Tacos y Liquor
First there was Igni, chef Aaron Turner’s intimate all-fire, all-local tasting-menu restaurant in a Geelong backstreet. Then came The Hot Chicken Project, Turner’s love letter to Nashville-style fried chicken. For his next trick, Turner zoomed in on another much-loved dish from the Americas, tacos, with this 40-seat taqueria.
The menu, like the space, is tight and runs to just four tacos: carne asada, cooked using a rotating selection of Sher-brand Wagyu secondary cuts; al pastor, made with pork belly from nearby Raven’s Creek Farm; and chicken tinga – shredded chicken in a tomato, onion and chipotle sauce. Vegetarians can hook into tacos crammed with mushroom and huitlacoche, a fungus found on corn that’s also known as Mexican truffle. A burrito option is also available for customers who are especially hungry or ordering takeaway. (Turner believes, correctly, that tacos don’t travel well and only serves them to dine-in guests.)
Scallop and cactus make cameos on the small rotating menu of tostadas (deep-fried tortillas). Side dishes include street corn, chicken-fat rice with beans, and regional specials such as birra (a beef consommé with shredded beans). Although Turner has a reputation for doing things in-house at Igni, he’s leaving the tortilla-making to Melbourne’s peerless La Tortilleria.
Like the name suggests, drinks are the other half of Tacos y Liquor. There are Margaritas and Palomas, of course. Mezcals and tequilas are also on high rotation, while beer and wine (red and white field blends from SA’s Vinteloper) are on tap, poured into rustic half-litre jars if you so desire. Bottled wine is also available to buy from The Hot Chicken Project across the road. All the booze is considered and to the point, which is what Tacos y Liquor is all about.