Amigo’s (Hardware Lane – CBD)
Address: 75 Hardware Lane, Melbourne 3000
Phone: 03 9670 7797
Cuisine: Mexican, Latin American
CBD – Hardware Lane Urbanspoon:
South Yarra Urbanspoon:
Foodie Partners: Janelle
DISCLAIMER: I was invited by Kerry, Marketing and Events Manager of Amigo’s to review their restaurant. The meal & drinks for Janelle and I were complimentary. My reviews are 100% honest and is based on how I felt about the food & service at the time of visit.
Last year on new years eve, I wrote an article “A year in review” on my food blogging adventures. Amigo’s (South Yarra) was rated as my best and memorable restaurant.
The time when this blog entry gets published it would be exactly 11 months since I last visited Amigo’s South Yarra. Back then I was not a food blogger; but I did enjoy good food and company. That night when I visited the South Yarra branch, it was packed and filled, but we still waited. That night turned out to be memorable for the food (we only managed to finish the nachos and a great glass of sangaria), ambience and company. You don’t need to visit a 3 hatted restaurant for the place to be the best/memorable restaurant, what is classified as best can be defined different by people, whether it was the food, service or memory. But for myself, the best restaurant would be the company. Of course the food & service also needs to be of respectable quality as well for the restaurant to be considered as best in my dictionary.
So does the Hardware Lane branch meet to the same standards as the South Yarra Amigo’s I went to? Well, read on to find out.
When Kerry emailed me saying she would love to have me visit Amigo’s I was more than delighted to accept her invitation, as I really wanted to review the place and share with everyone my most memorable and best restaurant for 2012. Of course the person who accompanied me this time is different, but still the person who accompanied me is one of my closest if not my best friend. So, I promptly arranged a table for two for that night with Janelle. Janelle arrived before me and chose a table outside. That night’s weather was beautiful – it was a lovely warm Melbourne night and we were surrounded by the hustle and bustle of Hardware lane along with live music.
As Janelle arrived before I did, she settled down for the Frozen Margarita (mixed berries). I took a sip of her drink and it was definitely a refreshing drink and was very berrylicious!
I, on the other hand was going to order the same drink I had ordered 11 months ago, which was the Amigo’s Traditional (red wine, orange juice and lemonade served over ice with fresh citrus fruit). However I was asked by the waitress that night whether I wanted to give the Amigos Agave a try, which is similar to the traditional, but with a shot of tequilla and agave nectar. I said yeah, why not!
The Amigos Agave is definitely a very citrusy drink, but it also has a slight bitterness to it – but not as bitter like campari. If you want something less alcoholic, the Amigos Traditional is probably the better one to try. If you ask me which one I like better, I would say the Amigos Traditional – It was my very first sangaria, but tasted very pleasant. It didn’t have a strong alcoholic taste, and probably none at all, and quite sweet in face. The other place which I’ve tried sangaria was at Madame Brussels, in which I disliked.
After our drinks had arrived, Janelle and I went through the menu and decided to get two dishes and DEFINITELY a dessert. haha.
Janelle, who is also a fan of Amigo’s was very pleased when I asked her whether she wanted to join me for dinner. So choosing our food wasn’t that difficult, as we pretty much chose our favourite dish which was Nachos. From memory, last time I chose just the plain nachos. This time Janelle and I settled for the Nachos de Pollo, which is your normal Corn chips topped with melted cheese, guacamole, sour cream and salsa, but also topped with chicken.
The amount of the melted cheese, guacamole, sour cream and salsa are proportionate to each other and the corn chips were covered evenly. So there’s no problem with eating corn chips without topping.
I also like it that the corn chips are covered in melted cheese before the salsa, guacamole are topped over the corn chips. The chicken itself wasn’t tender, but I believe that the way the chicken was cooked matched the nachos better. Had it been tender chicken it would have tasted weird.
Very heavenly and I swear I could just sit there and eat it all day! Oh and this dish is probably best to be eaten with your fingers! I tried eating it with my fork, but it would just crumble :(
The second dish was actually recommended by our waiter for the night. The waiter was very helpful and told us that he would recommend the signature burrito with chicken and mushroom, which was his favourite.
When Janelle and I heard the word mushroom, it was like a ‘DING!’ and we were quick to say yes. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned in my past post, but Janelle and I were lunch buddies back in our uni days where we would eat out at a cafe in Bourke St. Our staple was the chicken steak with mushroom sauce. Unforutunately to this very day, we still have not found out replacement dish where they make the mushroom sauce to our standards :( But yes “our love for mushroom sauce” as Janelle would say! (So any restaurants that offer mushroom sauce with chicken steak, please contact me!!!)
Anyway, in terms of our signature burrito, I think I made a mistake during the time of order. I think I might have misheard the word jalapeno and thought it would be wrapped inside the burrito, and that I thought would have been too spicy, so I asked for it on the side. So when our signature burrito arrived and we were half way eating, Janelle pointed out that it was meant to be eaten together. But I guessin a way, eating it in separate components allowed me to try each individual elements.
Not having the mexican rice and salsa wrapped inside the burrito, the tortilla skin did feel a plain, but with the mushroom and chicken sauce on top it was actually quite nice and I enjoyed it! So I guess a mistake can sometimes turn out positive. Also adding to the tortilla skin, it was in fact quite soft. As for the mexican rice, it does have a taste of tumeric, almost to the point that I thought I was eating some sort of curry rice!
Ok, the dessert was definitely the highlight of that night’s dining out at Amigo’s.
When we were choosing our food, Janelle said whatever you choose, you DEFINITELY have to choose the Chocolate Brownie ok? I could only oblige – if Janelle says it’s good, it’s good.
What made this chocolate brownie the best is the fact that it comes on a sizzling plate! When the Sizzling Chocolate Brownie was brought over to our table, the waitress poured what I believe is the kahlua which is a mexican coffee based rum flavoured liquer. The moment the liquer hit the sizzling plate, everything started sizzling! Absolutely fun to watch!
The best thing about eating this dessert was the very fact that the sauce was burning hot, the vanilla ice cream was really cold, and eating it gave us this warm fuzzy feeling of goodness.
The chocolate brownie was very moist and full of chocolate flavour! Absolutely a highly recommended dessert!
Prior to going to Amigo’s I did a bit of research and found out that there’s more than one level at Amigo’s. So after our meal I asked Kerry whether I could take a look upstairs as it looked all too intriguing. At that time there was a birthday function happening, but I was able to take a quick look.
So did this branch match up to the time when I went to Amigo’s down on South Yarra? Yes – difference experience of course, but this time spent with my best friend.
Definitely a memorable night, and dining out outside in the bustling lane of Hardware Lane! Highly recommended!