Sugar Skulls, 185 Mount Alexander Road, Flemington.
Sugar Skulls is located on lower Mount Alexander Road, right opposite the fine cafe that is Phat Milk and in a premises that was formerly occupied by a beauty shop.
It’s been open about five weeks.
We arrive early and hopeful on a Friday night.
At first there’s a little confusion about whether, upon being directed to wait our turn at the serving counter, we’re in the house for takeaway or eat-in.
That’s quickly sorted and we’re shown to a window table with the proviso we must be gone in 45 minutes.
Sugar Skulls is a compact and classy operation, with a concise menu (see below) that encompasses food and beer, wine and mixed drinks.
But there is a fast-food element to proceedings, so I’m not sure why they’re bothering with bookings – especially as there is no phone number provided on either their website or Facebook page (the website has a bookings facility through OpenTable).
And certainly we make the 45-minute deadline with time to spare – this is some of the quickest food delivery we’ve ever experienced.
That’s entirely appropriate for what is pretty much street food and we’re happy because we’re hungry.
We order about half the menu.
From the list of “little things” – potato gems ($4), guacamole ($4) and corn chips and salsa ($6).
They’re all fine and very keenly priced – though I’m left wishing for a bit more spice and zing from the rather bland salsa.
Much the same could be said of our tacos – we order two each of the chicken, pork and prawn at $6 a pop.
They’re lovely and fresh, and each has its own distinctive dressing and adornments.
We especially like the tempura-like vibe of the prawn outings.
But, yep, I wish for a bit more ooomph in the chilli/lime/lemon/salt department.
Mind you, there is a nice range of hot sauces on hand if that’s your wont.
We use a couple of them to slather on the extra serve of corn chips we order – both the chips and the tortillas come from nearby La Tortilleria.
That takes our bill for a satisfying, drinkless meal to a fine $54.
Thanks for the review and the constructive criticisms. Have really enjoyed stalking your blog and catching up on what is going on in our part of the world.
Just a note on booking at our venue – given how quickly we can turn a table around, I can see why you would question our choice to invest in an online booking system.
However, our focus is primarily being a resource for our local community. Hence, we want to insure that the neighbours can be confident they have a table waiting. Furthermore, given there is nothing else within easy walking distance, it seems unfair to ask a guest to invest time in coming to our venue if there is nowhere else for us to send them.
I hope helps clarify our decision.
I look forward to reading more of your posts.
Hi Warren! Eek! A stalker! That makes all kinds of sense. Not a lot around there at night!
There’s a bit of a disconnect here. A fast food joint that serves up beer and wine and then demands the customer be out in 45 minutes? Doesn’t seem to be in concert with responsible serving of alcohol or does the cafe place a strict lower limit on what you can consume?
Oh, and $54, presumably for two? Seems a bit steep for what appears to be a fast food/takeaway. No wonder Dominos continues to thrive.
Fair points. What we had was heaps better than Dominos. And what we paid is the going rate for that kind of food. Only place you’ll get it cheaper is at half-price Tuesdays at the Rev!
To clarify, we could only offer Kenny 45min because we had a large number of bookings shortly arriving. Generally, we allow 1 hour 15 mins for most tables – but most leave within an hour. If the table is not re-booked, we are more than happy to allow people to sit as long as the like.
We serve alcoholic drinks to complement the dining experience and strongly discourage guests from simply sitting and drinking at Sugar Skulls. Given the availability of alcoholic products in the wider community, I can’t imagine someone over-consuming at our venue because they only had a limited timeframe. Our margaritas are good, but I hardly think they are that good.
Large fast-food chains thrives because they underpay staff and use inferior products. Furthermore, ‘economy of scale’ with large chains help reduce their running costs. Hospitality economics is an area that I am quite passionate about and would be more than happy to offer you more insights to the large unseen costs of small businesses.
Thanks for taking an interest.