It was time to check out our favourite local Mexican place again – Hot Lips Hacienda in Highett. Highett increasingly becomes a hip place to eat and be seen, and I love it!!! It’s right next to train station and the supermarket, so parking is not a problem. And if you go there and it’s packed you can always go across the street to it’s sister establishment – Hawkers Bar for a cocktail or two while waiting for your table. I have not eaten there yet, so won’t be saying anything, but their reviews are pretty good. Having same owners as Hot Lips and Mozambique in Sandringham, gives you faith though.
Back to Hot Lips, hope you are hungry!!
We started of course with their elotes callejeros – grilled corn cob topped with smoky chipotle chilli and queso fresco which came perfectly charred and as you bite into it – it just bursts with juices and flavours in your mouth! Mmmmmm….corn!!!
Then came couple types of tacos. They come in serves of two, so perfect to share.
We couldn’t say no to fish tacos. Their “tacos de pescado” came with their signature chipotle salsa, red onion, fresh cucumber and coriander. I will be honest with you guys, it was my least favourite dish of the night. Having had amazing fish tacos in Mexico, I guess I am a hard customer though. I couldn’t quite pin-point it as it was just one small taco, what I didn’t like, but I think it was the type of fish, which just wasn’t right for it, not the right flavour, at least to me. Evan loved it! The rest of the ingredients however were amazing.
Next one – pork belly tacos with same toppings. That was a flavour bomb!!!! Wow!!! And tasted pretty authentic. Took me back to the streets of Oaxaca for sure!! It was Evan’s most favourite dish.
To have something larger we went for their main – lamb barbacoa – slow cooked lamb that came with few toppings like salsa , lime, coriander etc and warm tortillas so you can make your own. As far as tender goes – that lamb got there! Falling apart!!! However lamb was just lamb. It wasn’t cooked in any of the spices at all. It was just cooked on its own (or at least we didn’t taste and other flavours before adding condiments). So although altogether it did work great, I think it could have been better to accentuate the flavours of the meat to go with the rest of toppings to create perfect marriage.
Finally we had tostada de pastor. My favourite of the night. – amazing chargrilled pork “marinated in Hot Lips secret sauce”, served on crispy tostada with refried beans, pineapple and jalapeño salsa. That was the best!! Everything worked so well together! Crunch of tostada, char on pork, juicy pineapple and earthy beans all tied together by the salsa. Thumbs up from me!!!! Evan tried to eat it with knife and fork and failed miserably. Best way was my way – just use hands!!!! I didn’t drop a thing!!
Few other things to mention: wait staff are super nice and QUICK!!!!! It’s the worst when you have to wait for 5 min for your wine. Very nice and friendly atmosphere.
Their cocktails are spectacular too!!! Be sure to try devils margarita if you want your lips to get hot!!( Not pictured, I had it prior to this outing).
Budget: I had 3 wines and Evan had 2 cocktails, 2 corns, 2 types of tacos, 1 main of lamb and 2 tostadas – came to just under $150. However almost half were drinks, so can have it cheaper if you opt for their $5 Tecate beer on weekends. We were full though, couldn’t fit anything else in at all.
Despite couple things I mentioned- it’s always an awesome evening to spend there! And we will definitely be back for more!