On Johnston Street in Melbourne’s Fitzroy.PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
Anyone who has travelled through Mexico will know that its cuisine consists not just of refried beans, hard-shell tacos and meals smothered in a layer of sour cream and cheese. Bad Mexican food is everywhere, and this is what prompted Arturo Morales to open shop here several years ago. His restaurant is well known among Melbourne’s small Mexican community and beyond for authentic, fresh and varied regional dishes.
A combination platter makes an excellent starter and offers a range of tastes, including sopes, taquitos, quesadillas, molletes and guacamole. Or, dig into a plate of nachos or “make your own” tacos with soft tortillas. Mains include chicken enchiladas with mole poblano or porterhouse steak served with hot chipotle salsa, rice and frijoles. Sauces don’t have to be spicy to be full of flavour; try the diced pork served with tomatillo, green chilli and coriander salsa. There’s also a kid-friendly menu and plenty of daily specials. Naturally, there is a superlative selection of aged tequilas to work your way through, plenty of Mexican beers, and of course, margaritas are a specialty. Try your beer with a michelada - a salt encrusted glass of fresh lime juice - or a Cubano with Tabasco added for an extra kick! Cocktails such as “Castro’s Pain” enliven an already cheery evening in this restaurant.
At Los Amates, Mexican native Arturo Morales aims to please Fitzroy locals with a combination of friendly service and bona fide Mexican fare. White-washed walls are festooned with simple, colourful decorations add a ‘fiesta’ vibe, while foreign artworks adds a homely, vibrant touch. Take a seat with friends at one of the lengthy banquet tables for your own party of tortillas, tacos and tequila.FOOD & BEVERAGE
Feast on lesser-known, home-style dishes such as the Tortillitas de Colifor – mini tortillas made from ground cauliflower, cooked in a Mexican beer-batter and topped with red sauce – or the ‘pollo con mole poblano’, a tender chicken dish served with a homemade sauce that traditionally contains more than 30 spices and ingredients.