Friday, 19 March 2010


Level 1, 11 Collins St, Melbourne - ph: 9650 3821

Is there a better way to catch up with a girlfriend for some drinks, nibbles and a lot of chatting than a trendy 'tapas style' Mexican bar? As soon as we walked into Mamasita, we instantly got into its bustling vibe.

Although it was around 6.30pm on a week night, all tables had already been taken, so we started our meal at the bar while watching the barman prepare our drinks.

Bar - impressive Tequila collection

First course was a complimentary serve of sweet corn covered with epazote (or Mexican tea) and manchego cheese (a special type of fresh goats cheese), lime and chili. I have actually cooked this dish before at home using parmesan, but this one was specially good with the salty cheese. I LOVED the cheese.

Sauteed sweet corn, epazote, manchego cheese, chili & lime

I was looking forward to try the ceviche but found it pretty disappointing. The lime flavor was overwhelming and completely took over the other elements. I could barely taste the coconut milk. The fish was beautiful though, but I struggled to enjoy it properly under so much acidity.

Ceviche: market fish with green tomatoes, mint, lime & coconut milk ($12)

'Tostaditas' came next. Under the recommendation of the barman, we ordered pickled octopus with green chili, coriander & lime and fish with lime, guacamole & serrano chili. The dish looked beautiful and tasted great. The octopus was incredibly tender and a standout. Guacamole was also very good.

Tostaditas - choice of two, 4 per serve ($20)

Our final seafood dish for the night was prawn tacos marinated with serrano chiles & chipotle
almond salsa. Also delicious, very fresh and light. We finished them in a second.

Tacos de camaranoes - 3 per serve ($18)

The serves were pretty small and we were quite greedy, so decided to order some more dishes to try (what sacrifices I must do in the name of food blogging :)

Quesadillas de chorizo with braised potato, chipotle salsa & queso fresco were served steaming hot with some more of that yummy, melting fresh cheese.

Quesadillas de chorizo ($14)

Quesadillas de chorizo - braised chorizo with melting cheese

And lastly, Plantanos machos - fried plantains, salsa & queso freso. I know this sound a bit odd and my friend simply couldn't get it, but this was my favorite dish for the night. The plantains have such an unusual texture; it's just really different. They were very crispy, salty and served with some more cheese! I could it a bowl of it (probably not, it's really filling) but this is definitely one of those things that you keep reach for another one... and another one.

Fried plantains, salsa & queso freso ($4.5)

Overall, we really enjoyed our meal, except for the ceviche. Although it seems like a lot of food for two people, all dishes (err, maybe not the plantains...) were really light and we didn't feel stuffed at all at the end. Such difference from the heavy and oily Mexican food served in other restaurants.

Word of advice: we started our meal at the bar and were then transferred to a table. I suggest you ask to stay at the bar (you can comfortably eat there). The dinning area is a bit too crowded and REALLY noisy. We could perfectly hear the conversations on the tables next to us and it was kind of hard for us to talk. The bar was so much better.

Mamasita on Urbanspoon


  1. I am loving the look of that sweet corn, and can imagine how great the salty tangy cheese would go with the sweet pops of the corn kernels! Yum!

    I'm a plantain virgin so I'm really keen to try it, that dish looks really interesting.

  2. Now I have a serious Mexican craving!

  3. These dishes look great-I visited Melbourne once about 20 years ago-in fact my friends will be visiting me next week.

  4. Oh the photo of the sweet corn had me hooked. And then after reading your review and the delicious descriptions of the food, I am definitely adding this to my list of melb spots when I go back. The chorizo sounds awesome.

  5. You cant get good Mexican in Adelaide. Might have to plan a trip. Those Quesadilla look TO DIE FOR!

  6. Hi Conor - I had never tasted plantains before either and was definitely hooked! Worth trying.

    Hi Camille - glad you enjoyed it!

    Hi Esme - hopefully this blog can be useful for your Melbournian friends

    Hi Vicky - the chorizo was great; Mamasita is definitely worth a try.

    Hi CK - looks like you need to book a trip to Melbourne then :)

  7. Very sorry to hear you didn't enjoy the ceviche (I loved it!), but now that you mention it, I don't recall tasting any coconut milk in it either - very acidic, as you say, but that was so to my taste.

    Look forward to going there to try the full menu - I went pretty late so didn't have the choice of it before, mmm!

  8. Actually epazote is a vegetable, not a cheese. It was probably cotija cheese sprinkled on the corn...

  9. Hi Luke - you're right; I got my notes mixed up. It was machengo cheese.

    Hi Gem - you should go back for the full menu; plantains were the best!