Opened by chums David Youl and Tim McDonald, Fonda Mexican is tagged as 'a casual, accessible Mamasita'. Fonda, or la Fonda literally translates to hotel or a small house in Mexico that does food. And man, does Fonda Mexican “do” food.
Guided by the culinary guns in the open kitchen – seasoned chef Ravi Presser (Cumulus Inc.) and Mexican chef Lupita Manzo (Cantinero, Sydney), who brings more of the home-style edge to the mix – Fonda Mexican aims to offer a healthy food alternative. This is not fast food, but good food served quickly.
There are tables out the front, more seating inside, and a bunch more out the back, but the capacity of the place is at 55 heads, so get in early with a group and make a night of it. Can you hear the chopped beef and kangaroo fillet burritos calling? The vegetarian or braised pork taco, filled with pineapple, onion, coriander and lime? Sure you can.
Enjoy sides of charred corn, fat chips and a kicking chorizo quesadilla. Add a little El Yucateco Green or Red Salsa Picante de Chile Habanero Hot Sauce to the mix, but don’t ask for sour cream – the Fonda team don’t roll with Mexican clichés. They also substitute rice for quinoa, make their dough at the Convent Bakery, Abbotsford and source all fresh ingredients from the Vic Market. The Fonda crew even tap into a seasonal menu, make salsa fresh every day and serve Mexican drinks Horchata and Jarrito Soda.
Look out for the orange Fonda-branded postie bike, or the vast graffiti stamp of ‘Mi Casa Su Casa’ on the exterior wall.