In its simplest form, the radio distributes music and sound to the masses, traversing the soundwaves from miles away. In St Kilda, Radio Mexico brings authentic food to Melburnians, who are more than willing to travel, and wait, to taste the venue’s irresistible tortillas, tostadas and tacos.
Opening three years ago, Radio Mexico has maintained a strong following of loyal customers, a direct result of its combination of fresh ingredients, casual dining and good hospitality.
The business is owned by Adele Arkell and Nic Liberman. With a working relationship spanning more than 10 years, Adele and Head Chef, Colin Pernice, are a well-oiled machine, having developed their complementary skills at venues such as Las Chicas in Balaclava. The Radio Mexico family is rounded out with the undeniable organisation of Kirsty McAdam and Guy Rice’s creativity as Bar Manager.
Together, they’ve created a venue that’s equal parts fresh, genuine and vibrant, offering diverse dining experiences in the one space. Stop by for a quick taco, or make a night of it with a menu of more substantial dishes. As much as possible is made from scratch, including the tacos, corn chips, guacamole and all salsas and sauces.
Start your journey to the land of corn with elotes, otherwise known as corn on the cob served street style, with mayo, cheese, chilli salt and lime. Move onto the nachos de calabaza – spicy roast pumpkin and three cheese nachos, or the camarones con pasilla – prawns tossed in a pan with pasilla chilli.
The signature dish is the humble taco. Try the baja – beer battered fish, pico de gallo and slaw – or the house favourite, BBQ pork belly, with pork crackling and pineapple. If veggies are your preference opt for the hongos – ancho-roasted mixed mushrooms and crema poblano, or frijoles complete with black bean, pickled jalapeño, avocado and pico de gallo.
Don’t feel like tacos? Order one of the Platos Fuertes – main meals designed to share. The pork belly al pastor features the mouth-watering combination of oven roasted free-range pork belly with pineapple salsa and green rice, while the enchilada de res boasts mescal-marinated slow cooked beef wrapped in tortillas baked in the oven and topped with herb salad.
If you’ve brought a group along, book the Sala Esmeralda – the upstairs private dining room. It allows a slower paced, cosier dining experience, akin to having dinner in your Mexican grandmother’s house. Between the golden ornate mirrors, patterned floor, white tablecloths, candles and dark timber chairs, you’ll feel right at home.
No matter how many people you’re dining with, don’t go past the comprehensive drinks list, boasting a large range of both imported and local beers, cocktails and tequilas. Guy and his bar staff will whip up anything you like – all you have to do is ask!
Radio Mexico’s long awaited expansion to the north-side comes in the form of a warehouse just off Northcote’s High Street, where the team have created an urban garden that will have you relaxed and comfortable in no time.