Melbourne Restaurant Reviews: The Very Very Hungry Caterpillar

YES, this is yet another Melbourne food blog!

Nachos Mexican Cantina (Mt Waverley)

175 Waverley Road
Mt Waverley VIC 3149
+61 3 9888 3866
http://www.nachoscantina.com.au

Mexican food is not one I’d normally seek (I’m from Melbourne, can you blame me?). But towards the end of a busy day involving jam making, walking around Surrey Hills and pestering Ed while he’s working on his mural, it seemed like the perfect option for the four of us (the four of us being Ed, Aaron, Cathy and myself).

I can’t remember which one of us brought up Nachos Mexican Cantina but it definitely wasn’t me as I had never heard of it. Moreover, it’s been a while since I’ve been to Mt Waverley and after being so over the whole Melbourne Mexican (food) wave thing, it’s not like I was actively seeking new Mexican (or Tex-Mex … or ‘Mexican inspired’) restaurants to visit. Still, my excitement at the thought of eating carb-rich Mexican food grew as we drove down Station Street from Aaron’s house and into Waverley Road.

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Nachos sits on the site of what was once a Pizza Hut restaurant (do any of these still exist in Australia?!). I don’t know why but for some reason, the outside reminded me of Breaking Bad. Oh right, New Mexico…

The place was happenin’ at 8 o’clock on a Sunday but despite that, we managed to get seated, served and then billed very quickly which we appreciated… because time was of the essence when we had dozens of retro Australian TV ads waiting for us to watch on YouTube when we got back.

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We started off with some guacamole ($12.50) and tortillas. $12.50 may sound like an excessive amount to pay for mashed avocado but I thought it was worth it. The chips were beautifully thick and crunchy, providing an excellent base to show off the guac’s freshness. I also liked that they added onions (white and spring) and a bit of salsa into the dip for some added zest.

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A wise person (probably my friend Sean) once said that Mexican dishes are generally the ‘same shit, different wrappings.’ And while it’s not entirely true, his statement does hold a bit of merit here. The four of us ordered different meals but they were pretty much permutations of the same thing.

wp4My dish, the La Combination ($23.95), was testament to this. Those ordering the La Combination had the option of choosing beef or chicken – or both – for the fillings and because I like to live on the wild side, I chose both. From the oops-getting-soft enchilada tortilla shell to the crispier cigar-like taquito shell amongst all that rice and cheese, it tasted the same all over.

Although we all had a brilliant time, no one said that they’d be dying to rush back anytime soon. The food, while tasty, wasn’t outstandingly good and we all left feeling mightily bloated. I do like this sort of Mexican food every now and then though. And plus, Mt Waverley in all its perceived bland suburbia-ness does need places like this so that locals don’t have to hop in the car to drive to Box Hill or Glen Waverley. So when I can’t be bothered cooking this sort of Mexican at home, I’ll definitely come back here for a fiesta. For now though, it’s time for some 80s YouTube action.

Nachos Mexican Cantina on Urbanspoon

5 Comments on Nachos Mexican Cantina (Mt Waverley)

  1. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    March 19, 2013 at 20:31 (1 year ago)

    Hehe on a related note, did you read that the restaurant that they shot Breaking Bread at (Los Pollos Hermanos) is a regular tourist lure?

    Reply
  2. Nemesis
    March 21, 2013 at 09:30 (1 year ago)

    Its a shame real Mexican food is so hard to come by in a city like Melbourne, which is supposed to be the Australian capital of international food.

    There was once a fantastic little Mexican place in Box Hill near Darkzone that is now a Northern Chinese eatery – and one of the few places where I’d experienced Mexican food that wasn’t just old el paso on a plate.

    I’d heard good things about Nacho’s Mexican Cantina in the past at its old location in Oakleigh on Princess Highway – from memory it was at the front of an old motel which has since been converted to a block of apartments\townhouses.

    Reply
    • libishski
      March 23, 2013 at 21:52 (1 year ago)

      A few years ago, we would have struggled to get legit Mexican food. These days, there are more ‘real’ Mexican restaurants opening but the prices they charge will make any American laugh. That said, Melbourne is a relatively expensive city anyway.

      I think I know which place you’re talking about. I never dined there when it was open but kinda wish I did now… :(

      Reply
  3. Daisy@Nevertoosweet
    March 24, 2013 at 01:37 (1 year ago)

    Sighhh I couldn’t agree with you more that it is quite hard to find good Mexican restaurants here in melbourne and not like America where there are good Mexican everywhere >_< And i find the good Mexican restaurants are usually near the CBD and super crowded!

    Reply
  4. Nigel
    January 19, 2014 at 17:45 (6 months ago)

    Was kind of suprised at this review. I’ve been eating at this restaurant for about 20 years, back when they were based on Princes Highway. I have found that as far as places go, and considering staff and cooks change from time to time… that their quality has been pretty good. I’ve eaten alot of authentic mexican food in Mexico, and obviously this is a “tex mex” style, but I keep coming back here because well… they’re one of the better ones in Melbourne. I agree with some of the comments – there’s some great ones in the CBD, but they are crowded and expensive.

    Reply

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