Touche Hombre is evidence of Melbourne’s continued love affair with Mexican food – presented in the ultra-cool style pioneered by outlets such as Mamasita. On the corner of Lonsdale Street and Tattersalls Lane in the city, it’s all tacos and tequila at shared tables, with blasting tunes and flashes of neon lights.

This particular strip is more famous for being the heart of Melbourne’s Greek quarter. In recent years, it’s catered more to the tastes of a huge number of local students. Apart from the slightly glam QV shopping centre across the road, it was fairly downmarket.

But it’s in too good a location to have been left untouched by the city’s restaurant entrepreneurs. Laneway bars and eateries are again all the rage in Melbourne and Touche Hombre is now in an oasis of cool. Earlyish on a Thursday night, it had a strong turnover of tables and quite a mixed clientele. Greedy Girl was relieved that it wasn’t just a hipster enclave.

Settling in with a ‘Margarita del Tommy’ (made from lemon and lime juice, agave nectar, agave sec and espolon reposado, a premium tequila), Greedy Girl was slightly disappointed that it was not available frozen. Nonetheless, it was quite delightful. Apart from the selection of soft tacos, Touche Hombre is known for its tequila – offering around 45 varieties, all featured on its own menu. Gluttonous husband opted for the Thunder Road pale ale (from a brewery in inner-suburban Brunswick.

Touche Hombre margaritas

There’s a tequila menu here!

It’s not a place necessarily to linger. While the margaritas are available in the tin cup (pictured above) or by the jug, the latter caters more to groups rather than extremely thirsty individuals. We decided to order a couple of starters and a selection of tacos and gauge our level of hunger after that.

First up was the guacamole with coriander, radish and pico de gallo, served with corn chips. The avocado was very soft and the combination of flavours quite nice, if not outrageously good. Greedy Girl was a little disappointed at the serving size for the $12 price tag. Still, it went well wth the drinks.

Guacamole with corn chips

Guac with corn chips

Next up was ‘street corn’, pictured at the top of this blog. These are charred half cobs served with mayo, pecorino and lime. The combination of flavours was really good – the lime a really good foil for the richness of the cheese – but the texture of the corn was a bit mushy.

Our first platter of tacos arrived next. At the front of this pic was the pork belly taco, served ‘al Pastor’ style with pineapple salsa and habanero mayo. The style is basically a marinated pork in a variety of spices and chili and grilled. Even with Greedy Girl’s notorious dislike for pineapple in a savoury context, it was a good combination. Dutifully, after eating half, she handed the remainder over to gluttonous husband who later commented he thought it was the pick of the dishes. The other taco on this platter featured soft-shell crab. The crab had been battered and deep fried and it was served with corn puree, popcorn and pea tendrils. Greedy Girl enjoyed the crunch and thought the flavour combination was again quite good.

Touche Hombre tacos

Taco platter #1

Our second platter featured three tacos. We started with the taco at the back of this photo, featuring chicken. The menu describes this as being served with chimichurri, herb mayo, cheese and roasted pumpkin seeds. Neither of us could discern any seeds and the taco could have used the crunch from them. The chicken didn’t have a good texture or particularly attractive flavour, in Greedy Girl’s estimation. We then moved to the fish taco (at the front of the plate). This was basically a firm, white fish, beer battered with chipotle mayo and pico de gallo. It was perfectly edible. Last up was the beef taco (in the middle of the platter). This was seared strips of meat with what was termed a ‘house made crema’ and charred peppers. It was certainly the spiciest dish of the night.

Touche hombre tacos

Taco platter #2

Despite only sharing a handful of tacos and the starters, we were both quite full. We paid our bill and prepared to head into the night.

The restaurant was listed on Melbourne newspaper, the Age Cheap Eats listing, being able to get a decent feed for less than $30. That’s certainly true in terms of the food component, but adding the drinks to the bill means it’s not an inexpensive evening. Still, for something quick and tasty, in a fun setting, it’s worth a visit.

Touche Hombre

233 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Touché Hombre Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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