Friday, 23 March 2012


Last week I added another Mexican Restaurant notch on my belt - Señoritas. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am that Melbourne diners have fallen in love with Mexican cuisine and how disappointed I am that I haven't been to all these emerging restaurants yet.

Señoritas opened in Meyers Place on Friday 9 March 2012. Knowing that the first week for any restaurant can be a little shaky, I hadn't openly planned on visiting yet. But a mid-week catch up with a friend, Shane, and no plans for dinner, saw me slowly gravitating towards Senoritas. Before I knew it we were inside agreeing to wait 40 minutes for a table... provided we could drink margaritas while waiting. 

I was immediately struck by the art. It was Mexican art, predominantly consisting of Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos) pieces. Something I must admit I had rarely seen before. (Read about it on the Senoritas webpage.) Unfortunately, not being prepared for such a wonderful experience, I hadn't brought my camera along and the phone doesn't do the place justice. (These photos are seriously bad, in fact some just couldn't be salvaged at all. Sorry.)

Our margaritas arrived and I barely registered them, lost in a world of conversation. It tasted ok, not as strong as I would have liked. There was too much ice or maybe it was watery to begin with (I don't think I'll be ordering the 'Tommy' style next time), and it was definitely not worthy of the $18 price tag.

As we were nearing our last sip of margarita, we were shown to a our table. I think we waited about 40 minutes, definitely no more. To be honest, we were so enthralled discussing recent events and polarising topics, that we'd barely even noticed. Good company really does make every situation better. (Thanks Shane!)

The tables were tightly packed in and it took us a little while to dodge waiters and make our way to our table. It was very obvious that the waiters were under a lot of pressure, both to do their job and to make it look easy. Being extremely apologetic was nice, but probably emphasised the delays in service even more. It'll be interesting to see if things have changed in a month or too.

We discussed the menu intently, trying to make sure we'd try a variety of options. I could have ordered everything on the menu. Eventually we settled on three smaller dishes, one larger dish and one side. And I waited with anticipation.

The first morsel to hit my mouth was the Taco matteo (grilled prawn taco with black refried beans, fresh tomato, avocado, chipotle mayonnaise and Mexican rice). There was a strong flavour from the beans and the texture of the prawns was very eminent, but the rest of the described ingredients weren't really present. The Mexican rice sat between the two tacos, rather than in them and it tasted good. Overall though, the dish was nice but not very inspiring.

Next, I delved into the Ceviche a toda madre (fresh tuna ceviche with cucumber, tomato, serrano chili and coriander oil). Yum! This was much more flavoursome and had a wonderful soft texture. I'm not sure about the use of coriander oil as it tasted (and looked) like there were pieces of parsley in it. But maybe my taste buds were off that night. Regardless, it was a delicious dish and we scraped the plate clean.

At this point, I feel that I should point out how small the tacos and tortillas are. Easily less than a hand-span, they are smaller than the standard size you can find in supermarkets. But don't be disheartened, the smaller sizes means you can try more.

So next I tried Panchos de cochinita pibil (slow roasted pork in a small tortilla with refried black beans, picked red onions and Habanero salsa). And it was amazing! So much spicier than I was expecting, yet it didn't burn my mouth, just added beautiful flavour that worked so well will the soft shredded pork. The refried beans were also delicious - thankfully, considering they were listed as an ingredient in most dishes on the menu.

The Guacamole (avocado, green tomato, onion, garlic, serrano chili and coriander) arrived next. It came in a cute-as-pie little bowl with a wooden spoon and corn chips on the side. Despite how cute it looked, I was utterly disappointed. Where was the hint of onion, garlic, chili and coriander? Not in that dish it seems. I didn't think of it at the time, but maybe they had run out of certain ingredients - not good. Ultimately the guacamole tasted like avocado dip. Too creamy and not fresh enough for my taste.

Last up, our larger dish - Arrachera divorciada (Sirloin steak with refried beans, a cactus salad, mushroom and chipotle salsa). We'd originally tried to order Mole poblano con pollo (a chicken dish) but were told "it is sold out and is probably the best dish on on the menu" - way to dig the knife in. But the steak was delicious, so I'm not complaining. It was beautifully charred and crispy on the outside and perfectly tender in the middle. We'd asked for it medium-rare and it was close to spot on, maybe a touch overdone, but not by much. Shane seemed to enjoy it regardless, and he is a man who likes his steak still moving. The entire dish was amazing and I'm not sure what the white stuff on top was (the descriptions on the menu really don't seem to match the actual food), but it worked supremely well with the meat. I tucked in to the cactus salad with fervour too and once again, the refried beans were yummy.

We finished our drinks and conversation, and asked for the bill - it was $135.50 for two people including 4 margaritas. This might sound pricey but the food on its own was only $63.50, which was very reasonable for what we ate. I will, however, be having a closer look at the rest of their drinks menu in the future.

As for my first impressions...  Señoritas offers authentic Mexican cuisine in a great CBD location. The decor and ambiance is fascinating. There is a strong Mexican presence that really distinguishes it from other Mexican restaurants in the area. The service was friendly and should only get better as the restaurant works out its fresh legs jitters. Overall, the food was decent and there was a clear 50/50 split between ok/good dishes and great ones. The experience was definitely tempting enough to get me thinking about a 2nd visit.

- Dani

Name: Señoritas
Cuisine: Mexican
Price: $$/$$$
Location: 16 Meyers Place, Melbourne VIC 3000 

Señoritas on Urbanspoon


  1. Heyyyyyyyyyyy new twitter follower!!!
    Thanks for requesting me.
    This place looks awesome, I'm going out for Mexican on Satdee night with some work girls. Not this place though.

    I think that bill price is pretty good especially with drinks!


    1. No worries! Just new to the whole twitter thing.

      Hope the Mexican night went well on Saturday!

      PS. loving the Live Love Glow posts