Thursday, December 26, 2013

La Tortilleria, Kensington by Big Fil

Melbourne seems to be having  bit of a love affair with Mexican food at the moment, or at least Mexican street food.  From generic style franchises such as Mad Mex (reviewed in December 2012) through to the casually upmarket Mamasita (reviewed in May 2010), it’s a long way to the Zocalo but not too far for tacos or quesadilla.  

La Tortilleria has been called the most authentic purveyor of tacos in Melbourne and while I have yet to really catch the Mexican wave that meant it was somewhere that I just had to try.

I have to say when you walk in La Tortilleria really does feel like the biz.  It’s homely but colourful, the welcome warm and friendly, and you can watch your food being prepared as you wait.  

Given that this was likely to take a few minutes, Ms Counting her Calories, Snooze and myself thought we’d start off our lunch with a serve of the guacamole served with their home made corn chips.  This is where the in-house nature of the food first showed through, in both good and bad ways.  The good was the sheer freshness of the dip, no stale avocado here.   On the other hand I would have liked some more citric zing to the flavour.  And we all had mixed feelings about the chips.  Made from fried tortillas, these had great corn flavours but the texture was different to what we were used to, Snooze in particular feeling it was a little ‘cardboardy’.

With three of us we were able to order a fair selection from the menu – chorizo and frijoles quesadillas, the tacos al pastor (the meat cooked on a spit) and carne asada (grilled beef), and the grigas (pork with cheese between two tortillas).  Salsas are laid out in group pots, with smaller pots provided for you to take back to your table as much as desired.

Waiting with much anticipation, after about 10 minutes our lunch was placed in front of us.  So what was it like?  Firstly, the tacos are quite different to other places around town.  The flavour of the corn in the tortilla is considerably stronger, which for me is a major plus.  The texture is also quite different, not your more common hard or soft tortilla but somewhere in between.

Taste wise, I hate to say it but they weren’t all that I’d hoped for.  We all enjoyed the chorizo quesadilla, and Snooze was complementary about the grigas, but there was something about the others that didn’t quite rock my world.  I think it was the combination of the moderately crunchy tortillas and that some of the fillings came across as a little dry and tastless.

Our meal was redeemed though by the glorious flan and accompanying hot chocolate.  A good flan is a gloriously decadent experience and this was a definitely good flan.  Soft, eggy, sweet, cut through by the accompanying sauce.  Combined with the lightly spiced hot chocolate, this I would make the trip out here specially to try.

Mexican food in Melbourne, I don’t know if it’s you or me but at this stage I just can’t commit.  When we entered everything just felt so right that I was La Tortilleria was going to be the one but at the end of the day I was left feeling a little confused.  Nice casual atmosphere, friendly faces and greetings, an authentic feel all ticked, so why didn’t it do it for me?  Other than it did feel a bit pricey for what we had I am not sure, but then Ms Counting her Calories – a real lover of Mexican street food – has commented that in future she is restricting her hunt for great Mexican food to the US and Mexico.

Food – 7
Ambiance – 7.5
Service – 7.5
Price – 6.5

72 Stubbs Street
Kensington VIC 3031
Tel: (03) 9376 5577

La Tortilleria on Urbanspoon


La Tortilleria said...

We appreciate there reviews about us and promise to provide great services, Thanks for ranking us 7 more then average much appreciated.

Bureaucrat said...

Our pleasure :) THanks for visiting our blog!

Bureaucrat said...

Our pleasure :) THanks for visiting our blog!

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