I’ve got a hot tip for you.  It’s how to get a table at impossibly hard to get into restaurant of the moment, Mamasita.  You may have wandered past Melbourne’s most popular Mexican restaurant and seen the queues snaking down the stairs and out the door on most nights of the week but don’t be deterred.  The trick is to (a) eat there at lunch or (b) secure eight to ten of your nearest and dearest friends and book the banquet table.

The famous Mamasita corn – is this Melbourne’s best Mexican? 

My first visit to Mamasita was to celebrate my friend Joyce’s birthday and being the Melbourne eating and drinking guru she is, Joyce had cleverly booked the banquet table.  I have to admit to a slight moment of schadenfreude marching up the stairs past the crowds of people queuing and walking straight to the banquet table.  We went for the cheapest banquet at $45 a head which was more than enough food and included many of Mamasita’s greatest hits including the legendary “street style” corn on the cob ($4.90).  The corn is char grilled giving it a smoky sweetness and then served with a smear of chipotle mayo, slowly melting queso and a squeeze of lime to add a bit of tang.  It’s everything you could ever wish for on the end of one handy stick.

Tostadas at Mamasita 

For my second visit to Mamasita I tried the lunchtime tactic and so endured only a 15 minute wait where my friend Carly and I stood at the bar with a glass of rosé while we waited for a table which is certainly a very civilised way to spend 15 minutes.  Mamasita’s tostaditas make a great starter, little crispy discs topped with silky slow braised pork shoulder along with encurtidos and a hit of heat from the pickled jalapeño ($14).

Chicken and fish taco at Mamasita 

The tacos at Mamasita are also top notch.  The best is probably the fish taco ($6) as the fish is grilled and dusted with spice to make it a fiery red colour then served in a soft tortilla with achiote paste.  The chicken taco ($6) is not quite as flavoursome with a bit of kick delivered to the chargrilled chicken ($6) with the addition of a poblano tamarinnd and chipotle salsa.

So there you go, a fool proof guide to getting in to Mamasita without having to queue for hours.  I’m so taken with skipping the queues that I’ve already booked the banquet table again for next week.

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Details: Mamasita, 1/11 Collins Street  Melbourne 3001 (Ph: 03 9650 3821)
Damage: Reasonable.  The banquet was $45 a head plus drinks.  Lunch was $50 for two.

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  1. Loving the image of my two erstwhile London chicas lunching together back in Aus! (Assuming that it was that Carly!)

  2. You seemed to have loved it more than I did (I got bored of the flavours in the banquet after a while). Still, your advice about skipping the queue is brilliant – I did the same and dragged my workmates along 😀

  3. Can’t say I fell in love with Mamasita…

    I make the corn at home, and just felt it was rather over priced for what it was. Ah well, I’m glad we are in a Mexican food wave at the moment though!

  4. I’ve been meaning to tryyyy Mamasita but haven’t had the time and lol i really don’t like waiting for a table…anything more than a half an hour wait really annoys me 😛

    But I still wanna try!

  5. My cousin was telling me about Mamasita! We talked about going for dinner at… 4.30pm when they open haha dont think it will happen though. But looks good!

  6. Kavey – Well spotted it was indeed – was it the rosé gave her away

    Sophie – Yes I think ordering individually is better than the banquet

    Iron Chef Shellie – Have you posted the recipe on your blog? Would be good to make at home.

    Daisy – I agree waiting is bad which is why you have to go for lunch or book the banquet

    Catty – Yes 4.30pm eating might be the other guaranteed way to get a table!

  7. […] restaurant Mamasita’s popularity shows no signs of slowing down and the queues for a table still snake down the stairs […]

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