My Mexican Cousin

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My Mexican Cousin is permanently closed.
 
It’s all just a little bit confusing at My Mexican Cousin.  Perplexingly the food isn’t Mexican at all.  Rather obscurely the name of the place does not refer to the cuisine being served, instead it is a nod to St Ali’s most popular breakfast dish (St Ali owner, Salvatore Malatesta, is also involved in My Mexican Cousin).  To add to the bewilderment the food is in fact supposed to be Creole but then was lambasted by @BurgerMary for lacking authenticity and being an “adult version of a theme restaurant”.  So what is it?

Inside My Mexican Cousin

My Mexican Cousin has done its best to turn this state of befuddlement into some positive publicity by cleverly enlisting Burger Mary as a consultant and revamping its menu.  When the restaurant hosted a Fringe Food Festival event on Creole food it seemed to be a signal that My Mexican Cousin was working through its issues (even if the owners had strangely decided to stick with the Mexican name).

Scallop ceviche

I went there for lunch with my friend Joyce who writes the brilliant Mel: Hot or Not.  The restaurant is part of the Melbourne Recital Hall building and is all shiny and new with dark wooden tables and chairs and a bright mural on wall which is an ode to Louisiana Hot Sauce.  At least the mural is not Mexican I suppose.

Candied bacon

Knowing that Creole food is a cuisine most Melburnians will be unfamiliar with the menu includes a long explanation of Creole cuisine and a “Creole-pedia” to explain the terms used.  My experience of Creole food is limited to a trip to Salvador in Brazil so the menu was certainly educational if nothing else.  Newly enlightened we ordered up Creole style starting with the praline bacon ($6), strips of bacon candied with brown sugar and pecan nuts.  On paper this sounded like the sort of thing I would love but in reality it was too dry and too much sugary bacon for two people.

Dirty rice

The scallop ceviche ($5.50) was also not what I expected.  Instead of thinly sliced scallops “cooked” in lime or lemon juice we were served two large scallops on a bed of pea purée.  They looked good and were a welcome antidote to the heavy emphasis on deep fried food on the rest of the menu but were a little strange.  Dirty rice ($12) a mixture of rice, ground pork and Creole seasoning was a tasty style of fried rice but was so dripping in oil that there was a big puddle at the bottom of the bowl once we finished eating.

The PoBoy

The one redeeming dish was the PoBoy ($17), juicy fat deep fried prawns sandwiched between crisp cos lettuce and a dense bun and dripping with mayonnaise and creole seasoning.  This was very much a conversation stopper and all we could manage was approving noises for the next couple of minutes as we ate our PoBoys.

Beignets

However, to add insult to injury the delicious sounding Louisiana dougnuts known as beignets ($12) were a little tough and tasted to me like they had not been deep fried to order.  Even the salted caramel dipping sauce they were served with could not make amends.    Continuing the theme, the coffee ($3.80) was on the bitter side.

Latte 

While I admire My Mexican Cousin for bringing a new type of cuisine to Melbourne and for avoiding the traditional theatre foyer type offerings at the moment the food is disappointing.  I would only return for a cheeky glass of wine at the bar and a PoBoy sandwich.

 
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Essentials
Details: My Mexican Cousin, Melbourne Recital Centre, Corner of Sturt Street and Southbank Boulevard, Southbank 3006 (Ph (03) 9686 3389) Mon 7-4, Tues – Fri 7 – late, Sat – Sun 8- late.
Damage: Reasonable.  Our bill came to $56 for two with just one coffee and no other drinks.
4/10

My Mexican Cousin on Urbanspoon

11 comments

  1. What a very disappointing meal. I like the name, kinda sounded hopeful. Shame.

    1. I know I was really looking forward to it, but alas.

  2. Oh dear, it’s such a shame that they seem to be so inconsistent 🙁 I really enjoyed the beignets when I had them as they were really light and fluffy. Sounds like they’ve still got a bit of a way to go…

  3. Hi how are you, I was intreuged to here what My Mexican cousin would be like. I wont be going there cause it is more Southern American cuisine isnt it. Very disappointing .

  4. Ahhh, when will restaurants learn that puddles of oil can only ever be a bad thing? Come on, at least use butter. After all, puddles of butter are more tasty 😛

  5. What a pity! I loved @burgermary’s post on this restaurant and was very interested to see what they were going to do about it.

    I had the calamari sandwich at MoVida Aqui on the weekend which looks a little like that Po Boy and was one of the best things I’ve eaten all year. Crunchy, fresh – just perfect!

  6. I want me a po boy! deliciousness

  7. Sounds like they may need a bit more work on the menu. A shame because I think so many people would be interested in trying it.

  8. Those Po Boys look absolutely incredible. Yum.

  9. Still very dire reports coming in from MMC My question is that the one thing that grabbed you both was the Po’Boys – but I was wondering if $17 for a serve was worth the money?

    And was the serve the size as in your photos? That would be the one dish I would try as the others have had a lambasting.

    PhotoMonkey

    @shark4chipdrink

  10. Ashley – Good to hear at least the beignets were better when you had them. Were you there for the fringe food festival night?

    Tania – Yes it is not Mexican but Creole food which I understand is meant to be based on the Louisiana version of Creole.

    Hannah – I agree. Love a good puddle of butter!

    Lauren – I loved that post as well. Also love the calamari sandwich at MoVida and keen to try out the lobster one at Golden Fields.

    Iron Chef Shellie – The PoBoy was good I admit.

    Lorraine – Yes I think there is lots of potential there and it could be a very interesting place.

    Blonde – The PoBoy was the best bit

    Nick – It was confusing as $17 was the charge for our “large” serving of PoBoy which was two of the rolls pictured. But the printed menu listed two options of $7 or $14 for the PoBoy so I am not sure whether we were overcharged or whether they gave us an “off menu” serving.

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