Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mamasita @ Melbourne CBD

One eating trend that doesn't seem to be dying down any time soon in Melbourne looks like all things Mexican. In fact from what I have been reading, it's going to only get bigger and better with a number of Mexican places either opened up or opening up. I first heard of the pioneer (I presume), Mamasita, two years ago and since then attempted to give the place a go for dinner 3 times, each time faced with a queue that trickles down the stairs and spills out the road. Whether it was 5.30pm right after work or 7pm when people usually eat. The standard waiting time if you actually get yourselves up the stairs and ask is around 2 hours. It's made worse (or better for them) that they don't take any reservations.

One horrible rainy weekend we decided we will brave the queue of Mamasita before catching a footie game at the MCG, of course this time appearing much earlier at 5 minutes past 5. Guess what, we were third in line (the closest we have ever been) but the place was packed to the brim. After 20 minutes and an edgy Wife in the making, we were seated. 


This was the queue after we left at half past 6. 


One thing I have done in recent trips is to order beer from the same country of the cuisine when dining out. So Mexican beer it was that night. It was not bad, light and refreshing.


The first of the two starters, a tiny pork and surf clam soup. Well it was only after all $4.50 and what was presented was a broth with clams, a tiny hit of spiciness with lots of spices through it.


The other starter on offer is the starter that the waitress will tell everyone to order because of it's signature status. Grilled corn, cheese, chipotle mayo and lime. However, I saw and tasted no signs of charring and rather it tasted very "steamed" or "baked in the oven". Yes, the idea of grating some cheese, lime and mayo is awesome but easily replicated. For $5, I fail to see why everyone would go goo gaa for this. 


Next up, the Tostaditas. We decided to go for a lighter one, the one with crab meat. No injustice was done to the seafood but on the same token, it wasn't anything spectacular. The Wife at this stage, got a little bit edgier.


Then came the soft tacos that got the Wife's eyes all lit up and suddenly it almost felt it was worth popping by this place so many times before securing a seat. They got the formula correct with the braised ox tongue, juicy and cooked to a slight bite into it and a mayo to tie it all up. The one with the grilled fish and prawns were equally as good. Special mention to the soft tortilla, never tried anything that like it before (soft without being floury and chewy). 


We finished off with the mole chicken maryland. I can't say I like this one. The meat had been slow cooked and with chicken, it becomes rather soft, so texture wise I wasn't loving it. The sauce was rather mild and there wasn't really a lot to it in terms of tasting spices and heat.

Although it appears that we experienced more negatives than positives here, we left dinner, thought about it and still decided that it was still worth trying to find a weirder time to come back (maybe 4pm on Saturday, might do the trick or 12pm when it opens) because of the tacos. 

So Mamasita, we will be back.

Address and contact details:

Mamasita on Urbanspoon

Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. If anything, the Wife loved it after being edgy about trying the place and despite the queues, we are still thinking of heading back. One of the few places that we had more negatives than positives and still deserves a revisit.  


Sean said...

the mexican wave has been exploding in KL too! yummy, but a lot of carbs, heheh :D

Michelle Chin said...

mamasita has been garnering some really mixed reviews. :(

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

mchin: well good or bad reviews, the queues will always be there..

sean: when was carbs an issue to you?? in any case, im looking back at what we had and apart from the thin tortilla, theres no carbs!

msihua said...

I'm very torn when it comes to Mamasita..when I went I thought it was good but not wow! But yet the lines every night make me question my judgement. I liked the overall concept and it was fairly cheap when compared to other Mexican joints!

Ciki said...

i miss the mexican in the US! Must be good.. jealous!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

ciki: well tex mex or proper mexican? hmm maybe i should go try some mexican in the US to compare.

msihua: yeah i think im on the same boat as u..with more cons than pros and yes the queue is horrendous..