Mesa Verde

There’s a lot of good stuff sprawled across the floors of Curtain House, and Mesa Verde is one of them. The drinks menu here is endless; it’s a no brainer then for the restaurant to be a popular choice for after work drinks, but we were here for the food.

Mesa Verde appears to have had a menu change since I’ve visited a couple of months ago, apologies in advance if you see something that you particularly fancy that isn’t on the current menu!

Tortilla Chips – $12.00

The house made tortilla chips is much better than the supermarket variety, with some added thickness that ensured it wouldn’t crack even when you’re scooping up an obscene amount of guacamole with it. Speaking of, the guacamole was creamy with a zing, and there was more than enough to go around with the chips.

Salmon Tostada – $7.00

Tostadas are great, first of all, it’s just a fun word that rolls off your tongue, and secondly, it’s essentially a crunchy taco, need I say more? The tostadas at Mesa Verde were topped off with the creamiest avocado, that had a mousse-like consistency, which went really well with the plump and fresh slices of salmon. Although this was messy to eat, the flavours meant that it was worth it.

Charred Corn – $8.00

I love charred corns, especially when they’re smothered in morita mayo and cotiya cheese, all lightened up with a squeeze of lime. Again, messy to eat, but well worth it.

School Prawns – $9.00

The school prawns were coated in an addictive layer of spicy seasoning, and would have definitely went well with a margarita. The pickled green chilli hiding behind the prawns had more than just a kick to it, so eat at your own risk.

Pork Taco – $7.00

To finish things off, we shared a couple of tacos. First up was the pork taco. the shredded pork lacked the oomph that I was looking for, but the chilli salsa did help it out, and the pickled radish gave it some texture.

Baja Fish Taco – $7.00

The baja fish taco was my pick of the night, although it took a ridiculous amount of time to pick off all the corianders. The fish itself was cooked in a light batter, and was perfectly tender inside. The herb aioli was quite mild, I think I would’ve preferred the smoke marita mayo here instead.

Given that drinks takes centre stage at Mesa Verde, it was nice to see that the restaurant did not neglect the food either. The bill does add up with tacos here and charred corns there, but it did have a groovy vibe (is this still a thing? asking for a friend), and I can certainly see myself returning and trying out some of the drinks.

How to get here:
Mesa Verde is located on the 6th floor of Curtain, on Swanston Street, just a short five minutes walk from Melbourne Central.

Mesa Verde Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Advertisements

Shandong Mama

There’s always some frozen homemade dumplings on hand at home, courtesy of my mum, and they’re hands down my favourite dumplings ever. This makes it especially rare for me to eat dumplings when I’m out. I was more than willing to make an exception for Shandong Mama though, given that the restaurant specialises in mackerel dumplings, a filling that I’m entirely unfamiliar with.

Fish Dumplings (boiled, 10 pcs) – $16.80

My heart sank when I saw on the menu that the filling of the fish dumpling was made with coriander and mackerel, being a long-time avid coriander hater. But whatever, I decided to suck it up and order them anyway, since that was the reason we were here.

The dumplings were very floppy looking due to the mousse-like consistency of the fillings. The filling tasted okay, as okay as it can be with the additional coriander at least. If you liked fish and didn’t hate coriander though, I’m sure it would be perfectly pleasant. However, the dumplings were overcooked, which meant that the skin was very soft, and one of them had broken during the cooking process.

Beef Dumplings – Fried (10 pcs) – $13.80

We also tried out the fried beef dumplings. The shape of these dumplings were quite unconventional, gaps were left intentionally on both end of each dumplings, said to allow the juice of the beef filling to flow out and seep into the bottom crispy skin to maximise flavour. The skin of the fried dumplings were a lot thinner than the boiled renditions, and held everything together nicely. These were pretty good, the strong mixture of soy and spring onion meant that these were tasty mouthfuls with a crispy bottom.

I was pretty disappointed with my visit to Shandong Mama to be honest. I couldn’t justify the hefty price tags on these for the slightly above average taste and small portion, only ten dumplings per serving! I’m glad that I was finally able to put an end of my curiosity about the fish dumplings, but I think I’ll stick with my mum’s dumplings for the time being.

How to get here:
Shandong Mama is located in Midcity Arcade between Little Bourke Street and Bourke Street, a ten minutes walk from Melbourne Central.

Shandong Mama Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Taco Bill

Taco Bill is a Mexican restaurant chain that has been around for a long long time. I always saw the storefront near my local station, and finally decided to pay it a visit on a Monday night.

Incidentally, Taco Hill have a deal of half price mains on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night, so we went ahead and grabbed an entree and a main each to share.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Chile Nachos – $19.00

The chile nachos were one of the specials on the night, it was essentially your standard nachos with the addition of chilli con carne. The nachos were pretty tasty, with the classic combination of salsa, sour cream and guacamole, and plenty of cheese. In fact, the cheese meant that the corn chips were stuck together, making it a bit difficult to eat at times.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Enchilada Nuevo Mexico – $22.00

The new Mexican style enchilada consisted of three corn tortillas stacked together, with beef, onion and cheese stacked inbetween, topped with more cheese, an egg, and mild chili sauce. On the side were some Mexican rice and frijoles, i.e. Mexican beans, and a beef taco. The serving of this dish was quite impressive, however, the flavours were lacking. The tortillas were soggy, and thew beef mixture just kind of tasted like beef stewed in a mix of store bought salsa and tomato sauce. Although this filled me up, I wasn’t very satisfied.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Chicken Quesadilla – $18.00

My friend chose the chicken quesadilla, and unfortunately, this was a bit of a let down. The texure of the chicken was reminiscent of canned tuna, and it was rather dry and stringy.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

I didn’t have high expectations going into Taco Bill, and it was actually an alright experience overall. Although the food was not very authentic, the service was very friendly, and the dining space was welcoming. With the half price on mains three nights a week, I can see myself returning here for a weeknight meal when I don’t feel like venturing far from home.

How to get here:
The Blackburn Taco Bill is located on Railway Road, a short 5 minutes walk from Blackburn station.

Taco Bill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato