Utterly underwhelming. I am neither flippant nor unnecessarily severe in this remark. Melbourne’s fixation with cuisine south of the border is misappropriated and aggravates in me a mild anaphylactic reflex south of my border. Similarly merchandised like Mamasita, the other Mexican girl around the corner, it is peddled as authentic. Skull paraphernalia, attractive wait staff coyly rolling their syllables and dim red lighting cannot distract from what Señoritas lacks – polished service, well proportioned meals and appetising food.
Dishes are designed to share but the first hurdle is tackling the microscopic portions. Sharing would require laser like precision or passing your conservative bite of food to your dining partner like a mother bird. The Margarita we begun the night with was the most palatable element of our meal. The corn sautéed with onion and epazote served with mayonnaise, queso fresco, chile piquin and lime is relatively bland and is nothing in comparison to Mamasita’s grilled corn. The tacos are modestly sized. Modest means the size of your palm. And I have the hands of a small child. They came out a little cold, much like our reception – the tortillas were hardened and handled suspiciously like something pre-prepared. Not to buck against the trend - all the tacos were skimpily portioned. The prawn taco with black refried beans, fresh tomato and avocado was the best of the banal.
The drinks menu is an actual Mexican passport. You'll need this to flee the country. As with everything else, the text is so miniscule you will need to order your drinks with bifocals. We ordered a bottle of Tempranillo, our waitress immediately assuming the most expensive on the menu. Granted we weren’t more specific – but certainly the question as to which bottle needs to be asked? Our charmingly authentic Mexican staff also had some confusion between what was tuna and what was chicken – though I suspect a language barrier was to blame.
This restaurant fails on so many levels aside from the language barrier. It just doesn’t translate. It needs to stop selling itself as a restaurant and repackage itself as a bar. Despite the disappointing meal, the interior and ambience is intoxicatingly chaotic and alluring. Just order drinks, not food. In Spanish. And you’ll be fine.
Tuesday - Saturday
Dinner - Late