Touché, “Touché Hombre” by Kat Williams

Posted on September 6, 2012

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It is safe to say that Mexican food is one of the most popular, tastiest cuisines around and if you don’t like some nachos from time to time there’s something deeply wrong with you. Touché Hombre, on Lonsdale Street, is a new edition to Melbourne’s Mexican food scene after the popularity of Mamasita left us all salivating for more. Following a roughly forty-minute wait and one not-so-sneaky gin and tonic, a call to my mobile was eagerly answered and a table for four gained. The funky, tattooed, suspender-wearing staff were incredibly apologetic for the wait (a standard wait for a Saturday night in Melbourne really) and even suggested bars in the area for us to pass the time. We were seated on a high table with stools that gave a good view of the joint. My only complaint is that there was nowhere to put my oh-so-nice coat and bag, except on the floor. Such a girl problem, but seriously some hooks not inaccessible behind the DJ (yes there is an in-house DJ) would be greatly appreciated.

Mother’s milk for “Touché Hombre”

A must-have entree on the fairly diverse menu is, of course, classic nachos, or ‘totopos’ as the menu calls them. Never have I had such tasty, saucy, cheesy, crispy nachos, which didn’t get soggy (as we all know tends to happen). In fact, we probably ate them so quickly that they didn’t even have the chance to soak anything up! I would definitely suggest ordering one between two. Our second order was a round of bite-sized mango chicken tostaditos with a spicy kick in the backside that were—though delicious and a great, fresh combination—a tad overpowering. Perhaps I had bad luck because everyone else demolished their tostaditos, but the chicken in mine seemed to be a little fatty and gristly. At a cost of $14 for four they are on the expensive side, but this is to be expected for a trendy Mexican joint in the CBD.

Two individual tacos were next on the list, with most ranging from $7-$11 depending on the fillings (of which there were plenty to choose from). I chose a chicken taco and a beef meatballs taco, which were both delicious and flavoursome. However, I had issues again with the quality of the chicken; perhaps I have a problem? Though you may be fairly full by this point, dessert is a must at Touché Hombre. The selection of chilled parfaits proved to be a stomach buster. And yes, I tried four of the five offerings. The dulce de leche (a type of South American caramelised milk-and-sugar mixture with the consistency of fudge) is to die for, and was not too sickly due to its strawberry parfait centre. The special for the day was a passionfruit and coconut parfait, which although scrumptious and tangy was no competition for the caramelly deliciousness of the former. Each serving of dessert came with two decent-sized triangles and was well worth the full-to-the-brim feeling I experienced as I slid off my stool. Let’s just say, I may need to get an Ab Circle Pro A.S.A.P.

The trendy interior.

The Tempranillo on the wine list was a great drop, though pricey at $14 a glass. The other option for red wine was much too fruity for my liking, and the rosé was not the dry kind, more on the very sweet side. Next time I’m going to go for one of the cocktails served from gigantic ceramic jugs, try some of the 45 different types of tequila and the mexican beers I’ve never heard of and will most likely regret.

Touché Hombre is a crockery-free zone. While this fits the casual, hustle and bustle atmosphere, all the cardboard use leads you to hope that they recycle! The DJ pumps a great mix of old and new dance beats. This does make it difficult to talk at times, but after a couple of drinks we tend to shout anyway, right?! The decor is an eclectic mix of colorful Rio de Janeiro-inspired street graffiti and quirky fluorescent bar lights. It has a warehouse feel with some traditional Mexican touches. There are even arcade games by the entrance.

Courtesy Milk Bar Mag

The perfect parfait.

All in all, Touché Hombre was a mucho bueno experience. I can’t guarantee it won’t dent the wallet a little, but it’s great for a night out with friends who share a love of Mexican food and a desire to try something different.  The Touché Hombre website has fully embraced the digital age, acting as a blog as well, so check it out for some cool posts.

Kat has taken to Melbourne’s Mexican cuisine trend with her first review for You’re Dripping Egg. Are you on the Mexican bandwagon? Been to Touché Hombre? What did you think?

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Posted in: Food