A recent addition to Bondi’s foodie scene is the funky Mr Moustache, a vibrant new Mexican eatery with a mezcal twist in the form of the largest mezcal collection in Australia.
For the uninitiated, mezcal is another spirit made from the agave plant, which its more well known cousin tequila is also made from. The many varieties of mezcal available at Mr Moustache are lined up behind the luxe marble topped bar which feels a bit French, but it is balanced out on the other side of the restaurant by the brightly coloured wooden mock “street food stand” set up where the open kitchen is. You can definitely feel the authentic Mexican vibe from that end of the restaurant and it shines through in their dishes too.
Bildo and Regina are the passionate Mexican couple behind Mr Moustache and they have woven mezcal into many of the cocktails on their extensive drinks menu. I go for the Desserter which is an interesting blend of mezcal, lime, grapefruit, pisco and agave nectar with an intriguing sounding flamed orange cheek. It’s strong but zesty and refreshing, going well with the fresh flavours of the Guacamole, served with some quirky beetroot chips and crunchy tortilla chips.
From the selection of starters I also snagged some of the Scallop Aguachile to try – can’t ever resist raw scallop sashimi! The thin sliver of fresh scallop is lightly seasoned with a zingy blend of green chilli, lemon juice and cucumber and is eaten with a plain cracker.
Scallop Aguachile, $13
While the meal was already off to a good start, the unexpected hero of the meal was about to come and knock my socks off. At first glance, the Esquites looked like an unassuming, simple appetiser of chargrilled corn kernels, served adorably in shot glasses. Picking up the shot glass, I was surprised that it was still warm, but that surprise was quickly replaced by a flavour explosion in my mouth from the amazing combo of corn with mayo, fresco cheese and piquin chilli powder.
The contemporary twists on Mexican staples continued with the Quinoa Salad Cups, which were served in crunchy little tortilla baskets. The light mix of bubbly quinoa, cucumber, tomato, crunchy beans and sweet corn went down very easily.
Quinoa Salad Cups, $9
Next up was a selection of different meat and seafood tostaditas,which featured more deep fried tortillas in a mini circular form (they’re also gluten free!). The Duck Tostadita was my absolute favourite; the tender duck meat has a spicy kick to it which is slightly offset by the dollop of sour cream on top. We also tried the Atun Tostadita which consisted of fresh albacore tuna sashimi, diced cucumber and a tasty marinade of soy, orange juice and garlic. The Prawn Ceviche Tostadita was a bit of an acquired taste for me as I’m not used to eating raw prawns and the slippery prawn meat still had a strong scent of the ocean about it.
Duck Tostadita, $15
Atun Tostadita, $15
Prawn Ceviche Tostadita, $15
The more substantial offerings on their menu include tasty Mini Lamb Burgers with a jalapeno kicker and chipotle mayo (not designed for sharing) and hearty Beef Meatballs in a cute little pot with flour tortillas to dunk in the moreish chipotle tomato sauce.
Hamburguesita Picosita de Cordero, $11
Albondigas de Carne con Salsa Chipotle, $9
Now we have pretty much hit all the usual suspects in Mexican dining except for one very noticeable absence up to this point. All that’s missing is the tacos – and we finally get our fix with their delicious Pescado Baja tacos, with a beer-battered fish fillet drizzled with more chipotle mayo and pickled cabbage, all wrapped up in their gluten free tortillas. The fish was still moist on the inside – bonus points for that! Best of all, Mr Moustache has a half-price taco happy hour from 5-6.30pm, Monday through to Friday.
Pescado Baja Tacos, $7
I was pretty content by this stage, stuffed full of Mexican savoury goodies but the best was still to come (and there’s always a separate stomach for dessert). The highlight from the dessert menu for me was the Chilli Chocolate Brownie which was amazingly decadent, paired with a sticky chocolate sauce, salted candied peanuts and vanilla bean icecream. The Platanos Machos was a close second, the star of the dessert being the soft banana pieces sautéed with caramel – it was surprisingly moreish. I also enjoyed the exotic tasting Guava Creme Brulee with blueberries on top, but the other 2 desserts were more exciting flavour and texture wise.
Chilli Chocolate Brownie, $10
Platanos Machos, $11
Guava Creme Brulee, $9
Mr Moustache is slick, from their fitout to their fun, quirky branding and their modern spin on Mexican dining hits the mark, at a reasonable price for the area.
Excuse Me Waiter dined as guests of Mr Moustache
75-79 Hall Street, Bondi Beach NSW 2026
Phone: (02) 9300 8892