Melbourne’s newest Mexican restaurant serves up tableside guac, late-night margaritas and over 260 varieties of tequila and mezcal.
Melbourne’s CBD’s newest resident, Mejico, is bringing some colour, flavour and fun back to the city with delicious market-to-table dining and Melbourne’s largest selection of tequila and mezcal. Mejico unites regional flavours and techniques from Mexico City with influences from the coastal towns to create a food and drink experience like no other.
Taking over the courtyard and glasshouse bar space of the existing Collins Quarter Building, guests enter via the new laneway off Little Collins Street and step inside to discover a place inspired by a love of life, flavour and festivity from the streets of modern Mexico to Melbourne. As you enter, you are hit with an explosion of colour, aroma, music and, of course, margaritas.
“In 2013, we opened Mejico in Sydney as a fun and exciting place for people to celebrate delicious food with friends and family. As a Melburnian, I’m so excited to be able to bring the venue to my hometown and open Mejico in an iconic part of the CBD,” says Mejico owner and Hicks Hospitality Group Director Ian Hicks.
The two-storey restaurant includes a downstairs dining space in a stunning courtyard and glasshouse setting, which is fully weatherproof to protect you from Melbourne’s fickle weather. Upstairs you’ll find a tequila bar and margarita lounge – the perfect place to nestle in for late-night drinks.
Mejico serves lunch and dinner daily, showcasing the best of Victorian produce with a seasonal and evolving menu of fresh dishes from street snacks to tacos, larger share plates, late-night snacks and more. Highlights include Daylesford beef brisket empanadas with raisins, olives and chimichurri; sweet corn ribs with chilli and lime miso and queso fresco; pasilla chilli-spiced roasted chicken with molé negro and kale slaw; Cochinita Pibil with citrus and Yucatan-spiced pulled pork, smoked eggplant and hot sauce; Mount Macedon fried chicken with plantain and hibiscus hot sauce; and tacos with hand-pressed tortillas including confit Yarra Valley carrot, Gippsland lamb barbacoa and fire-glazed salmon.
Promising plenty of fun and theatre, the ‘tableside guac’ at Mejico is not to be missed. A must-have every visit, guests can enjoy a show and customise their guacamole as they watch it be prepared fresh at their table, served with plantain chips.
Open until 3am every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, there’s a selection of late-night drinking snacks, available from 11pm, which pair perfectly with all varieties of tequila. You’ll find chicharrones (Mexican pork crackling), roasted pineapple and habanero salsa with blue corn chips, tequila and herb-marinated olives and more.
There’s breakfast too, with takeaway coffee and pastries available from 7:30am before a full fresh offering for dine-in and takeaway is available. Think crunchy almond granola, mescal-cured salmon and Méjico Benedict, a take on the classic eggs Benedict, as well as smoothies and fresh juices.
Where there’s Mejico, there’s tequila and mezcal – two things that are just as important as the food – and there’s no shortage with over 260 varieties available, making it the largest selection in Melbourne. And of course, there’s the margaritas with six variations, including the ‘Classic’ to the ‘Signature Margarita’ with lemon, agave and egg whites.
Victoria is proudly represented on the rest of the drinks list with local wine favourites, craft beers and ciders from the likes of Two Birds Brewing, Mountain Goat and Coldstream.
A line-up of Melbourne talent has come together to transform the old Collins Quarter space with architect Annie Lai and designer Gabriella Libertini at the forefront. Artist Ash Keating and art studio Apparition Media have taken to the walls to transport guests into a whole new world, with a striped neon pink and black mural paving the way to a large calavera (sugar skull) before moving into the undercover courtyard with a lush vertical garden on the far wall and birdcages suspended from the roof. You won’t miss the colourful Mexican iconography, roses and devil’s ivy, and hand-painted Mexican mandalas and bold floor murals that also run throughout.
Turning any night out into a celebration, head to Mejico where the music never stops and the tequila keeps flowing.
Mejico is located at 1 Pink Alley (accessible via Little Collins Street) and open for takeaway breakfast from 7:30am on Monday to Friday, lunch and dinner daily from 11:30am to 11pm and supper on Thursday, Friday and Saturday until 3am. Bookings are available online via www.mejico.com.au/melbourne.
Images: Arianna Leggiero