Jeremy and I love La Cholita in Perth. Fresh Mexican is definitely what's in at the moment and so it's no wonder that when we decided on going on holiday to Melbourne, Mamasita was one of the first places we ate at. This is the place that La Cholita gets compared to the most, with bloggers often saying that Mamasita reigns victorious.
So we had to try it out for ourselves.
The decor is simple; the staff friendly. It's not as dark and suitably grimey as Perth's offering; but rather keeps things plain with natural light filtering in. There's limited seating so we take a perch at the bar and let the man behind it guide us on our way through the menu.
On his recommendation we go for the ceviche de yucatan ($18). It's a market fish ceviche (kingfish on this occasion) with green tomto, chilli, mint, lime and coconut milk. It's served with a nice accompaniment of crispy tortilla chips to scoop up the chilled mixture inside.
The ceviche is rich and decadent; the fish chopped fine but still fleshy to taste. There's a nice kick of citrus juice combined with the coconut milk. I'm really enjoying it but as we get to about the halfway stage we realise we probably should have ordered the smaller version since it gets a bit repetitive in flavour by the end.
We've also chosen the elotes callejeros ($4.90 each) which is Mexican 'street style' chargrilled corn. It has queso, chipotle mayonnaise and lime.
The corn is grilled lightly without much char to it really, but it has a lovely smokey taste to it that is enhanced by the grated strips of queso cheese that melts on top like it belonged there all along. With a squeeze of lime over the top it becomes fresh and heedy to inhale. Even better with a little pouring of habanero sauce over the top.
Our Mamasita experience was something we're definitely glad we tried. It was a combination of dishes and ingredients that paid homage to the Mexican roots it represents. While we are bucking against the majority and saying we prefer La Cholita, I can definitely see the charm of Mamasita. The staff are efficient, the food exciting. It's new wave Mexican and I think it's here to stay.