Arturo Morales opened his Los Amates Mexican Kitchen in 2003. He’d been in Australia for 20 years by then, but hadn’t found anyone serving authentic food from his homeland, so he opened his own shop. On Sunday May 28, after 13 years on Johnston Street, he will close for good.
“As you probably know, I have tried to sell the business to someone that may be interested in continuing what I have started, but it has not been easy,” Morales wrote in an Instagram post earlier this week. “With my health in mind and looking at exploring other areas … I have decided to close the restaurant for good, in Fitzroy anyway, as I might pop up somewhere else in the future with renewed energy and enthusiasm.”
Morales has always sourced hard-to-come by Mexican ingredients and grows many of his own herbs. His mole poblano sauce (chilli, cocoa and cinnamon, among other ingredients) takes two days to make, and rotating specials took diners on a culinary journey through different parts of Mexico. The walls are decorated with mementos from Morales’s trips back home.
“I always felt very proud of our achievement and of all the friends for life that I have made, many have worked for me even for a short period of time, or others that have worked with me for many years, and the feeling of having an extended family will remain with me forever,” he wrote. “I have loved every minute of this venture, but I need to take a break from it all and plan my next move, I will miss this place and everyone involved.”
Stop by one for last fruity Margarita this weekend.
This Sunday May 28 is the last day Los Amates will be open, from 3pm until late.