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Si, Senoritas

March 26, 2012

Tonight I  had a lovely dinner at Senoritas, a new Mexican place on the quickly-populating Meyers Lane in Melbourne.

There has been a bit of an outbreak of Mexican in Melbourne of late, and much discussion about authenticity. Senoritas has it in spades.

Not just in the cuisine sense either.

Creator Ricardo Amare spoke (with a striking Aussie/Mexican combination accent) about what led him to open Senoritas (together with business partner Linda Temani). He spoke about how his first Mexican import to Australia was fashion – and he was wearing a sleekly cut black jacket over a pop pink shirt to illustrate it. He said he wanted to bring authentic Mexican culture to Australia.  The first step was the beautiful clothes, and the second embodiment is Senoritas. He mentioned that the idea Australians get of Mexico isn’t the contemporary Mexico he knows. I couldn’t help but think of how many times I’ve had that conversation.

First with people from overseas who ask me what the Aussie outback is like (I’ve never seen it). Then with Indian friends who get frantic calls from relatives to stay safe in Australia. What media and popular culture in each country choose to report, represent and dramatise has a huge effect on perceptions.

Ricardo spoke about finding a Mexican Chef, a lovely gent who looked seriously chuffed to be there. He highlighted particular staff and how much he appreciated their contributions. And it was authentic.

Truth be told, the menu is finding its way, experimenting with traditional and contemporary Mexican – and in a few months I imagine it will be an entirely different thing.

I’ll be back. Not just because of the Bunue Los a La Mexicana (Sweet tortilla Mexican style with cinnamon sugar, guava, cream cheese and piloncillo syrup). Or for the incredible tequila, but because Ricardo says he thinks a restaurant should feel like a second home. And he meant it.

Señoritas on Urbanspoon

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