Ok, so the blog has, once again, been a little neglected of late. I have been travelling a lot for work, in fact, while I was writing this, I had not been in home in over a week, and it looks like it’ll be like this for a while. The upside though, is that I am spending most of that time in Melbourne, where some of my favourite people reside. One of these, is a great friend of mine from our university days in Sydney, and one of my bridesmaids, Ms Aqua.
The last time I was in Melbourne (about 2 weeks ago...) we tried to get in to Mamasita, but as they don’t take bookings, and we turned up at 7, albeit midweek, we weren’t able to get a table til 9 (yes, on a Wednesday!). So, we took a raincheck and headed off somewhere else. This week, we went in prepared. We arranged to meet at 6, on a Tuesday, and whoever was there first was to get a spot in line ASAP.
I turned up first, at 5 past 6 (eek!) and nabbed a spot second in line! And, when the floor manager/line-keeper-in-order-er made his way over to see what we were after, line-place-holder-no-1 was on the phone, so I got bumped to no 1! It was already looking like a good night. As my dining partner, Ms Aqua, was not yet there, I was seated at the bar with the exhaustive drinks menu to wait. But before I’d had time to find the cocteles section of the menu, Ms Aqua, had arrived and we were shuffled into seats a nearby table.
Ms Aqua sensibly steered me away from the cocteles, given that it was a school night, so I went with a glass (or two) of the house bubbly, a non vintage Vallformosa MVSA Cava (or sparkling) from Catalunya, Spain. Ms Aqua went for the 2009 Bella Ridge Tempranillo from the Swan Valley, WA.
Our friendly and bubbly waitress then explained the menu to us, thankfully, as Ms Aqua and I were seriously struggling trying to decide what we should order – it all sounded so good! The menu is split up into nine categories; primeros (to start), tostaditas, tacos, quesadillas, ceviche, comida para la familia (food for the family), ensaladas, acompanamientos and postres (desserts). I would have loved to try something from each category, but with only two of us, that was never going to happen. So we relied heavily on our lovely waitress to guide us in our choices.
We started with the elotes callejeros; street style chargrilled corn, with queso, chipotle mayonnaise and lime, as it came heavily recommended, both by our waitress and a number of reviews.
tostaditas de carnitas
Closely followed by the tostaditas de carnitas; slow braised pork shoulder with encurtidos and jalapeño; a tiny crispy tortilla, topped with a generous pile of soft pork, some pickles (the encurtidos), jalapeño and a little shard of crackling – delish!
quesadilla de huitlacoche
The last item we chose from the taqueria menu, was the quesadilla de huitlacoche; two soft tortillas encasing huitlacoche, mushrooms, roasted corn, epazote and queso fresco. After a bit of googling, I have discovered that huitlacoche is a type of corn fungus, sometimes referred to as ‘Mexican truffle’ or ‘corn smut’. Call it what you like, but it makes a delicious quesadilla.
buñuelos de garbanzos
From the main/food for the family menu, we went for the buñuelos de garbanzos; chickpea fritters, with field mushrooms, sweet potato and jalapeño herb sauce, and a small serve of the ensalada de quinoa; quinoa, corn, spinach, coriander, chilli and ‘pico de gallo’ salad.
ensalada de quinoa
Suprisingly, the chickpea fritters didn’t really resemble chickpeas, but were delicious none the less (and vegan!) and the quinoa salad was so incredibly moreish I could have eaten the whole serve myself. Crisp and flavoursome, the grains of quinoa popped like pomegranate seeds in your mouth, ahhhhh, I’m getting excited just thinking about it!