A lotta love for a little place: Shandong MaMa Mini

The much anticipated Shandong MaMa Mini has finally opened its rollershutter in Centre place (the laneway that connects to DeGraves street). The original Shandong MaMa is not exactly cavernous but Shandong MaMa Mini is really teeny tiny as the name suggests.

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Fans of the original will be pleased to know the dumplings are here, including the famous “Melbourne” dumplings although the dumplings are only fried, not steamed. The pork dumplings ($10.80) are long and thin with a crisp pan fried base. Stuffed with pork mince flecked with finely chopped cabbage and coriander there’s just enough ginger to keep things interesting.  

Pork dumplings

Pork dumplings

There’s also a list of “Mama’s little dishes” which are all sorts of things which will go rather well with the beers they plan on serving at Shandong MaMa Mini once their liquor licence comes through in a month or so.  The lotus root chips ($5) are not the hot chips I had hoped for but rather dried salty chips, like a rather exotic pretzel. Best with a beer I think.

Lotus root chips at Shandong MaMa Mini

Lotus root chips at Shandong MaMa Mini

But the Bao are sensational.  I loved the stewed pork belly bao ($4.50) with its pillowy soft bun and slow cooked sticky sweet meat.  Good things really do come in mini packages. 

Essentials
Details: Shandong MaMa Mini, 5 Centre place, Melbourne 
Damage:Such a bargain my mother would approve.
7/10

Posted by: on October 27th, 2014     2 Comments »

Category: Budget, Chinese, City Tags: , , , ,
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Salami: A romantic tradition finds its place in modern gastronomy

Two years ago Carlo Mazzarella and his best friend Linda Catalano started the Melbourne Salami Festa. He says the pair expected “about 12 people to turn up”.  When 2,000 people lined up outside a small town hall in Thornbury, Mazzarella realised he was on to something. The festival moved to bigger digs at the Northcote Town Hall and this year there’s a record number of 72 entries.  “In the first year entries were very concentrated in [Melbourne’s] northern suburbs but now they are coming from all over, even Queensland, which is great,” Mazzarella says.

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Click on over to The Guardian to read the rest of this article.  

Posted by: on October 26th, 2014     1 Comment »

Category: Gourmet Event Tags:
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Gourmet Giveaway – Free tickets to Taste of Melbourne 2014

Taste of Melbourne is back this year at Albert Park Lake for 2014. It’s on from Thursday 13 November to Sunday 16 November. Participating restaurants this year include Brooks, Lucy Liu, Mamasita, Huxtaburger, Burch & Purchese and Movida. The lovely people at Taste of Melbourne have given me two double passes for Gourmet Chick readers. Each double pass is worth $50.

Taste of Melbourne

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Posted by: on October 22nd, 2014     30 Comments »

Category: Competition Tags:
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The mystery of Urbanspoon and Hardware Société

You could almost set a clock by it. Once every few months a restaurant owner will throw their toys out of the pram at restaurant review website Urbanspoon.  The latest is newly opened Green Park Dining (my review is here) which has posted a complaint that its all important Urbanspoon score has been going “up and down like snakes on a ladder”.  The post finishes with the plea “Urbanspoon if you are listening give us a break”.  I do feel some sympathy given the eternal mystery of Urbanspoon’s rankings. 

HardwareSociete (1)

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Posted by: on October 20th, 2014     2 Comments »

Category: Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, City, Coffee Tags: , , , ,
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Texas barbecue in Australia: has it jumped the shark?

The sweet smell of American barbecue smoke that’s been hanging in the air looks set to dissipate.  For a while there, the traditional Aussie backyard barbie of snags and lamb chops was eclipsed by American barbecue fever. Rather than cooking food on a hot plate, the hallmark of American barbecue is meat cooked low and slow in a “pit” with no direct contact with the flame. In Melbourne you can get your smokers, steaks and sticky ribs fix at any number of places.  There’s Meat Mother, Meat Maiden, Le Bon Ton, Blue Bonnet Barbecue, Fancy Hank’s BBQ, The Lumber Yard, Big Boy BBQ and The Gem…

American BBQ action at The Gem in Collingwood

American BBQ action at The Gem in Collingwood

Click on through to The Guardian to read the rest of this article.  Or here’s my post on my Top Three BBQ Joints in Melbourne

Posted by: on October 19th, 2014     No Comments »

Category: American Tags: ,
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