Level 1, 11 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
03 9650 3821
Open: Mon – Wed 12pm – 12am; Thu 12pm – 12:30am; Fri 12pm – 2am; Sat 5pm – 2am
Well… almost 2 years after it opened… I finally made it to Mamasita’s! And now I’m wondering – why did it take me so long??? The food is amazing – really good! But I’ll tell you why – it was all those horror stories about waiting for hours to get a taco! I mean who does that??
Anyway – it’s fair to say the “no bookings” policy is here to stay – after all, it’s not only Mamasita – it’s Chin Chin, Golden Fields, etc. So, apparently, if we don’t want to miss out – we have to work out ways around it. My personal strategy is to get there early! On this particular day – good friend F texted me to see if I wanted to do lunch – and since it was the last few days of holidays I said great – meet you at Mamasita at 11:45am!!
By the time they opened the doors at 12 noon (and not a moment before) – there was a line of people down the street. But – we were second in line!! All good.
Everybody has raved about this corn – and with good reason. It is fantastic – chargrilled and brushed with chipotle mayo, it’s then sprinked with grated queso (a mild and creamy cow’s milk cheese) and served with lime to squeeze on top. It is juicy, mouthwatering, and divine. Corn will never be the same again…
Small crispy discs of fried tortilla are topped with a pickled carrot (endurtidos), and then generous mounds of shredded slow braised pork shoulder – spicy, unctuous and moist with roasted juices. This is topped with a pickled jalapeño and chicharron (which is a little piece of crackling!). So good.
This is a soft shell taco – a tortilla is presented wrapped around some tender turkey that has been gently cooked and coated in black mole (a spicy sauce with Mexican chocolate as one of the ingredients) – all this meaty goodness is perfectly foiled by an accompaniment of cabbage, red chilli and coriander. Again – more freshly squeezed lime features – love it. Good friend F had a similar one but with marinated prawns!
Just needing a little bit more food to finish us off – we ordered the ceviche…
This dish is presented really unusually – in a glass with tortilla chips around the edge. The serving was really generous – and the fish was so tender, with the perfect level of lime and tomato juices. We just needed some more of those tortilla chips – they went too soon! The next time we order it, we strategised, we would order some tortilla chips for starters… and then we could horde some of the chips for the ceviche. It was an amazing dish – so fresh and tantalising. Is it bad that I wanted to drink the left over juices out of the glass? (I didn’t… but I wanted to… my mouth is watering just thinking about it).
This is really amazing food – the menu makes you want to go back there and order so much more. There’s so much we didn’t get to try – and if the dishes we ordered were any indication as to the freshness, tastiness and deliciousness of the food – then I definitely need to get back there again soon. Especially since they were all so consistently good…
In terms of ambience – it’s busy and noisy. Tables on either side of us had two sittings each while we sat there chatting away. Thankfully there was absolutely no pressure on us to move on – but the key there was probably that we kept ordering, and then finished with tea and coffee – that bought us a bit of time. Incidentally – good friend F says that the coffee – which was French Press – was really great!!
So, overall – Mamasita is a great dining experience. Get your strategy together and go – if you don’t care when you eat – go and eat early at 5pm. If you do care – go at least an hour earlier than you want to eat, put your name down, and go and have some pre-dinner drinks. Just make the strategy, go and enjoy! Food this good deserves the hype – check it out.