Arriving at 5.30, we were able to avoid the hour-long wait that typically comes with a no-reservations visit to Touche Hombre. Located on the corner of Lonsdale St and Tattersalls Lane, the Maison Davis Team have clearly had a lot of fun designing this Mexican bar/restaurant. The fit-out is brash and grungy; skull-themed wallpaper, street-art-adorned feature walls illuminated by neon lights, zombie warnings and a Ghostbusters tribute add some unique character to in-trend exposed brick walls and metal chairs at long reclaimed timber tables.
Tequila is the star here, with too many variations to count, illuminated bottles on display along the bar. We watched with interest as margaritas were poured from beautiful, imported, rooster-shaped ceramic jugs into enamel mugs. Too bad it was a school night
The menu is populated with Mexican street food favourites. We dived straight in with ‘fatty lamb ribs’; sweet, sticky, very fatty (the name is quite literal), meat falling off the bone, dusted with smoky Merquen (cacho de cabra pepper seasoning) and finished with fresh lemon and cilantro.
Next, the ever-popular ‘totopos’; tortilla chips topped with guac and spicy salsa. Our dairy-free version skipped the Egmont cheese and sour cream.
From the taco menu, ‘de pescado’; light, crispy-battered white fish with pickled cucumber mayo and tomato salsa.
‘de carnitas’; spiced pork, apple, sage, pork crackling (‘chicharrones’) and spicy habanero mayo.
S courageously order the ‘el secreto’; hm…. chewy, kinda like octopus, but quite meaty…..oh, it’s chicken heart.
The tacos were very impressive; the gluten-free soft shells were thin and flexible, nothing like the thick, crumbly shells that fall apart when you pick them up. Fillings were fresh, light and not over-powered by condiments. They were also easy to eat, served in little boat-shaped cardboard dishes.
The dessert menu is short and simple, four ice cream ‘sangas’ with the option of ordering a platter of three. My love of peanut butter made the chocolate and chili peanut cookie an obvious choice; dense, nutty, peanut parfait, sandwiched between two crumbly dark chocolate biscuits.
Great vibe, delicious food and super-hip staff who were friendly, attentive and genuinely interested in your experience; finally a Mexican restaurant I will be going back to. Next time, tostaditos and TFC!