MELBOURNE | Among the buzz of Acland Street in St Kilda, you’ll find the newly revamped Amigos. This Mexican joint has parted ways with its old parent company and said bienvenidos to a new Colombian head chef and menu. Veering away from the heavy, cheesy dishes of its past, Amigos now boasts a diverse range of lighter, healthier options centered on fresh ingredients. The new chef wants their menu to reflect the characteristics of authentic Mexican cuisine, not its excessively portioned and saucy impersonators. What he’s created is a diverse menu that can satisfy the likes of those who crave a cheesy burrito to those who prefer their plate filled with greens. And, of course, they haven’t forgotten those of us who fuel our nights with margaritas.
You can take your pick from an inside table or those on the patio, but with an open sliding glass door replacing the fourth wall, all diners feel the open air, breezy vibe of the joint. Amigos has changed their decor to be less formal and more suitable for the casual ocean side atmosphere of St Kilda. The interior is simple and functional, with the long bar serving as the focal point.
The bar is fully stocked with a range of liquors, wines and beers, and Amigos offers a generous list of cocktails. Try the Daiquiri Rosa—it has the creaminess of a daiquiri without sitting heavy in your stomach, composed of just rum blanco, spiced grenadine, egg white and lemon. Ideal for a first drink before the entrées. If you’re after something more exotic, the Spiced Pisco has a strong kick to it and is reminiscent of a fiery pisco sour.
For entreés, Amigos serves up the classics, with a range of chips and dips as well as tacos. With smaller portions, you can easily mix and match the dishes to try a range of flavors. The choices range from meat packed to gluten free to vegan, so all can leave the table satiated.
Amigos has saved a few of the old favorites for their mains, including the classic fajitas and burrito. The paella is a dish you can’t miss—quite literally, as it comes out sizzling in a big, steamy portion. Cooked with tomato, capsicum, onion, mushroom, carrot, peas, and your choice of chicken & chorizo or prawn & scallop, this dish is chock-full of flavor and zest.
Of the new additions, Amigos offers a chicken mole, camarones colorados, and alambre de res. For those whose Spanish proficiency extends as far as uno dos tres, the camarones colorados are a beautiful plate of grilled prawns served with guajillo, ancho & árbol chilli, onion, spices, and Caribbean rice. The alambre de res comes as a steaming dish of beef strips, capsicum, onion, garlic, cheese and a corn tortilla.
After indulging in a day at the beach, you may find yourself particularly interested in Amigos’ soup of the day. Fulfilling your daily citrus requirement, the Margarita Clasica is the kind of soup that’ll leave you craving seconds.
With its recent changes, there’s no better time to part ways with the overdone, kitsch Mexican restaurants of the city and pay a visit to Amigos.
92B Acland Street
Telephone: (03) 9534 3322
Mon – Thu: 11:30am to 10:00pm
Fri: 11:30am to 11:00pm
Sat: 11:00am to 11:00pm
Sun: 11:00am to 10:00pm