Fonda Mexican, Collingwood
The newest Fonda opened up last week in Collywood, and I supposed I should have checked it out given it’s proximity to the home base (and Messina). I’ve seen its mini-transformation from a weird cheesecake shop and barber and was eager to see what they’d do with the resulting space. Along with Hotel Jesus we’ve had a mini-influx of Mexican in the area and Fonda brings the same characteristic charms as its other stores.
Not sure if this store has yet found it’s footing, the dishes were on the rushed/ dry side and not quite on par with my other experiences. Pricey, but clean (too clean) Mexican flavours. The fit out at Fonda is fantastic and although I didn’t see all the levels there’s a lot of potential with the three storeys (and courtyard) and I’m sure it’ll be a hip get together place in no time.
Fonda was the choice of the night after some catch up boardgames thwarting zombie invasions and exploding cats. The usual Sunday affairs. We headed in and were advised the kitchen was about to close so we should order quick. Fair enough. The store is a at-counter ordering affair, like other Fondas. Our first item to arrive was the tortilla crisps ($9). The corn chips are a fun mix of white and blue corn and are freshly fried for the perfect crunch and grease. Thankfully, guacamole and salsa come as standard with the crisps, but the petri dishes were a little on the small side, there was a stray tomato square here and there from the dipping. Guac and salsa was good, less the mess.
Fries are confusing called Chipotle chips ($8) and also “potato chips”. What. They come with a chipotle aioli and a parsley garnish. Decent chips. Not the most for the price, I could have cleaned them up myself. Taste was fine.
Matt and Jamie had two mystery tacos that were $7 each. Okay, one looks like it was the pulled beef brisket with pickled cabbage, guacamole, tortilla crisps, salsa verde and a single leaf of coriander. I’m going to hazard the second was the grilled chicken, this has cabbage slaw, guacamole, pico de gallo, smoked corn, chipotle aioli and salsa. I think the guys were fine with these, but feedback was there were not quite as good as the city Fonda ones. They looked a little empty, to me.
My order was for the beef burrito ($16). Well actually, all our orders were, we ended up all getting the same thing. $16 is pricey for a burrito, it is an upmarket/ modern/ clean version of some of the other places in town. The meat is tasty, yet almost patty like, it gets rolled along with shaved cabbage, tortilla crisps, Fonda salsa, quinoa, chipotle aioli. Not sure I enjoyed it per se, it was dry and I had to use the leftover dip from the chips (not potato chips, mind you) to get it down.
I hypothesise we had the end of shift so maybe it wasn’t as good as it should be, and the protein was dried out, but we just call it based on what we end up with our stomachs. Quinoa and the crisps add the entertaining mix of textures and the burrito is a very easy eat without collapse or dripping.
Overall a worthwhile addition to the neighbourhood and a very good spot for some evening entertaining. Food isn’t quite there yet for me but perhaps I’ll check back in a few more weeks and see how it’s progressed.