Queen of the South is set to reign over Melbourne’s ongoing love affair with Mexican cuisine. Just opening in January, the new Prahran restaurant and bar is headed up by head chef Malcolm Williams (Senoritas, Rice Paper Scissors, Touché Hombre Melbourne and Bangkok), who is dedicated to expanding Melburnians’ knowledge of and experiences in Mexican dining.
“Five of the top 50 restaurants in the world last year were Mexican,” says Williams. “To me, this brings home what I have been saying for a long time – the world has only just scratched the surface of exciting and vibrant ethos to food that Mexico holds dear.”
Williams’s food at Queen of the South is rooted in traditional Mexican dishes and flavours combined with modern cooking techniques, setting it apart from the ‘fast Mex’ street-food trend. The modern Mexican-inspired share plates are designed to satisfy a more mature expectation of this enticing cuisine, in contrast with an over-abundance of tacos and burritos.
Dishes include Tromba Blanco and ancho-cured ocean trout with corn puree, avocado crema and soused fennel; and the Chuleta de Cordero: lamb cutlets with pasilla glaze and spring onion and radish salsa.
Vegans need not miss out with a rotating full menu of vegan-friendly dishes, such as the Nopales Tostada with cactus salad, peanut de arbol salsa, cashew nut cheese and chilli pequin; and Coliflor de Asado: chipotle and paprika-marinated char-grilled cauliflower steak with baby kale, radish and cucumber.
Williams says, “I have learned many techniques working in different kitchens throughout my career and have been wanting to combine these with my love for all things Mexican for quite some time. Call it Melbourne Mexican, call it Mexican fusion if you will; I just call it honest and delicious food that’s not to be missed.”
The mouth-watering food menu is matched by an equally delicious drinks menu. Premium tequila, mezcal and agave are found in cocktails such as the Cereza Sling, with Tromba Blanco tequila, Campari, Cherry Herring, and raspberry, pineapple and lime; and the Sugar Skull, with 666 Tequila, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, agave, bitters and sparkling wine.
The craft beer and wine lists are local-driven, starring plenty of small Victorian and South Australian makers including Exit, Boatrocker, Crittenden Estate and S.C. Pannell – making Queen of the South the perfect spot to drop by for a drink and a bite, or to settle in for an indulgent multi-course meal with friends.
Queen of the South
201–209 High Street, Prahran
Wednesday– Saturday, 5pm–late
Media inquiries: Fiona Brook at Zilla & Brook Publicity
Fiona@zillaandbrook.com.au | 0407 900 840 | 03 9690 7000