Time Out Melbourne

More Mexican anyone? For a badass like Chingón, we say yes

So there’s this book called Blood and Tacos. The main character is a tall glass of trouble called Chingón, and, as gentlemen’s adventure novelist Brace Godfrey would have you believe, he is “the World’s Deadliest Mexican.”

Amazingly, the owners of Richmond’s newest taco shack, brothers Will and Mick Balleau, didn’t know about Godfrey’s 1979 masterpiece (which is so bad-good it has inspired a quarterly magazine of dude-fiction). We took the name as their signal to the competition that they meant business.

It’s a straight shooting menu here. They’re doing six types of tacos, a zesty guacamole and save for a weekly special that’s the whole story. And yet, you’ll be hard pressed to land a table on a Tuesday. Melbourne clearly wants a simple serve of good times with tasty snacks on the side. Chingón has both in spades.

There’s a ’64 Lincoln Continental in the courtyard. Mick Balleau and Dane “the Mandalay Tiger” Blasarian are parked next to it in a trailer, and they’re pressing soft corn tortillas like Chingón himself is holding a pistol to their domes. You’ll get tres tacos for a cool $15, making these the cheapest yet most amply stacked snacks in town. Balleau’s tortillas have a little more body than most – almost like a soft corn pancake. Pork, crackling and grilled pineapple, flamed strips of medium rare steak with a rough corn salsa and plump prawns with creamy heat from a chipotle aioli are winning fillers, all. Embellish at will from your side dish of fresh cabbage and coriander, and go heavy on smoky-sweet house-made picante hot-sauce.

You could park it inside in the Aztec toned dining room, dripping with a blasphemy of religious iconography, but we say embrace some Oaxaca back-alley action in the candle ringed courtyard. Flaco Jimenez' accordion jams pump out of the speakers while Will Balleau works the floor. With his rockabilly 'do, he looks like a cross between a matador and Danny Zuko. This place is fun.

It’s BYO till late June, but then it’ll be tequila and fresh grapefruit Palomas and Tecate beers all round. At which point, we have no doubt that this will become Melbourne’s Deadliest Mexican restaurant.

 

First published on . Updated on .

By Gemima Cody   |   Photos by Graham Denholm

Chingon Cantina y Taqueria details

Address
413 Swan St, Richmond 3121

Telephone 03 9429 5695

Transport
Nearby Stations: Burnley

Price per person including drinks Up to $50

Open Daily 5.30pm-late

Chingon Cantina y Taqueria website

Chingon Cantina y Taqueria map

Report a problem with this page

Restaurants and bars nearby

Tiki Lounge & Bar

146m - While Richmond might be as far removed from the South Pacific experience as...

Friends of Mine

415m - Friends of Mine is like a big hug from your best mate when you've had a...

Union Dining

700m - You know life is looking up when head chef Nicky Riemer, ex-Melbourne Wine...

More restaurants and bars nearby

Other venues nearby

Dizzy's

180m - Jazz doesn't have to be grungy and underground, and Dizzy's Jazz Club proves...

Rowing School Victoria

589m - “It’s not for everybody, that’s for sure,” says Sue Chapman Popa of...

More venues nearby

You might also like

Open your city

Open your city

Discover the very best of what Melbourne has to offer

Best dishes

Best dishes

The very best things we put in our mouths this month

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus