First Look: Macho Radio Bar, a new Tex-Mex spot from Charles Khabouth and Hanif Harji


Mini tostadas ($9) with sea bass ceviche, avocado and cilantro

Image: Yvonne Tsui

Prolific restaurateurs Charles Khabouth and Hanif Harji have replaced Città, their short-lived Italian restaurant at CityPlace, with Macho Radio Bar, a new Tex-Mex spot.

The name of the new restaurant is meant to evoke a feeling of bold flavors, bold colours, bold drinks and bold experiences. Of course, you also need some bravado to communicate a culture and a cuisine, says Christina Kuypers, director of operations at Macho.  

The space — designed by Studio Munge — features whimsical colour splashes and textures.

Macho Radio Bar's patio (IMAGE: YVONNE TSUI)

The covered patio seats 100, while the restaurant itself seats around 85.  For gaming nerds, Macho offers arcade classics such as Street Fighter and Pac-Man, along with a pinball machine.

From midnight to 2 a.m., beer and bar-rail drinks are $5. The tequila list has around 30 selections, which includes “every single tequila available in Ontario,” says Kuypers. Macho’s aim is to have the largest tequila and mezcal list in Canada.

Frozen margarita  (IMAGE: YVONNE TSUI)

The cocktail list includes forgotten classics such as the Tequila Sunrise ($8) and a few Mexican-inspired spins on classics, such as the Tejano Tea ($9), which is a play on the Long Island Iced Tea. You can also customize your own agua fresca ($8 by the glass or $35 for a pitcher) by choosing between three base flavours and then adding your choice of spirit. It is also available as a virgin option. And to keep things fun, there are also frozen margaritas ($8).

Chef Guillermo Herbertson (IMAGE: YVONNE TSUI)

Chef Guillermo Herbertson, formerly the chef at Barsa Taberna, is a native of Acapulco, Mexico. He has created a menu of Tex-Mex favorites, all under $20. Part of his inspiration comes from his many visits to Texas, where his sister lives.

“I always come back 10 pounds heavier,” he says. “I love the smoked meats they have down there.”

In communicating his cooking philosophy, he echoes the words of his long-time mentor, Tom Brodi, whom he worked under at Turf Lounge and The Ritz-Carlton: “If you would not eat it yourself, don’t serve it.”

Macho cheese bites (IMAGE: YVONNE TSUI)

The Macho cheese bites ($7) were inspired by one of Herbertson’s guilty pleasures: Rancheritos, a Mexican-style of chips. It’s his gourmet take on them, and also an homage to Doritos. 

“A little bit of Tex and a little bit of Mex,” says Herbertson.

Verde fresca salad (IMAGE: YVONNE TSUI)

The Santa Fe salad ($8) is more than just greens. It also has charred corn, radishes, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, romano beans, avocado, corn nuts and fried tortilla strips. The verde fresca ($8) is a melange of green kale, puffed quinoa and Cotija cheese, with a hibiscus flower dressing.

Of course, there are tacos, including a corn quinoa fritter option ($4) and a pork shoulder taco ($5) with pineapple salsa.

Southern smoked short rib (IMAGE: YVONNE TSUI)

For those wanting something more substantial, the short rib ($18) is Herbertson’s play on a fajita. It’s smoked for six hours and then cooked sous-vide for another 10. It comes with coleslaw, flour tortillas and two house-made hot sauces. 

Macho Radio Bar is open seven days a week from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Monday to Friday, and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekends. A smaller late-night menu is available all week from midnight until 2 a.m.

Outside Macho Radio Bar (Image: Yvonne Tsui)

Macho Radio Bar, 92 Fort York Blvd., 416-623-2323

Edit Module

Join the conversation and have your say by commenting below. Our comment system uses a Facebook plugin. Please note that you'll have to turn off some ad-blockers in order to see the comments.

Edit Module

Follow us on Twitter @PostCity for more on what to eat, where to shop and what to do in Toronto.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You may also like...

Restaurant Review: Seafood abounds at Ardo, Corktown’s Sicilian eatery

Restaurant Review: Seafood abounds at Ardo, Corktown’s Sicilian eatery

Then there’s Ardo, the super-popular newish Sicilian restaurant in Corktown. It’s friendly and pleasant-looking, done in pale colours with warm lighting, Sicilian tchotchkes and a great buzz. Lots of people, lots of noise. And a few ringside bar seats overlooking the fast-moving and superbly fragrant open kitchen.
Posted 4 days ago
What to Eat this Minute: An uptown paradise for crème brûlée lovers

What to Eat this Minute: An uptown paradise for crème brûlée lovers

A menu of the available flavours sits next to the cash at Craque de Crème. Sweet-toothed patrons can order iterations of the dessert in everything from white chocolate rose to lychee vodka to, of course, a classic vanilla bean.
Posted 6 days ago
Looking Back: Toronto on rye

Looking Back: Toronto on rye

Now, the museum at Beth Tzedec Synagogue is hosting an exhibition called From Latkes to Laffas, celebrating the humble deli, which opened last month and continues until March 30, 2018.
Posted 7 days ago
Taste Test: Chef Mark McEwan helps us taste Toronto's best tandoori chicken

Taste Test: Chef Mark McEwan helps us taste Toronto's best tandoori chicken

McEwan’s menu at Diwan restaurant in the Aga Khan Museum features South Asian, Middle Eastern and north African cuisines.
Posted 7 days ago
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit Module