Review: Fonda Mexican, Richmond (Melbourne, VIC)

248 Swan Street
Richmond VIC 3121
+61 3 9429 0085

As part of my studies, I am doing a media internship at one of my favourite sporting organisations. I may have only just started the internship but so far, so good. The people are great, I’m learning heaps and I’m surrounded by lots of colourful balls. Another good thing about working here is that Swan Street is only a tram ride away so I have a chance to explore its eateries when I feel like venturing out for lunch.


Last week, I felt like Mexican so it was off to Fonda Mexican. It might have been a grey winter day in Melbourne but Fonda’s friendly counter staff and the rows of brightly coloured stools perked me up. So did the ‘If you simply dislike avocado, onion, coriander, lime or chilli, Mexican may not be for you?’ line on the allergy disclaimer section thingy on the menu, heh. I was also wooed by the enticing drinks menu (lychee and elderflower frozen margarita, oh my!) but like I was going to return to work with a BAC greater than 0.00.

At Fonda, orders are placed at the counter and you grab a number before finding a seat. I rocked up in the middle of lunchtime, but was fortunate enough to find a seat in the adjacent dining room. I was also lucky enough to receive my food within minutes.

Charred corn ($4)
Charred corn ($4)

I started off with a piece of charred corn which was dressed with chipotle aioli and shredded ricotta salata. Although the corn was reasonably priced (I think places such as Mamasita et al charge a little bit more for the same dish), I did find it a little bit bland – what, they couldn’t put more aioli on it?! Not even the miniscule piece of lime could add enough zest to the corn which was otherwise beautifully fresh.

Fish burrito ($16)
Fish burrito ($16)

According to the blogosphere, fish seems to the way to go here. I initially thought about going the beef or the kangaroo burrito after a bad experience with fish tacos on the Gold Coast. However, I decided to follow the herd (baa-baa!) by ordering the fish burrito.

The crew uses dough from Abbotsford Convent bakery to make their burritos, which are pressed to order. My 12 inch burrito, which was conveniently cut in half, was filled with fresh rockling fillets, fluffy quinoa, black beans, pickles, avocado, corn and green salsa. Our friend chipotle aioli made an appearance. Like the charred corn, the aioli here was not applied liberally but it worked well in this case because it meant that it didn’t overpower the freshness of the other ingredients. I was full after eating only one half of the burrito and ended up taking the other half home for supper.

I may be telling people how I’m ‘WAH WAH OVER THE MEXICAN CRAZE WAH’ but I was really impressed by my meal at Fonda Mexican. The food may not be authentic (c’mon, roo tacos?) and they’re doing that annoyingly wanky drinks in jar with striped straw thing. However, the food is reasonably priced, delicious and more importantly, fresh.

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  1. Haven’t been to Fonda Mexican for a while, but did like what they had to offer. I don’t usually go for fish when I go Mexican, but the burrito looks awesome!

    Have you seen the one in Windsor? I haven’t been but walked by, absolutely huge place!

  2. Cute Corn.. Libby… Nice to see veggie dishes on your pics…

    Please get Samsung S4 galaxy for your trip its excellent smarphone with cool camera…

  3. So happy for your new internship and it’s awesome that you get to visit all these places for lunch 🙂 Fonda has been on my list for the longest time but not sure why I still haven’t visited hehe ~

  4. I have only been to Fonda once and it was aaaages ago, but I remember we ordered pretty much all the vegetarian food on the menu and really enjoyed it all. I should probably go back and see if it’s changed!

    1. Pradeep, burritos don’t normally look great in photos. While some of the food here probably isn’t ‘authentic’, they are miles better than most so-called Mexican restaurants in Melbourne. Plus, their food is fresh and delicious, which is all that matters really…

  5. I was meant to have a lunch date with The Angmoh at Fonda’s but we had to cancel. how i wish i was working around Richmond too!

  6. Glad to hear there was a bit of criticism in this review, because I thought some of the dishes were a bit bland, although I thought this applied to the quinoa burrito as well. The highlight of my experience was the lychee margarita – spectacular!!!! im not even a big lychee fan.
    and have to agree – a bit over the jar/swizzle stick combo..;)

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