Cue the arrival of casual Mexican eats just in time for summer.
Brace yourself, Brisbane, for four weeks of tasty Mexican street food, backed by fresh, fruity cocktails and '80s pop: Bad Hombres is coming to town. The Sydney restaurant by chef Toby Wilson, bartender/barista/all-round good guy Seàn McManus and hospitality entrepreneur Jon Kennedy will offer a slightly more casual version of its regular menu during the pop-up at Alf's Place in Fortitude Valley, with dishes inspired by Wilson's latest trip to Mexico.
"I ate well over 100 tacos everywhere from local taquerias to cantinas to street-side stalls," he says.
Tortillas feature strongly on the new menu, whether in tostada, quesadilla or taco form, with Wilson putting a spin on Mexican classics. A miso carrot, confit mushroom and lime number takes its cue from ceviche tostada, a mole-inspired sauce of peanut and dried and fresh chilli is paired with Jerusalem artichoke in a taco, while his addictive corn with Japanese-style mayo and furikake makes the journey north from Sydney. A chocolate mousse taco, sprinkled with corn flakes and salt and topped with passionfruit, provides a sweet finish.
McManus is overseeing the wines and has opted for more quaffable expressions than his first Sydney list.
"I just got back from Italy and noticed that when you're eating in large groups, the wine plays a different role. You don't want it to interrupt what you're eating."
Australian producers from the minimal intervention set remain the focus, with Sigurd chenin blanc, Inkwell shiraz and a vermentino from Ephemera. Light and refreshing cocktails - "almost what you'd drink on holidays", says McManus - include a chilli and watermelon Margarita and a rum-spiked agua fresca of papaya, lime and sugar that's also available in mocktail form.
And as a mark of solidarity, Wilson and McManus reckon they'll be rocking maroon jerseys instead of blue for the next four weeks. How could you say no to that?
Bad Hombres Brisbane, 39 Alfred St, Fortitude Valley, Qld, alfsplace.com.au. 15 Nov-16 Dec, Wed-Sat, 5.30pm-late.