Hotel Jesus · Chilaca

Today we welcome a new Tasty Tuesday contributor – Melbourne restaurateur Matt Lane. On a trip to Mexico a few years back, Matt decided it was time to transport his love of taquerias (taco shops) and marisquerias (seafood restaurants) back to Melbourne – Hola his latest venture: Hotel Jesus.

Alongside head chef Yasser Garcia from Guadalajara, Matt has devised a menu of fresh, tasty dishes, to be enjoyed in authentically Mexican surrounds. Every detail here – from tessellating tiles, to logo-emblazoned tables, customised tableware and retro-style drink bottles – has been carefully considered. Put simply, this place is as close as you’ll get to Mexico City in Melbourne!

Throughout March, Matt shares a spread of four unique dishes, thoughtfully adapted for the home cook. To start, he’s serving Chilaca with a side of zesty slaw!

Matt Lane

Chilaca from Smith Street tostaderia Hotel Jesus.  Production / Styling – Nat Turnbull. Photo – Eve Wilson.

‘In wanting to replicate the Mexican experience, we decided to go all in; we packed up some shipping containers and bought as much back as we could!’ says Matt, who worked with James Brown of MASH Design on the interiors and branding. Production / Styling – Nat Turnbull. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Hotel Jesus head chef Yasser Garcia from Guadalajara, Mexico, and owner Matt Lane.  Production / Styling – Nat Turnbull. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Matt Lane
7th of March 2017

For me, chilaca was a love at first bite story. It’s one of the first dishes I ate when I was studying Spanish and living with a Mexican family in the south of Oaxaca. It’s essentially a comfort food dish, but, for me, it was also one of those ‘wow’ moments when you realise that Mexican food is so much more than just tacos.

That first time, the chilaca was served on the table as a guisado (stew) with the intention of stuffing it into tortillas or simply as a side dish to the protein on the table. At Hotel Jesus we serve this slightly more refined version of chilaca, while maintaining the primary notes of sweet yet salty, and a comfort food factor of 10+!

Matt Lane
7th of March 2017


Lightly char the banana peppers, just to add colour and soften them. Set aside to cool.

For the stuffing – in a saucepan, add the vegetable oil and the diced onion, then the crushed garlic and diced dry chilli de arbol. Cook until the onion is translucent.

Cut corn kernels from the cobs and add, and sauté until cooked. Season with salt. Set aside to cool.

Once this mix is cold, combine with shredded tasty cheese in a bowl.

Cut the tops of the now cool banana chillis and keep to one side. Scoop out the seeds and membranes as gently as possible, trying not to damage the chilli (it is best to use a teaspoon to do this).

Now stuff the corn cheese mixture into the chillis, and lay them in a roasting tray lined with baking paper. Bake at 200 degrees for 10 minutes or until the cheese mix is melted.

For the salad – Finely shred the red cabbage and the spring onion. Mix them together in a bowl and dress with fresh squeezed lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Serve stuffed chillis on a serving plate, with salad on the side.

Note: You can make the salad prior to stuffing the chillis, but dress minutes before serving.

Hotel Jesus’ Chilaca. Production / Styling – Nat Turnbull. Photo – Eve Wilson.

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