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Agave Mexican Bar and Grill, Fortitude Valley

Last night we celebrated a friend's birthday at Agave Mexican Bar and Grill at Fortitude Valley.  It's one of a few Mexican restaurants in Brisbane and I think this one is great for the food and for the price (cheap $$) but the service wasn't great.  It was so hard finding the place - we were doing laps and laps around Fortitude Valley but it was worth it when we finally found the place.   My partner and I were invited to join in a Mexican birthday celebration.

Atmosphere:   This place is huge!   High ceilings and concrete walls.  Strong bold colours, nice brown floors and warm lighting.   Now because we had reservations for a group we were seated down very quickly in the bench seats.  The bench seating can be convenient for the restaurant (squash as many people in) but when you are wearing a mini skirt + heels and seated in the middle of the seat it can be quite hard and awkward to get out! I tried 3 times to get out of my seat but failed :P.  So I had to get all the people to slide out so I could get out.  If you are booking for a group reservation wear pants!

Menu, dj area and singer

The highlight of the restaurant is the singing amigos in his outfits (he at least changed 2 times when I was there) and singing familiar Mexican songs.  He got the ladies going and I really enjoyed watching.  Such different culture.  I enjoyed the live music.  It can be really noisy that you can't really hear the person next to you but it's okay because this is what I expect from a restaurant like this and especially from latin culture - they know how to party, dance hard and love their music!  They love music!

I really recommend to book because this place can be really packed especially on a Friday night.   If you don't I think you would be waiting a long time for your seat and probably your food.  Or maybe have to divert to the outside seats!

Benching seating inside

Service:  Okay the service.  The service varies a lot between restaurants and it depends on the nights and how busy or quiet it is.  I really don't want to give negative feedback but I am just giving my opinion.  The service wasn't the best because we were missing 3 orders from what we ordered initially (huge group) and the host that was hosting the celebration had to pay for the orders that were missing!  We were informed from another waitress that 'someone else might of ate it' and he really insisted on this excuse!  I really thought this wasn't good enough at all!  It could be miscommunication between the chefs/cooks and waitresses but wasn't happy that people in our table were still waiting and waiting for the orders while everyone else was enjoying their food.

Food:  The food was great!  It was so cheap from other Mexican restaurants I have tried and it tasted as nearly as good as 'my latin mother's' cooking!   So it must be authentic!    I think the food was packed with a lot of meat (so full after eating a chicken enchiladas $18.90) and all the food was plated up really nice and neat and came out quick! (besides the orders that were missing).

Some of my foods my neighours were having for the night.

I think this is the beef burritos my friend had for 14.90. This is a SNACK not a meal.
Okay this is really a snack because my friend ate this down in 5 minutes!  She said it was nice, crunchy and hot!  Could be bigger :).

This is my chicken enchiladas for 18.90
This is my main meal for the night - chicken enchiladas.   It was okay and what I expected.  Not a punch but bland and cheesy.   Just add taco sauce?   The cheese was good,  the chicken was way too much and loved how they packed a lot of fresh crispy lettuce.  I finished half.  I think two people can finish this together.

My partner had: King Prawn Diablo – grilled king prawns with smoky chipotle sauce and served with mexican rice $23

I was so envious when the waiter came along with the King Prawn Diablo my partner ordered.   He said he was in 'heaven'.  It was nicely grilled (you can taste the smokiness of it), the sauce was creamy and the side of Mexican rice was perfect!  Nice smokey flavours and a bit spicy.  He said for the price it's very worth it and very cheap!  He would come back for the same dish again.

Mocktails - $7.  Fresh and sweet!

Overall:  Overall I had a great night out with my Mexican 'family' and Agave made it nice with food and the live music.  Though, the service was quick and efficient the missing orders put them down.  It was horrible which the host had to end up forking out more money!   I really hope this is a one off thing because I really like the place.

Don't think Mexican food is like Oldepaso (from the box).  I read a lot of bad reviews about this place and other Mexican places that 'there is no flavour' or 'no punch' or 'kick' because I think these people eat from the box :).  Add taco sauce?  I don't know why these people that give such bad reviews when they have not yet tasted a REAL MEXICAN's COOKING?   I have a lot of times and this what you would expect!  Like seriously?  It's mild to hot and it depends what you guys order really!   

Parking:  Hard to find the place and parking it's packed!
Family friend:  No.

Atmosphere:  8/10 Noisy, busy and live entertainment.
Food:  8/10 Quick, packed and hot!!!!!!!!!!!!
Price:  9/10 Cheap for the food.
Communication and service:  5/10 'Missing food' and loss of communication. Host had to pay over $50 of more food to cover the missing food.  Horrible.  Hope this is one off.

Though there were mishaps I would come back and order their other seafood dishes.  However, I am really let down, very let down that the host had to fork out so much money to replace the orders

I don't know.  Tell me when you go there in a big big group.....if there are missing orders and you had to pay extra to replace them.....

Good food but the service not very good.  

Agave Mexican Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon


Kid Friendly: Pork or Chicken Fried Wontons

Last week I had the chance to teach the children how to make 'fried wontons' (with a simple pork and chicken filling) - from what ingredients to use, mixing and putting the mixture into wonton sheets and showing them the frying method.  This part an adult has to do - after all I was teaching children that are 3 years of age.  They enjoyed this experience and to me they have learned so much from recognizing and naming the ingredients, embracing my culture and having to taste their own food rather than picking these up from the Chinese restaurant or in frozen packets.

Now because I didn't want to overwhelm the children with too much ingredients I just used the minimal! Having the other ingredients does not really mean that the taste will be bland.  It was really good!

Kid Friendly: Pork or Chicken Fried Wontons
We made about 50 on these wontons with minimal meat inside.  If you make leftovers then freeze.  If you want to make just chicken then omit the pork and double chicken the amount and vice versa.

What will you need:
  • Approx 150 grams of minced pork
  • Approx 150 grams of minced chicken
  • 1/2 tbs of minced garlic
  • 1/2 tbs of minced ginger
  • 1 - 1.5 tbs of soy sauce
  • 1 tbs of rice wine vinegar
  • pepper to taste
  • wonton wrappers (i used the white you can also use the yellow egg wrappers)
  • bit of cornflour and water to paste around the edges of the wontons to enclose the filling.
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • Have all the ingredients laid out and have the ginger, garlic in whole because this way the children and identify what is what and have them to smell and ask them what does this smell like.  Show them the cut up version which will be put into the mixture.

  • Then divide portions up into their own mixing bowls and add all the ingredients together and have them to smell each first and get them to mix and describe how it feels and looks.  The mixture should be sticky and pasty looking.
  • Next have the wonton wrappers already peeled for the children (do this beforehand) and show them how.  
  • Lay the wonton wrappers on a flat surface and fill the middle of the sheet with a tiny filling of the mince mixture (just under half a teaspoon) and with water mixed with cornflour  brush the edges of the wrapper.  Enclose the filling by taking the bottom of the wrapper to the top of the wrapper and seal.

  • I skipped pleating part cause it seems a bit too challenging for their little fingers.  The children showed me that they could dip the finger into the bowl and brush it around the edges and fold it up to enclose the filling.  You can really make any shape!

  • With an adult, heat oil (about 1 inch in a wok) until hot.  Fry about 8 wontons at a time until brown and turn it a few times about for 2 to 3 minutes.  
  • Drain on paper towel
  • Serve with soy sauce and eat immediately!

I am sure you will love watching your children concentrate and focus on this easy cooking activity and that they learn that not everything comes out from frozen packets or take away from a Chinese restaurant.


We snack on: Mochi

My partner and I love snacking on Mochi so much!   Mochi is a glutinous Japanese rice cake that is filled with sweet fillings and paste.   I think we might of gained a bit of weight here and there.  I love these tiny desserts but it's kind of tempting when there is more of it when you just want to have one!

The flavours from the top to bottom:  sesame, taro, green tea,  ?, and peanut.  I have no idea what is the second last one (this was my least favourite).

Should try making these one day but you can get a whole tray for this for around $7AU depending which asian market you get it from.  This tray I got from Sunnybank.


Wonton Noodle Soup

Wonton noodle soup - my favourite and especially one of my partner's favourite meals.  We always tend to go out for wonton noodle soup during this cold weather because I cannot make it!  Well actually too LAZY to whip something like this up when you can buy a bowl for under $10.

On the weekend I challenged myself and cooked wonton noodle soup for the first time.   The filling is somewhat like the fried dumplings I usually make (mixture of chicken and pork) but this time I added juicy banana prawns (bought these at woolworths for about $12 for a kg - on sale).  It adds a nice texture to it when cut up real chunky!  I do not like ordering a wonton soup when I find only mince pork in it!   A soup wonton should use the egg wrap (yellow skin wrap) cause it doesn't break when cooked.   The broth I make is simple chicken stock and shitake mushrooms with some seasonings and lots of ginger.  It takes about an hour.... I know I am lazy I can't wait for hours to make a broth.  The greens I use is just bok choy and for the dipping sauce I usually make is the ginger chilli soy sauce to go with the meal. 

All these things that you need I reckon you could all get from an Asian supermarket!  It is a lot of processing but it is so satisfying that you put all the hard work into (and know what you put in it) what you made.  If you are cooking for people I think you should get them to help out making the wontons.  Makes life easier.

I usually make a lot of wontons so the ingredients below may not be accurate to serve an accurate amount of people.  If you have any mince mixture left over freeze it and make wontons later if you need them.  Or you can make more wontons and freeze it (make sure freeze the wontons seperately when layered because it will stick and clump together).

Soup Broth
- 1kg chicken bones
- 3/4 cup of shredded shiitake mushrooms  (rehydrate with water as packet instructions)
- 2 litres of water
- ginger chopped
- garlic whole 
- 1 star anise (optional)
- few cloves (optional)
- salt and pepper
- dash of soy sauce
- dash of sesame oil


- 150grams of pork mince
- 150grams of chicken mince
- 200grams of any kind of prawns peeled and diced into small pieces
- 1tbs of light soy sauce
- 2tbs of oyster sauce
- dash of seasme oil
- 1tbs of rice wine vinegar
- 1 ginger peeled and minced
- 2 cloves of garlic peeled and minced
- strands of green onion chopped
- 1 cup of chinese cabbage chopped (optional)
- 1 cup of water chestnut chopped (optional)
- 1 packet of square or round shaped egg wonton wrappers (we use half)
- water
- 1 packet of egg noodles (would serve 4 people)
- 1 bunch of bok choy roughly cut into 20cm pieces.


Soup broth: Put all ingredients together in a large pot and simmer for 1 hour.  Season to taste.

Wontons:  For the wontons add everything in a big mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.   Add the meats and prawns in first, then the condiments and seasoning.  The mixture should be sticky.

How to wrap your wontons.  Look at this video - it shows the most easiest way to fold.  Keep wrapping until you have enough to serve how many people you want. I like to fold mine in the tortellini way using just under a teaspoon of filling.  My partner attempted to wrap one (guess which one it is lol).

Wonton soup: What I like to do is transfer enough soup into a smaller pot from the original pot and cook the wontons.   This is because then you won't have broken wraps that might fall of the wonton in the soup and this way you have more fresh soup when needed. You can freeze the stock and freeze left over wontons.
  • Cook egg noodles as per packet instructions.  I used fresh fried noodles so all I had to do was immerse the noodles into boiling water and swirl it around for 1 minute or less otherwise it will go mushy.  Divide the noodles into separate bowls.
  • Set aside about 8 (or more) wontons per person.  Freeze left overs.
  • Boil about 3 litres (or less) of the soup broth into another pot.
  • When the broth comes to a rolling boil add the wontons and cook uncovered and when it floats, the wontons are ready but do check for its readiness by cutting a wonton in half.   It takes about 3 minutes to cook and this all depends how much filling you put inside the wontons.   Make sure have all fillings equally to cook properly and at the same time.  Add the bok choy and heat through for 2 minutes.  
With the divided bowls, ladle soup and bok choy over the noodles and add about 8 wontons in each bowl.  Serve immediately!