In 2017 we managed to secure a table to Javier Carmona’s pop up in Avondale which showed some promising future to showcase his Hispanic cuisine in a permanent setting.
His home is now established in a CBD location, a site of many past hospitality ventures, that recently being the short lived Melbourne based Meat, Fish, Wine.
Upon arrival you enter a long bar area, the high tops covered with cotton linen that looks out of place, a thought that they haven’t been ironed with the dining area itself not clothed at all.
We are seated near the open kitchen, chefs sitting at one end on laptops until service starts to get into full swing.
The waitstaff are charming and have a good understanding of the menu offer. They probably have some fun with the ‘punters’ when they announce ants and crickets in the respective dishes.
The range of starters are the strength in this menu.
Where as my chicken main served on brown paper with spring onion, whipped garlic, lemon and tacos was a little challenging to cut on the paper.
The other feedback based on a discussion at our table is the dishes needing to be a little more balanced in composition such as the beautifully presented pork belly having a vegetable component as no sides are offered and the dish is $34.
Highlights were also the manchego with exceptionally made wafers made from potato and white quinoa, and a goats milk queso with lemon verbena granita.
The experience is one that I would consider returning even just to see the look on our new guests faces when they discover insects are on offer.
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