It was a beautiful Melbourne evening; a little blustery but we enjoyed a really pleasant walk down Collins Street. As we neared the Holy Grail, we could see hordes of people lined outside and it was only 5pm!
This was my second time here and Steve's first and I was really up for a good feed and a fun time!
An exchange of smiles later, and we were shown to two pretty good seats at the back of the restaurant where we had a good view all down the dining room. I think the tip the waiter gave me back when I first came which is to be really nice, certainly didn't hurt and it made for great service and we had a good time. I think it means a lot to stressed out, hardworking wait staff when customers show they're happy to be there and having a good time. I know I certainly appreciate it when my clients want to work with me than demand things from me.
We made our way around Mexico with tasting different bottles of lager. Yes me; I drank lager! I think with all the great flavours of the food, lager actually went really well with it.
Last time I came, we simply asked the waiter to feed us and that was great. This time, having tried a few things, I had a better idea of what I wanted to eat and not eat so Steve and I made our own choices.
We started with a shot of pozolito which is a spiced pork soup with strip of tortilla chips and a wedge of lime. We were given little forks to pick out the pork meat and then share the broth that was left. This was ever so satisfying with warm, peppery flavours that made the tongue tingle. Perfect on a cold Winter's night and pretty good on a Melbourne Spring evening too!
And here end my pictures because I was told, in a very nice and friendly way I must say, to turn off my flash and subsequently the rest of the pictures didn't come out as lighting was not great. You'll have to rely on my descriptions instead.
Next up were the tostaditas which are little tortilla crisps with a topping on it. We went for de maíz which was more corn, black beans, epazote, jalapeño sals and queso fresco and also the pollo ones, chargrilled chicken, avocado, queso fresco and chipotle mayonnaise. Toppings were generous and these mounds of goodness along with a crispy tortilla crisp were a delight. I love the black beans even though they're vegetarian and the chicken ones were also so so tasty.
The lamb quesadilla that came next was actually nice and light and not too heavy. The tortilla wasn't greasy and the filling was just right.
We shared a small ceviche - ceviche de atún which was yellowfin tuna, blood orange, avocado, pickled jalapeno, lime, coriander and toasted sesame seeds. The flavours weren't as complicated as the description sounds. Tomato and tuna were the overriding tastes and it was fresh and tasty enough. It's like a poor man's take on the tuna and tomato dish at Jacques Reymond and I'd probably not bust a gut to have to order this one again but it was pleasant enough.
Our main course was the estofado de cabra - chipotle braised goat, roasted sweetcorn paste. The portion was generous and the meat tender. It came off the bone very easily and was rich and dark. Wrapped up in some tortilla it was rich and meaty. Got to admit though that the goat flavour wasn't particularly strong and it could have been lamb that we were eating.
We had absolutely no room for dessert and had to waddle our way back home. Upon reflection, the food was great at Mamasita and if the waiters treat you well it's a fun place to be. Our seats were a great viewing platform for people watching. I'd love to come here with 6 friends and Steve and just ask to be fed. It's fun to watch people eat with their hands and share the dishes - all very convivial and sociable. Sadly I know that Fridays and Saturdays are booked out till January and booking a table for February now seems a bit too premature even for me and I'm a planner.
When we return, the corn and the tostaditas are a must. I'm then open to trying different things and extending the repertoire. The rest of the dishes although very good, aren't mindblowingly so that they have to be experienced again. However the standard and quality provide me with the reassurance and confidence to try everything else including more beer!