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Radio Mexico in St Kilda

Posted by on in Cheap Eats
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Radio Mexico is a superb hip Mexican restaurant in trendy St Kilda and excites at many levels. The restaurant isn't huge. If you can manage to get a seat as I did before a show at The Palais, then you're doing well. My take on Radio Mexico is that it isn't overly commercial and has a cool vibe and top notch cuisine (although dining alone my selection was limited on this occasion).

Radio Mexico has some exceptional bar staff and the drink selection is comprehensive, featuring tequilas. I opted for the Malbec selection.

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The menu is something to get enthusiastic about. Options include tacos, a specialty, with the wide selection including Baja beer battered fish, pico de gallo and slaw, the Cochinita Pibil with slow cooked free range pork carnitas with frijoles, red onion and jalepeno pickles, and salsa arbol. And the frijoles with black bean, pickled jalepeno, avocado and pico de gallo.  

Another feature is the extensive list of small things to snack on and share. Or be adventurous and try the Ceviche.

But for me it was straight to the Pinchos and the popular Pork Belly Al Pastor, featuring delicious oven roasted free range pork belly with pineapple salsa, and served with green rice. Normally I dive for tacos and since my time in Mexico, fish tacos. But tonight the weather was cold and driving rain had me longing for warm comfort food of pork belly. The tacos can wait for another day.

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Radio Mexico's Pork Belly Al Pastor is up with the best pork belly dishes in Melbourne. This slow cooked pork belly was so perfectly cooked with delightful crackling and magical salsa. I poured my rice into the bowl and combined it with the salsa, absorbing the flavours. The salsa was more like a stew with pineapple, carrot and onion, so it seemed a brilliant strategy.

The good news was that the portion was large. Sitting on a stool at the bar I felt my night had already reached a zenith even before I'd gone to my show at The Palais. Loud conversation and pumping music added to the ambience. This place pumps.

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The dining philosophy at Radio Mexico is as follows -   

Its fresh. Its healthy. Its really tasty. And its democratic. Its easy to eat. And it goes great with a beer.Iit can be slow cooked; and it can be fast cooked too. It is full of raw and cooked vegetables. You can eat standing up, you can eat sitting down. It can be fast, or you can take your time.
 
At Radio Mexico we prepare just about everything from scratch. We value the simplicity of a food which honors home cooking, fresh ingredients, casual dining and good hospitality. Our speciality is tacos, served from our custom built carro de tacos. We serve only 100% agave tequila, and a list of mexican beers as well as local and boutique favorites.    

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Radio Mexico has a great ambience with colourful yet not over the top dining space. Admire the decorations, the chic bar and use of heavy timber, the large communal table, festive tiles, large lamps and open kitchen.  I also noticed an attractive outdoor courtyard, I'm sure would be a hit in summer. Staff here are brilliant and upbeat.

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Here's another image of the delectable Pork Belly Al Pastor.

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Radio Mexico also serves up creative desserts like the Goats Milk and Caramel Toasted Pecan Tart.

Prices are reasonable for such quality fare. My only gripe had nothing to do with the restaurant - just the ability to get a car park not requiring large amounts of coinage. I was able to get change from a nearby cafe but these days you need to be carrying a treasure chest of coin in your car in such Council precincts. I had to pay for half an hour parking just to give me time to get more coins for a four hour stay. Looking forward to my next visit.

Radio Mexico on Urbanspoon

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David Hagger is a bald headed man with a penchant for finery, convivial dining, and festive culture. He honestly believes Melbourne is an impressive global city.

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Guest Thursday, 28 August 2014