Fonda’s unique brand of Mexican cuisine has arrived in Canberra!
A fonda in Mexico is the traditional Mexican term for a home or hotel where the family serves food to the community. Founders Tim McDonald, a lawyer, and Dave Youl, a fireman, spent time in Mexico developing the concept and gleaning inspiration from fondas throughout the country. They were also committed to creating a workspace and building a hospitality team with a positive and engaging culture. Just 12 years after launching in Richmond, Victoria, this Canberra ‘casa’ is their ninth Fonda location.
Located on Bunda Street, just below the cinemas, Fonda’s corner location and beautiful light-filled interior let you watch the world go by as you dine with amigos or familia.
Fonda serves up all the best-loved Tex-Mex staples, including tacos, nachos, burritos, quesadillas and burrito bowls.
I have done my research beforehand and already know that I will be ordering the Mex-bim-bap bowl, Fonda’s Mexican twist on the Korean classic. Just like bibimbap, the bowl is a rainbow of colour, each ingredient filling in its segment of the bowl. Freekeh, chickpeas, baby spinach, pico de gallo, scarlet strips of pickled cabbage, oversized chunks of roasted sweet potato, charred corn and absolutely satisfying edamame beans. I have added chicken to my order of this dish, but I needn’t have. The housemade guac and a tangy lemon vinaigrette bring a creaminess and a zing and hold each forkful together. I nibble all the salty strips of crisp tortilla off the top of the bowl, then toss the remaining segments together so that each bite has a little of everything. Well, except for the crispy tortilla element.
We also order the chargrilled chicken quesadilla, which we notice is not cheese-heavy. The balance of chicken to cheese to baby spinach and pico de gallo is very even, so it is a healthy yet yummy choice and harmony within these complimentary flavours. I observe a plate of chargrilled corn go out to another table and wish I had ordered that as a side dish.
My margarita is tart and refreshing without the oversweetness you get from a prepackaged mix. My friend’s pineapple and lime drink bursts with tropical sweetness and a refreshing zing from the lime.
We have saved room for the churros and are so glad we did. They come out hot, crunchy and golden, with a tender interior. Two dipping sauces share space on the plate: dulce de leche and chocolate. That dulce de leche is killer!
Fonda is located in Shop FG10/148 Bunda Street in the city.
Open every day from 11:30, Fonda’s happy hour is from 4 pm to 6 pm, where frozen cocktails and margaritas are $10, and their mocktails, beers, ciders and house wines are $5. I must return to try the uniquely Mexican Horchata – a traditional Mexican drink made with smooth rice milk, vanilla & cinnamon.