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Kate reviews: Hot Lips Hacienda

Kate Stevenson

Hot Lips Hacienda

2 Railway Parade, Highett

hotlipshacienda.com.au

Click PLAY below to hear Kate’s review on 3AW Breakfast

Another week, another ripper joint in the suburbs.

Within spitting distance of the Highett railway station and a number of funky looking cafes, Hot Lips Hacienda is a modern, vibrant, casual corner eatery with plenty going for it.

I love the décor. No kitschy cactuses or sombreros here – shades of teal and black timber, moody lighting – it’s unique and funky.

The only day they’re open for lunch is Sunday, and it’s pretty quiet early – which means service is quick, possibly too snappy.

Ceviche de Caribe sees the freshest white fish of the day marinated in lime juice, chillies and spices and served with chopped coriander, onions, tomato, fresh jalapeno and totopos (tortilla corn chips). It is zesty and spicy, and very more-ish.

The tostaditas come out quick smart – just bigger than bite size round crispy tortillas with your choice of topping. We went with Tinga de Pollo – a dish from the state of Puebla. It’s a generous serve of pulled chicken cooked in tomatoes, sliced onion, smoked chipotles and spices. It’s finished with lettuce, sour cream and queso fresco (kinda like feta). Couldn’t quite fit a whole one in at once, so the knife and fork came out which made me look about as elegant as an elephant riding a tricycle. Tasty, though.

The tacos, too, are each designed to represent the taste of a different region of Mexico. The soft pork option apparently hails from Michoacan – belly and shoulder is slow cooked with plenty of spices and pork fat, it’s served in the warm tortilla topped with red morita chilli salsa, fresh onion, and coriander.

The grilled fish tacos represent uber-cool Baja – the barramundi is marinated for a day then char-grilled and served with a bitey chipotle cream and fresh watercress. The fish is soft and tasty, the filling generous in its proportions.

Cheesy is how I’d describe the Cuatro Quesos quesadilla, as it rightly should be – a gooey mess of Oaxaca cheese, goats cheese, mozzarella and tasty served with Hot Lips’ own salsa roja.

Don’t miss the creative drinks list – the Jamaica Sour is a refreshing combo of vodka, hibiscus, dark berry, lemon & egg white; or the tequila-based chocolate and coffee sipping liqueur is a winner.

Service is friendly, and as I said – fast. If you want to relax and stick around for a bit, maybe order a few items at a time.

This is tasty, fresh, authentic Mexican at a seriously good price – you can’t go wrong.

 

 

Kate Stevenson
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