Hotel Jesus is in the old Collingwood post office and is inspired by the traditional ’70s-style taquerias and tostaderias of Mexico. It has blue banquettes, red stools, flimsy tables, slow ceiling fans and tiles in various shades of pastel. There’s a Guadalupe on the wall, and other Catholic iconography. There’s also a quote from Lane’s favourite film, The Big Lebowski: “Nobody fucks with the Jesus”.
The tostadas (toasted tortillas with toppings) at Hotel Jesus are made in-house from scratch via a traditional method that involves dehydrating the tortillas for 24 hours to make them crispy.
They’re topped with ingredients such as prawns with ginger oil and chilli; tuna, ponzu and wasabi; mushrooms, corn and smoked avocado; or beef with leek and cotija (a dry Mexican cheese). There are also tacos, tortas, ceviches, and snacks such as corn with black mayonnaise, and pickled jalapenos.
Nick Peters, Australia’s only master mezcalier, designed the tequila and mezcal list. There are also imported Mexican beers, served chelada-style (with a rim of salt, lime and ice). Six cocktails are on tap, including a Mexican Espresso Martini; sangria; and Jesus Maria (like a Bloody Mary, topped with a chicken chicharrón – a popular snack made from fried skin and fat).
Hotel Jesus doesn’t take bookings – it doesn’t fit into the casual, drop-in concept. But the adjoining “Tacoway” section, which serves a condensed version of the Hotel Jesus menu, including a few additions such as burritos, is there if you miss out on a table.
Tacoway Open Wed to Sun 11:30am–late.