Level 1, 11 Collins St
*READ ABOUT MY FIRST VISIT HERE*
Your cut-off time is 5:25pm. Any later and you won’t be able to find a seat at the incredibly popular city establishment, Mamasita, even on a week night. We rushed in at 5:20 to find the restaurant 90% full, but we managed to nab one of the last little corners they had left, which also happened to give us a smugness-inducing view of the queue that was rapidly forming up the stairs.The corner we inhabited for the night was cosy and romantic, but on the downside, had virtually no lighting whatsoever in the already ‘moody’ venue. I could barely see what I was eating, let alone take photos without Chris holding up his phone as a torch. So you’ll have to bear with the dodgy, heavily photoshopped photos, and just believe me when I say that the food here is absolutely phenomenal – not designed to excite, but definitely designed to delight!
|Elotes Callejeros ($4.8ea)|
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the best piece of corn you will ever have in your life, guaranteed. The Elotes Callejeros (‘street-styled’ char-grilled corn, queso, chipotle mayonnaise & lime, $4.8ea) is corn like you’ve never tasted before. Sweet, Creamy, and juicy, you won’t even care that it’s getting stuck between your teeth.
But alas, there are some strange souls on which the corn doesn’t exert its magic, so to avoid Chris sitting there with nothing to keep him busy, we also ordered the Pozolito (spiced pork soup, tortilla chips & lime, $6). It came in a teeny little shot glass, but we soon realised why – it was SPICY! Peppery and fiery, it really packed a punch of flavour, especially when you add a squeeze of lemon to it.
|Tostadita de Carnitas ($14 for 4)|
Yes, that IS pork crackling you see! The Tostadita de Carnitas (slow braised pork shoulder, encurtidos & jalepeno, 4 for $14) were four mini-mountains on tortilla chips that came on the most adorable wooden paddle. The richness of the pork was cut through by thin slivers of pickle hiding beneath pulled-pork mountain, and the jalepenos weren’t nearly as ferocious as they looked, offering just enough fieriness to leave us wanting more. I may or may not have eaten all of the pork crackling.
|Quesadilla de Pollo ($14)|
We didn’t order the quesadillas on our first visit, mainly because I’ve heard that they were fairly bland. May I just say right now that this is as far from the truth as it could get. Our Quesadilla de Pollo (chargrilled chicken with ‘pico de gallo’, coriander & queso fresco, $14) was anything but. The chicken was tender. The cheese was creamy. The relish was light and every so tasty. And together, it was absolutely AWETASTIC! (shout-out to Sandu if you’re reading!)
Potatoes – the great stomach filler. These Papas (roast potatoes, Serrano chilli & parsley, $7) did nothing but impress. Perfectly roasted with a crispy skin, I’d be happy with just a bowl of these for dinner.
|Torta de Chocolate ($11)|
We were both quite full at this point, but our dessert stomachs came to the rescue. When we saw the Torta de Chocolate (flourless chocolate cake, white chocolate and tequila sauce & PX jelly, $11) on the menu, there was no way we could go past that. Close your eyes, excuse my terrible photo, and just imagine – dark chocolate cake that just melts in your mouth, the sweetness of a white chocolate and tequila sauce, and the richness of the sour cream on top. I don’t actually know what exactly PX jelly is, it was sweet and not much else. If anyone else has a better idea, please do tell me.
The service here is friendly but brisk, and that’s no wonder, considering the line of people waiting as we vacated our place for the next hungry couple. On our way out, we saw that the line has now extended right to the bottom of the stairs, and out the door! Level of smugness? Sky-high.
Rating: 18/20 – Near-Perfection