• Senoritas (Myers Place, Melbourne)

I have been to Senoritas twice and have been delighted by the unique design and energy of the restaurant. The restaurant has a Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) theme to it. This is a National holiday in Mexico and many parts of Central and South America. It is believed to have its origins from an Aztec tradition. It is a holiday where the friends and family who have died are remembered and prayed for, but it is more a day of celebration and partying than mourning. Feminine skeletal paintings and figures are part of the décor. This together with the strong feminine oriented decorations, reds, blacks and mirrors create a surreal ambience. This is not a big restaurant. It is made up of a bar and a series of tables for two which can be joined to make larger tables.

Most of the Mexican restaurants I’ve been to in Australia present fairly rustic food. Senoritas create authentic Mexican dishes but with a modern refinement. I did enjoy the guacamole ($8) as a starter. A vegetable based cocktail accompanying a guacamole with lime, green tomatoes, onion, chilli and coriander does get the taste buds in a high state of arousal.

The esquites ($7) is a corn based dish. I would normally avoid a serving of corn, but this was corn cooked with onions, epazote (similar to oregano), fresh cheese, chilli and lime. The chilli and lime lifted this dish and the epazote, onions and cheese provided complexity to an otherwise simple dish.

The tostades de cactus ($8) was also an enjoyable dish. This was a tortilla topped with cactus, capsicum, onion, black beans, herbs and fresh cheese. This had very fresh ingredients and the crispness of the finely sliced vegetables made for a refreshing dish.

The wine, beer and cider list is not huge, but is well selected and comes by the glass or bottle. One of the specialties of Senoritas is the cocktails. At $19 a throw the cocktails don’t come cheaply, but they are certainly worth a try. The ones I tried were the El Pepino (tequila, cucumber and coriander) and the El Pimento (tequila, capsicum, lime and agave). These felt like vego nirvana with an intense and lingering flavour of freshly picked vegetables with a tequila kick.

The meal was finished with a chocolate dia de muertos ($7). I have no idea if this is a traditional Mexican dessert but it was very good. A chocolate ganache flavoured with chilli and Pedro Ximines and topped with a PX syrup is a wonderful combination of flavours.

If you have given up on Mexican restaurants because of a lack of finesse and refinement it is worth giving Senoritas a try. The whole décor and the menu really does give an insight into how the basics of Mexican cuisine can be used to create innovative, delicious and a reasonably priced dining experience.

Senoritas is open for dinner Mon-Sat from 6pm. There is a special supper menu from 10:30pm Thurs- Sat.

About the author
Michael is passionate about food and wine. He worked in the wine industry for 3 years (a dream job) and learnt about food through cooking with friends from extremely diverse backgrounds. Michael enjoys cooking a range of European and Asian inspired dishes, but his main passion is creating cakes, tarts and desserts.

16 Myers Place
Melbourne 3000
03 96397437
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