The Very Very Hungry Caterpillar

YES, this is yet another Melbourne food blog!

Review: Big Mama

466 Swanston Street
Carlton VIC 3053
+61 3 9347 2656

My friend Pete used to talk up this Japanese/Korean restaurant on the Carlton end of Swanston Street back when he was still living in Melbourne. Big Mama, it’s called. I never got the chance to visit on my own but Pete and I just happened to be in the city one early Saturday evening. He had time to kill before he was due to meet his twin sister so he suggested dinner – at Big Mama.

Now, I’d normally show some resistance to being taken to a place called Big Mama if a guy asked me to dine there with him. However, I was also hungry and not really in the mood to go home and cook something from scratch. So we went.

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Banchan. It’s always good to have banchan.

Takoyaki (six pieces for $7)

Takoyaki (six pieces for $7)

We started off with some takoyaki. They were okay, but could have done with a bit more sauce.

Korean BBQ beef ($15)

Korean BBQ beef ($15)

We then shared two main dishes. First up, the Korean BBQ beef which was, let’s face it, bulgogi but stir-fried rather than grilled. Taste-wise, it did the job – the beef was tender and the marinade was sweet without being too overpowering. At $15, it’s not the cheapest serving of sweet marinated beef in the Melbourne CBD region but the portion size was generous. I think I would have preferred to pay less for a smaller portion though because we struggle to finish the whole thing. (this was in addition to the second main we had, mind you)

Chilli chicken karaage ($14.80)

Chilli chicken karaage ($14.80)

The chilli chicken karaage was amazing. The chicken pieces were marinated in a lovely soy and garlic sauce before being deep-fried then coated in a special sweet chilli karaage sauce and sprinkled with roasted sesame seeds. Although the chicken wasn’t overly spicy, there was still a lovely balance of sweet, salty and nutty that kept me happy.

I can see why Pete loved the place – the food is pretty consistent and the high turnover of patrons kept the atmosphere buzzing. The service was also friendly and efficient despite the busy Saturday evening dinner rush. I did say that the portion sizes were a little big (and the prices accordingly slightly higher than normal) – that wouldn’t be a problem for big eaters or those dining in a large group. For the two of us, however, it was a big of a struggle and we ended up wasting a bit of food.

Big Mama on Urbanspoon

2 Comments on Review: Big Mama

  1. Choc Chip Uru
    July 29, 2014 at 13:15 (4 months ago)

    Wow, this food looks fantastic! I would definitely make sure I don’t eat anything before I visit this place :P

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    Reply
  2. msihua
    August 5, 2014 at 21:24 (4 months ago)

    I can’t believe you are still blogging Melbourne. Okay, yes I can! I have a heap of back log too :P

    Reply

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