Melburnians are rabid consumers of cafe breakfasts. But ask your average punter what springs to mind first and few would reach for Mexican. To fill that gap, the team at Mexican diner Hotel Jesus in Fitzroy has introduced its first breakfast menu.
It’s been in the minds of Hotel Jesus’s team for a while. Co-owners Matt Lane and Nick Peters and head chef Luke Hammond have wanted to open for breakfast for quite some time.
“I’ve had a brekkie menu in my head since we opened Mamasita because there’s a whole plethora of [Mexican] breakfast options that haven’t really been explored [in Melbourne],” says Lane.
The team was torn on whether or not to tame Mexican food’s kick, but the final decision was simple. “We decided no,” Lane says. That said, those who don’t like spice can always ask for no salsa.
Traditional Guadalajaran and Oaxacan-style feasts sit alongside Californian-style egg tacos. Owner Matt Lane admits that traditionalists might dismiss something like the egg taco, but authentic options are available too; there are chilaquiles (fried corn tortilla pieces cooked in salsa and sprinkled with cheese) with guacamole or house-made chorizo.
Mexican cuisine might be known for its slow-cooked meats, such as carnitas (braised and pulled pork) and picadillo (shredded beef), but there are vegetarian and vegan options on the menu too, such as a mushroom and kale quesadilla. Carnivores can get involved with the pork chicharron stew, and roasted bone marrow can be added to all tacos.
Enjoy it all with a Bloody Maria or horchata iced coffees from Clarke Street Coffee, and there’s a kids menu offering spice-free options such as egg soldiers, fruit salads and ham and cheese quesadillas.
If you’re ready to experiment try the melon ceviche. A variety of melons are cured in citrus and chilli as you would a traditional seafood ceviche. Toasted coconut and chia are then added and the dish is served with tostadas, Spanish onion and lime.
“When our head chef was pitching this, I couldn’t get my head around it,” says Lane. “Then when I tried it I was blown away.”
Hotel Jesus’s new breakfast and lunch menu is available on Saturday from 8am to 3pm and Sunday from 9am to 3pm.