357 Smith Street
Fitzroy, VIC 3065
After a solid 7 years of friendship, Ethan and I finally have birthdays worked out. No presents, but we will take each other out for a nice dinner. So after Ethan went skydiving courtesy of his fiancée (congratulations again, Ethan and Jaz!), I treated him to some Latin street food at Kiki Riki.
Despite the pretty reasonable reviews however, Kiki Riki was completely deserted when we visited, though in all fairness it was Tuesday, and it was close to freezing outside. With that said, it didn’t stop a steady trickle of locals popping in and out for some takeaway tacos.
Like most South-American restaurants, Kiki Riki is about the booze as much as it is about the food. The bar forms a feature wall in the main area, and everything is cast in a red, tequila-soaked glow. Walk through the bar and out the back however, and you’ll find yourself in a surprisingly sweet and bright courtyard – perfect for summer, but once again way too cold right now.
The menu is small, and Nachos ($15) are a must. The chips were topped with the standard combination of cheese, beans, guac, salsa, and sour cream. That was all well and good, but I did take issue with the corn chips (as opposed to tortilla) and the weird chilli-cheese seasoning on them. Still, they hit the craving, so can’t complain too much.
We also had a couple of Roasted Mushroom Tacos ($6.5ea) – soft tortillas topped high with juicy mushrooms and crumbled feta. I personally would’ve liked the cheese to be punchier, but once again these just managed to sate the cravings.
Now for something I have never had before – the Chicken Tinga Mulitas ($12, 2pcs). The best way I can describe this is a cross between a tostada and a quesadilla. The two tortillas sandwiched a mix of cheese and a smoky shredded chicken, slow-cooked with tomato, onions, and chipotle. Then it was baked until the tortillas were crispy and embossed with melted cheese. It was a mess to eat, but I’d gladly get it again.
And because we’re both on green Ps, we had zero alcohol – just a glass of Horchata ($4) for Ethan.
All in all, Ethan and I thought Kiki Riki was just ok. It’s not to say the food was bad, but Melbourne has just been getting seriously impressive with its Mexican and Latin-American cuisine. Call me ungrateful, but despite the decent food here, there’s much better to be had elsewhere.
Rating: 11.5/20 – kiki riki’s deliveroo service.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.