Once travelling in Mexico Meat-and-Three-Veg lost his camera. He went to buy a new one and the sales assistant at the camera shop wore a badge bearing his name “Jesus”. Pronounced hey-zus the name is as common in Mexico as it’s rare here. Meat-and-Three-Veg bought the first camera Jesus suggested “I had to” he said “Jesus told me to get it”.
So while there’s a little bit of Virgin Mary iconography at newly opened Hotel Jesus in Collingwood, the name references the Mexican food on offer rather than any religious preferences. Located in the old Collingwood post office the designers (who also created the excellent Motel Mexicola in Bali) have really taken the theme and run with it.
Every detail has been thought of from the retro faded brown tiles, the plastic umbrellas and Corona signs. Hotel Jesus has clearly spent a bucket load of cash to look like a cheap Mexican taqueria but hey it works.
The food lives up to the well thought out space. For light bites its hard to go past the soft tacos although bear in mind they’re small so you need a few.
The chorizo verde taco ($5) is good with its filling of slightly fiery green chorizo and slow cooked onions but the winner is the seafood taco ($6) with its crunchy fried fish and tangy pickles jalapeño.
The corn with “black mayo” offers a different take on Mamasita’s famous corn. The black mayo is made using charcoal to get the inky black colour and habanero chillis add kick. It’s addictively good.
I also loved the pork quesadilla ($8) all crispy crunch while oozing melted cheese and piggy goodness. The addition of pineapple added some welcome pops of sweetness to cut through the pork.
Go to Hotel Jesus. Mexican camera shop Jesus would approve.
Details: Hotel Jesus, 174 Smith Street, Collingwood
Kids: The no booking policy and popularity of this place makes bringing kids hard. During the day things are a bit quieter so it’s more doable.