Is it wrong (or weird) to plan a trip around meals? Sure as fuck hope not. What started as a long weekend trip turned into a 5-day feast, with arrival and departure times set around meals.
We dropped our bags at the hotel and headed to the eastern end of Collins St, stomachs growling a few steps back. I'd heard Mamasita did alright with it's modern/fresh Mexican food. It would be a refreshing break from the stodgy fecal matter that most Mexican restaurants in Sydney serve.
I'd timed it so we would arrive after the lunch rush and would have the place to ourself. And so it was. We walked up the stairs and faced a rapidly emptying restaurant and put an order in for everything that looked good. Tosatads are things on toasts, essentially. Pulled pork is good, crab is brilliant with it's zingy, punchy flavours that somehow don't overshadow the crab. Tacos (soft shell) are also good with the pulled pork and blacks bean options totally killing it. Ceviche is solid. Quesadilla with corn fungus is also good. Sangria hits the spot but is lacking a little punch (no pun intended).
Service is efficient and friendly, but that could be because of the time we arrived. Prices reasonable.
After a lifetime of terrible Mexican restaurant food, Mamasita is a breath of fresh air. The flavours are fresh and zingy. Execution was ever so slightly off in some places, but on the whole it's a very solid dining experience.
RATING: Will return to [?]
The first dinner was also to be the best. Well, we hoped. Only one deg was booked for the trip and the honours went to MoMo for reasons that had little to do with food AND THEY'RE MY PERSONAL PRIVATE REASONS.
After finding the mythical elevator we head up and find a pretty stunning restaurant. It's like being surrounded by carpet. All around you. Hugging you.
We go for the moorish tasting menu which I think translates as "don't eat lunch 2 hours before coming here or you will die from overeating" (literal) and involves every course in the universe.
Warm salad of roasted Barra with a salad of fennel, tarragon and buffalo feta is a killer dish. Sweet, juicy fish paired with the subtle flavours of everything else I just mentioned. The buffalo feta is amazing: sweet, salty, subtle, creamy all in one.
The beef tartare, with brick pastry and some creamy stuffy exploding out of it is delicious with the garlic Turkish bread.
Turkish fish doctors stew? Forget about it. A brilliant plate of perfectly cooked and flavoured seafood. The pork rib eye with spinach gozleme and freekeh is decent enough but with slightly tough pork and slightly dull flavours is the dish that falls short on the night, despite the delicious potatoes with pine nuts on the side.
Dessert is ridiculous. One of the best fondants, passionfruit tarts and mini-trifles I've ever had. Perfection. It sounded rich and it was. Until the fruit and sorbet with dried grapefruit was tasted and calmed everything. Stunning end to the meal.
Service was good, wine matching was good. Baring the pork course, the 14 plates were brilliant. Not life-changing, but brilliant flavours, served well. And generously.
RATING: Will return to [?]
Drinks were also had at Cookie. Extremely busy bar/restaurant and for good reason. Spectacular beverage list for whatever your poison is. I only wish that I was the only person there so I could enjoy it without the crowds.