Originally published on Broadsheet.
Grasshopper tacos and deep-fried cubes of tequila at a fun new cantina in the south.
There’s certainly no dearth of Mexican restaurants in Melbourne. But Tacocat must be the only one owned by one a man who spent more than 20 years in the IT industry before taking a leap into hospitality.
Craig Dick’s new Windsor taqueria came out of his passion for Mexican food and travels to the country.
“I have spent a lot of time travelling the world,” Dick says. “The amazing thing [about] Mexican cuisine is its flexibility – you can pair it with a lot of different flavours from other continents and it still doesn’t lose its heart.”
The space is casual and fun, with bar stools lining the front window, timber furniture, a colourful mural and warm lighting.
“It’s got a cantina feel about it,” says Dick. “I think the name Tacocat really encapsulates what we are – fun, casual, a place where you can just have some tequila or a cocktail if you’re not after any food. Plus, I like the fact that it’s a palindrome.”
The kitchen, headed by Gabriel Alcanfor (ex-San Telmo) serves up a selection of tacos made with daily-made tortillas that only contain corn and a little sea salt. There are flashes of Japanese and Vietnamese on the menu, with a Japanese fried chicken taco with nori and wasabi mayo, and a beef pho variation with everything you’d find in the soup – bean sprouts, Vietnamese mint, coriander – served with a shot of broth on the side.
For the adventurous, there’s the grasshopper taco, served with guacamole and pico de gallo. Appetisers include elotes – corn on the cob drizzled in chipotle mayo and feta, and a chicken tostada.
But let’s get back to the tequila for a second. You can order a standard shot if you wish, or, try Tacocat’s version – a cube of deep-fried, tequila-soaked sponge cake, served in a lime-fringed glass with lemon sorbet. Salud.
118 High Street, Windsor
(03) 9048 0630)
Tue to Sun 5pm–10pm
Image credit: Jake Roden.