I arrived back in London last night after a fantastic wedding and honeymoon. I am a little sad it is all over but it is nice to be home and MTV boyfriend (I just can’t bring myself to call him MTV husband it sort of sounds silly) and I have been flicking through photos and talking about our trip. As always a big part of our travels was all the eating and drinking and I still have a few great places to tell you about in Melbourne before I can even begin on Sri Lanka. One of those is Mama’s Boy, a new cafe that has opened in Melbourne’s CBD at the top end of Collins Street.
Blackboard listing recipes
I met up with my friends Joyce, Ev and Dan for lunch there. You can read Joyce’s review of our lunch here. The first thing to say about Mama’s Boy is that it is tiny. I had read reviews of it online but had not appreciated just how small the cafe is. There are a handful of small marble topped tables inside and a little outdoor seating on the table as well. They make good use of the space though and the little shopfront is enlivened by the cool chalkboard listing recipes on the back wall. There is a stand full of complimentary newspapers and magazines making this a good place to eat solo and the cafe also seems to do a roaring takeaway trade in baguettes and sandwiches to go.
Vietnamese chicken salad
Breakfast runs until 11.30 (which is an early cut off for Melbourne) at which stage the lunch menu swings into action. It offers the same baguettes and sandwiches to eat in along with quesadillas, toasties ($8.50), salads and one or two hot dishes which change daily. The sandwiches are mammoth in size and the roasted pumpkin sandwich ($8) came on thick toasted multigrain bread oozing roasted pumpkin puree. In fact every dish we ordered seemed to be sized for giants. The dish that said it all was the Vietnamese chicken salad ($9.50). The huge bowl was chock full of bean sprouts, wombok, shredded chicken, grated carrot, coriander, mint and topped with crispy shallots. It had a great citrus dressing on that added a bit of definition to the jumble of ingredients. It was a sensational lunch and a ridiculously large serving, I pride myself on the size of my appetite but I could only get through half of the salad.
The vegetarian salad ($9.50) was equally huge in size and comprised a bowful of fresh spinach leaves mixed with toasted pinenuts, pumpkin and a balsamic dressing. The hot dish on offer was a Mussaman curry ($13) which was served with a rich, creamy curry sauce coating tender chicken pieces and flecked with specks of red hot chilli.
The coffee on offer at Mama’s Boy is Vittoria and my latte ($2.80) was spot on (although lets face it, this is Melbourne’s CBD so generally the coffee is pretty good). If I lived in Melbourne I would certainly be back but I think I may take a friend and order the Vietnamese Chicken salad to share.
Details: 13 Little Collins Street, Melbourne CBD, 3000, Australia (Ph +61 3 9662 2166)
Damage: Such a bargain even my mother would approve
If you liked reading this you might be interested in my review of another great Melbourne lunch spot, Three Bags Full
. In London for a quick lunch (and good coffee) in the main business area try Dose