28 Jan Hotel Jesus now open in Collingwood
Hotel Jesus says ‘Hola’, opening a bright Mexican tostaderia, on Smith St. This is the second venue from Mamasita’s Matt Lane and Nick Peters, joining forces with Mexican born Yasser Garcia in the kitchen. The tile -laden venue is deliberately retro kitsch, but ends up looking effortlessly cool anyhow. Inspired by the tostaderia’s and taqueria’s of Mexico, you can expect tostadas, ceviche, tacos and Mexican street food. Unlike the a la carte style of Mamasita, Hotel Jesus presents diners with a tick-box and a laminated picture menu. Trying hard to be daggy and casual, the food is anything but. These are not the 25c tacos you find in Tijuana or East LA (incidentally delicious). The toppings and flavor combinations steer towards fusion or experimental. So how is the food?
There’s a lot of seafood at Hotel Jesus , fresh ceviche, fish tacos and even a Porktopus. The latter is slightly controversial. Chicharron is fried pork rind. Whilst its Western counterpart is crispy, in Mexico, the texture is puffier and soft. Nonetheless, combined with tender octopus and a Japanese slaw, makes this a winning dish. Another pick of the litter- the Black Corn smothered in a tar-ish black mayo and spritzed with a snowstorm of cheese. Unlike other Mexican eateries, the tostadas are traditionally made, i.e. made from scratch and dehydrated for 24 hours. You will find slivers of white fish ceviche, sabana beef, smoked avocado and prawns amongst the toppings.
The beef tartare is one that I would pass. Depending on your choice of taco or tostadas, some are hard hitting with zest and spice, others not so much. Hotel Jesus does better than most Melbourne Mexican eateries, in emulating the popular cuisine. In fact, I prefer it to Mamasitas. But similar to Hawker Hall trying to emulate hawker style food in a hipsterfied venue, it still lacks the grit and dirt of traditional Mexican. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed the food, specifically the porktopus and the black corn.[/vc_column_text]
Corn Cob w/ Black Mayo, Cheese
Colima Ceviche Tostadas – White Fish, Carrot, Pico de Gallo
176 Smith St