Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mama's Buoi, in Melbourne GPO

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to Mama's Buoi menu tasting dinner and boy oh boy, I could barely contain my excitement.

I've walked past Mama Buoi's several times prior to receiving the invitation and I've also read about the Mama's Buoi in Sydney and well, all I remember seeing was "caramelised pork belly" and I was sold!

So after a quick shop around H&M in Melbourne GPO, I found myself walking through Postal Lane right next door towards Mama Buoi.

I vaguely remember how this space used to be a simple Japanese restaurant and it's now been revamped, complete with the use of bright neon lights, which I love.

To start, George from Wasamedia suggested that I try the AK Sour. As I wasn't feeling 100% that night, I opted for the mocktail version. Oh, it was sweet and delicious!!

Winston of The Hungry Excavator who was also present at the event, very kindly offered me a sip of his alcoholic version which I also liked.

I love their innovative take on their drinks menu, the highlight being this savoury Pho cocktail. I know right! It's not a warm drink, just in case you were wondering. But it really does taste like chicken pho and so delicious.

We kick started with some entree, the first being the chicken and pork liver pate with sesame crackers. I'll be honest and say I don't often have pate as I sometimes find them being a little overwhelming for my tastebuds, but Mama's version was great. It was smooth and went really well with the light sesame crackers.

Next up we had the pulled duck pancakes with hoi sin sauce. I found this dish to be delightful on the palate, but the dish was not outstanding in my opinion.

We then had rice noodles stuffed with pork, mushroom and fried shallot. I find this dish to be similar to the "cheong fun" we have at dim sum, but the addition of lap cheong and fried shallot brings it up to the next level. Mmmm, delicious!

Never mind the pickled vegetables, the phrase "roast pork belly and crackling" is all it takes to send us all into a frenzy. I love that it had a good ratio of meat to crackling. And the crackling, it could be a little bit crispier, but pretty good.

The crispy shell-on school prawns makes an easy snack, served with salt, pepper and lemon. Squeeze the lemon juice into the salt and pepper mix, then dip prawns in for an extra citrusy kick. So delicious and easy to eat, you won't stop at just one or two.

The steak roll Vietnamese salad wrapped with citrus and green chilli dressing is currently off the menu, however although the flavours did work together, this was my least favourite dish that night as I found the meat a little too chewy for my liking.

We had a little break in between before we moved on to the mains that came served with rice. The ginger chicken stir fry with bok choy was definitely very nostalgic, it tasted like my Mum's home-cooking which instantly turns it into a comforting dish.

It was a dish Mummy dearest cooked very often when I was growing up in Malaysia, and it was also the first dish I learnt how to cook when I arrived in Melbourne a decade ago.

We also had this really delicious steamed barramundi wrapped in bamboo with lemongrass, chilli and citrus dressing. It is currently also off the menu but the fish was fresh and the dressing was perfect. I reckon it should most definitely be popped on the menu as I would love to come back for this and I could easily finish this on my own.

Last but not least, the caramelised pork belly braised in coconut juice and served with boiled egg, the winning dish that inspired the opening of Mama's Buoi.

The pork belly was tender and delicious. In fact, I find this dish to taste very similar to the Chinese style "Hong Bak" except that the sauce was a little sweeter, I presume from the use of coconut juice, and not as thick and black too.

It is like a cross between "hong bak" and "tau yu bak". So hearty and comforting - perfect with a bowl of jasmine rice.

As I often save the best for last, my ultimate favourite dish of the night was the reconstructed canh chua (sour soup) with fried crispy noodles, mussels, calamari and prawn. It was my first time having canh chua and I was absolutely sold!

The sweet and sour pineapple-based broth was so addictively good, I was wanting more. There was even little bite-sized pineapple which added a delicious tangy-ness to the broth.

I believe this isn't yet on the menu, but I say yet because I really really hope Mama's Buoi will start serving this soon as I am looking forward to going back for more!

We finished with dessert of course to wrap up our delicious meal; reconstructed three colour drink with black jelly, pandan jelly, rum and mung bean puree, basil seeds, jack fruit and coconut milk.

Mama's Buoi on Urbanspoon
Thank you Mama for feeding me. All I will say is that Mama knows best and I left feeling really happy and satisfied!

I recently introduced my SIL and her siblings to Mama's Buoi, and they've been raving about how amazing the food is ever since.

My SIL and I are already planning to go back for dinner with a group of friends, so we could all have some cocktails and try more dishes. I can't wait! See you soon, Mama!

Disclaimer: The Bakeanista dined as guest of Wasamedia, courtesy of Mama's Buoi. My reviews and thoughts are 101% honest, and I am looking forward to return already!


Theresa W. said...

I've been wanting to try out Mama's Buoi. Looks amazing.

The Bakeanista said...

The food and cocktails are amazing - I highly recommend you try! :)

Click on 'OLDER POSTS' for more! :)