Hoorah for date nights! Since they are a bit hard to come by, Josh and I decided to really party it up big… by going to the theatre. I know. Old age happens when you least expects it – with a young child. So to be able to fit in dinner and a show, I was tossing up between a pre-theatre menu somewhere nice or a tapas bar and by chance had a look on the MoVida website which happens to also house Paco’s Tacos
And since Mexican is, you know, in (how very 2012 of me) – I drew Josh’s attention to the MoVida Group’s new(ish) taqueria. The man I married, unfortunately, had a childish streak that even a marriage to a mature, no non-sense woman like me cannot cure. Okay, I may have encouraged this one by saying ‘Paco’s Tacos’ in my silliest Mexican accent possible but once the man got an idea into his head and especially that idea is Paco’s Tacos (say it with me in the lamest Mexican accent possible), it couldn’t be scrubbed out.
(Pimm’s Fruit Cup – $10)
So off to Paco’s Tacos, we went straight from work on a sweltering hot day. It was a very pleasant day – being an under cover, outdoors venue, it was a perfect day. Luckily for us, it was perfect. It was hot but the cool change was just beginning to come in, hot enough to still enjoy their Pimm’s Fruit Cup but cool enough to be comfortable. What can I say? I love me cheap, fruity cocktails.
Nevermind that it was 5.45pm and the after-work drink crowd was still going in full force, we proceeded to get into the tacos (did I mention we’re old?) since we wanted to take a leisurely stroll to the State Theatre to pick up our tickers and catch the 7.30pm Warhorse.* So after I went through my drink, we started ordering tacos – two at a time.
(L: carne asada, R: pascado – all tacos $6.00)
First up were Carne Asada and Pescado – i.e. a meat taco and a fish taco. The meat was quite nice and tender and the spicy sauce (described as ‘Braised Beef, Pica de Gallo, pickled Cactus and Chipotle sauce‘ on the menu) worked well. The fish, on the other hand, were a little bit on the disappointing side. Slightly bland and underwhelming.
(BBQ corn – $6)
But why stop at two? (or as you found out, we only stopped after 6 + 2 side dishes.) Next up, I ordered the BBQ corn, which we also quite enjoyed as an intermission to the taco craziness that we were about to continue on.
(Camarones – prawns, with pickled cabbage and pepitas)
The prawn tacos, I’m happy to report, tasted much better than it looked – good balance of prawns, cabbage and pepitas adding a good crunch. The salsa verde was also complimentary. Our next up was my personal favourite, the chorizo tacos (first picture of this post). I’m quite partial to the strong, spicy chorizo with lots of zesty cabbage and the corn salsa balanced out the flavours nicely.
(Chicharron – $10)
I also interrupted going through the entire menu with the chicharrones – which basically the Latin American answer to pork crackling. This picture doesn’t quite do it justice but it was basically a massive pile of crunchy fried air. That’s right, it was so fluffy and light, it was almost like eating air. I loved it. Let’s face it here, it’s deep fried pig’s skin – what is not to like? The next table was so intrigued after seeing it (it was quite impressive looking) but once they found out it was deep fried pig’s skin, they ordered nachos instead. Disappointing.
(pollo taco – BBQ chicken with picked cabbage)
The last few tacos went by as a bit of blue as this point I was getting full and starting to give up. Josh on the other hand was still going. He order a serve of the chicken taco (pollo) which was also served with the pickled cabbage. He liked this one so much, he ordered another one. By this time I had given up completely and contemplated going over to MoVida for a couple of rounds of dessert but unfortunately had no room left in my stomach. So we left it and took a needed walk to the State Theatre in Southbank.
Overall, while the tacos weren’t blow-your-mind-wow, they are cheap(ish) and decently prepared. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit. A great place to go for a few drinks and pick up a few tacos (or massively puffed up pig’s skin) on a lovely day.
Paco’s Tacos [ website ]
Address: Level 1, 500 Bourke St., Melbourne 3000 (next to MoVida Aqui)
Phone number: 03 9663 3038
How to get there by public transport: Train to South Cross station and a short walk up Bourke St. or tram #86, 95, 96
* What can I say? It was a war story. I’m not into war stories. Give me a singing, dancing, air-headed musical any day.