Say “hola!” to Authentic Cocina Mexicana
Over the past few years there’s been an obvious boom in franchise, fast-food style Mexican restaurants that have taken over the country. Hence stumbling upon the authentic Mexican home-style cooking and atmosphere of Los Amates was an even more delightful and surprising experience.
The venue, located on Johnston St, Fitzroy, instantly makes you feel warm and merry with its colourful and vibrant décor, covered with an array of Mexican art, photos and murals. What’s awesome about this place is that the entire staff is Mexican (or at least Hispanic), and the restaurant is a meeting spot for Melbourne’s Mexican community. As soon as you enter the venue, you feel as if you’ve been teleported to Central America. Hola!
Our entrée was the Street Food Platter – a selection of the country’s finest finger food and light tasters. The pastry that wrapped our Enpanadas was exceptional – evidently homemade. The Sopes was particularly the highlight of this platter – delicious and crumbly hand-made corn flour cases filled with a mixture of salsas, fresh salad and cream. A true delight!
For mains we chose a selection of tapas-style smaller serves to share. The Camarones Al Chipotle was mind-blowing to say the least and definitely our favourite of the evening. This dish is made up of fresh, chunky and juicy garlic prawns cooked to perfection in a creamy chilli, parsley and butter sauce. Puerco en Mole Verde was fresh, zingy and exiting; a combination of tender diced pork pieced served in a delicious green sauce made with pumpkin seeds, green tomatoes, green chillies and lime juice.
The wonderful thing about the quality of the dishes was that even the simple side dishes were of exceptional high standard. Our tomato rice was juicy and seasoned perfectly, and the black bean dipping sauce was of perfect texture and taste. The tortillas were wrapped delicately in tea towels to keep them warm, and had obviously just been cooked to order. It was impressive to see so much care and love for these simpler serves.
Overall the Los Amates experience was more than memorable; it was an exciting evening adventure into a colourful cuisine and culture, to which the friendly and genuine staff and management do complete justice towards. Certainly one of the finest examples of homemade Mexican food in Melbourne, Los Amates is definitely on the regular list.
by Sinan Sezen
t: 613 9417 0441
a: 34 Johnston St. Fitzroy 3065, Melbourne Australia