In the battle of new taquerias, this one's a heavyweight contender
In the battle between the new taquerias popping up all over Melbourne, this Richmond eatery is a heavyweight contender.
Less than a kilometre from Mexican hotspot Fonda, Chingón (pronounced “chin-gone”) is Spanish for badass or extremely awesome and it certainly lives up to its name.
It opened last month and doesn’t yet have a functioning website, but word has spread quickly and bookings are recommended.
The owners, brothers Will and Michael Balleau, are from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and wanted to recreate the northern Mexican street food they remember from their frequent trips south of the border.
And this hawker concept is carried right through to the table, with the food served on biodegradable bamboo boats and the drinks in paper cups.
The menu is limited – there is a choice of six tacos: pork, fish, steak, chicken, prawns or vegies (all served on soft, corn tortillas, made daily on site), plus corn chips with home-made guacamole, fire-roasted salsa or frijoles. But at three tacos for $15, you can afford to try them all.
You can’t go past the Taco al Pastor: char-grilled achiote pork with grilled pineapple, capsicum salsa and feta, or the Taco de Pescado: flame-grilled fish Serrano, red cabbage salsa, chipotle crema and feta.
Everything is made fresh, as if it were from the un-refrigerated trailers found on Mexico’s street corners, and indigenous chillies and native herbs and spices are sourced from a Sydney importer to make the flavours as authentic as possible.
There’s also a rooftop, perfect for enjoying a drink under the stars. The eatery is currently BYO, with corkage at $5 per person, but once the liquor licence is approved, there will be plenty of fancy cocktails, Mexican beers and wines to wash down the optional hot sauce. The Balleau brothers spent six months fitting out the interior, complete with Will’s 1964 Lincoln Continental (“just because it’s chingón,” he said).
Apparently chingón isn’t a word you’d say around your grandmother, but we think we’ll be hearing it a lot more often.
Where: 413 Swan Street, Richmond
Open: For dinner daily from 5.30pm-11pm
Phone: (03) 9429 5695