Village Cantina, 30 Ballarat Street, Yarraville. Phone: 9689 8000
Barely a week after Village Cantina’s opening, Team CTS descends on the joint for a taste of what it has to offer.
It’s busy as all get out.
Wait time is prolonged but the staff do their best.
We recommend, while the place is so busy with folks checking it out for the first time, that the best times to visit are early or late.
The expectations and hopes of we three are quite finely calibrated.
We don’t expect the authenticity of La Tortilleria.
Sometimes – like right now! – Mexican food through an American prism is just the ticket.
That’s exactly what we get.
But … it’s very good.
Much better than we expect!
Jalapeno poppers ($6 for three) are wonderful, with gooey cheese centres and breadcrumb coatings.
They’re spicy, too. Much hotter, in fact, than any of the array of hot sauces at hand.
We try them all just to make sure!
Instead of fiddling around with a bunch of other entrees, we go for the nachos ($12), which is another winner.
That the beef is shredded and lovely, rather than merely ground, is testament to the fact that Village Cantina is staking out the high ground when it comes to this sort of food.
My beef burrito ($13) is good, with the cheese shining out amid the other ingredients – rice, black beans, salsa and shredded beef.
It’s solid, satisafying and enjoyable.
But I do look with envy at the selections chosen by my companions – they appear both more interesting and more refined.
The bloke who chose the pork quesadilla ($12) is very happy indeed.
Fish and pork tacos ($6 each) also hit the spot, with their recipient telling me the former has good, crisp and solid chunks of fish.
Our dinner, including three Mexican soft drinks, has cost us precisely $65.
And that, we reckon as we very happily depart, is a bargain.