We head on down to Chapel Street and a CAPI favourite, Fonda. If it’s not the best Mexican in Melbourne, it’s pretty damn close. We get into all kinds of good stuff, coconut tequila, frozen margaritas, chicken salad burritos, and tacos tacos tacos.
Do you remember what was here before it was Fonda?
I’m pretty sure it was the Salvation Army.
That makes sense.
I am pretty sure, yeah. Yeah I wasn’t here at that time but that’s what I’ve been told.
Yeah, it sounds like a good story to put out [laughs] Are you just eating tacos all the time in here?
Yeah, that’s predominantly what we do but when you’ve been here as long as me and some others you start to mix it up a bit. It’s nothing ground-breaking, it’s tweaking – we just add our little twists.
You’re just mixing – the fusion, the fusion, the fusion.
So well I’ll give you an example – my go to – we’ve got a chicken salad. Yeah, it’s a pretty popular dish, it’s been around forever, but I need my carbs so I’ll roll it up in a burrito with guacamole. And you’ve got yourself a chicken salad burrito.
Do you have that one bad thing that’s happened to you in hospitality? Even as a rookie?
I’m alright, no, I’ve had something, no, no, naaah. I’m not bad, that’s my thing, I’m definitely um…
You’re a confident human.
Like, my life’s based on clumsiness, so because of a life based on clumsiness I’ve learned how to sort of make it not a thing.
Save yourself from yourself.
Yeah, so I’ll always… There’ll be a girl walk in and a dude with long hair and I’ll go “Hey ladies, how you’re doing?” [laughs] Happens at least once a week.
What is the most Instagrammy thing in here?
The most Instagrammable thing? Well, it’s funny, whenever they’re plating up food, I’ll always look on the other side of it, so I’m talking to the chef about it. Always need to be thinking about that, so it’s probably the food. But now that we’ve opened up the rooftop… It’s gorgeous up there.
Same square meterage upstairs, or?
It’s a little bit smaller up there, there’s a few less seats, but it’s got its own kitchen, its own bar, it’s… Yeah, it’s all happening. It’s pretty cool. You should check it out. It’s pretty mega.
I guess we kind of wanna find like a tip now really that people can use at home so have you got like, maybe you can walk us through making agua frescas, maybe like the most popular one, like what are the base ingredients?
[laughs] Trying to steal our secrets, are ya? Okay, maybe we should talk about the Horchata because so many people know what that is.
Right, Horchata, that’s a good idea.
Yeah, because that’s about as authentic Mexican as you can get, really. It’s great, Horchata. It’s got rice, water, cinnamon, condensed milk, a bit of vanilla, a little bit of sugar, and that’s about it. Simple.
Spare the ratios.
Just mix it together and blend it up and see what you come up with.
Really Mexican, yeah. We’ve got a Mexican guy in the kitchen and that’s probably one of the most authentic things, he says.
And then you add a bit of Tequila? The biggest selling spirit.
It’s in everything. If it’s not, we recommend putting it in everything. *Laughs*
Yeah, we get a lot of that. We do like our frozen Margaritas.
Is there any top shelf for the flashy cash Chapel Street set?
We do, yeah, we’ve got a little bit… If you’re having a good day we’ve got a bit of ocho, which is quite nice
Yeah, awesome, tasty.
Yeah, yeah, it’s great, so, yeah, every now and again we jumble one up. If you’re just having some fun the coconut tequila you can never go wrong with.
Alright. I’ll let you get back to work now.
144 Chapel St, Windsor
9521 2660 @fondamexican