Melburnians have been mad for Mexican fare for a good while now and new taquerias continue to appear on our streets. So why try new haunt Si Senor? Simple: it’s the real deal.

Yes, it’s got all the usual menu favourites, from tacos and burritos to tortas and aguas frescas. And yes, it’s got the customary smattering of skulls and cacti. But really, that’s where the similarities end.

Styled as a 1950s home complete with retro fridge, laminex bench and well-loved sofa, this Mexican eatery (which enjoyed a brief stint as a pop-up earlier this year) will take you back to old-school family life in Mexico with its new permanent position in the bustle of Carlisle Street, peeling turquoise paint and all.

Creative director Ricardo Amare has been living away from his small Mexican hometown for some eight years now but has found the outlet to keep his memories alive, including warm customer welcomes in Spanish. “What I want is authenticity,” he says. The delicious food is all made using old family recipes by Mexican chef Cindy Flores and her handmade floral decorations are scattered throughout the two-storey, five-room space.

But what really sets Si Senor apart is its ever-evolving collection of commissioned Mexican-inspired art (with plans for live installations), traditional homewares and imported furniture, which is all available to purchase. It’s a surprising touch that will ensure Si Senor is always moving with the times but never forgetting its old-school roots.

Si Senor
193 Carlisle Street, Balaclava

Daily 11:30am–late