Photography by Holly Hawkins
Bringing Mexico to Melbourne.
Located on the edges of Chinatown opposite the QV, Touché Hombre has been bringing Mexican flavours to Melburnians since 2011. Articles of Mexican culture past and present fill the space, with Day of the Dead figurines, vibrant embroidery and the word “Tequila” up in lights on the far wall.
Since stepping in over a year ago, head chef Jan Stander has made experimentation the norm in the kitchen. One such creation is what the team at Touché Hombre are calling The Mexican Croquette.
“This is a little invention I came up with with the guys in the kitchen,” Stander says. “Every table orders this and they love it.”
Stuffed with a goat’s cheese and jalapeno mash, then deep fried and served with chipotle mayo and pickled jalapenos, this dish offers a delicious twist to traditional Mexican-style cooking.
As for tradition, Jocelyn’s Empanadas sit in pride of place on the menu. A popular snack across Central and South America, this particular version comes from a wife of one of the chefs. Sharing the recipe with Stander over lunch, the empanadas utilise the Mexican delicacy of corn truffle. Paired with corn and chimichurri, the whole thing simply melts in your mouth.
Much like the empanada, ceviche is a cultural delicacy. Fresh raw ocean trout is cured in lime and guajillo oil, complimented by red onion, cucumber, jalapeno, fresh coconut and coriander. A mention must also go to the fatty lamb ribs, and the pork tacos al pastor.
At Touché Hombre and its adjoining venue Mezcalito, the menu is crafted around the concept of a celebration. Dishes are to be shared, enjoyed, and washed down with a Tommy’s Margarita or two. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Mexican joint without a Virgin Mary – of which there are plenty.
With everything made in-house minus the tortillas – which they’re currently working on – and chillies imported for authenticity, Touché Hombre knows how to bring the Mexico to Melbourne. Whether you’re looking for a traditional Mexican flavour hit or hoping to sample some Latino-style kitchen creations, this is the place.