillas easier for the body to digest. It also means that each tortilla is 100% preservative, gluten and additive free.
I finished off the meal with a delicately spiced hot chocolate, only to step back out onto the street a little depressed to remember that it is in fact autumn – and I wasn’t in Mexico. Then I made a promise to myself to come back.
72 Stubbs Street, Kensington
Thurs-Fri noon-2.30pm, 6pm-late
Sat-Sun 11.30am-3.30pm, 6pm-late
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