• Mamasita

I can’t believe how busy it is.  I can’t believe how busy it is.  Especially for a Monday night, I just can’t believe how busy it is.  My friend kindly told me that I was repeating myself.  But I really couldn’t believe how busy it was.

This was my second time at Mamasita.  The first time was when it had just opened and whilst the food was tasty, it seemed to be overcome with hype.

My second visit was last night and my friend and I met for an early dinner.  Arriving at 5:45pm, the waiter took my name and seated me at the bar but would not show me to a table until my friend arrived.  I ordered a glass of the Scorpo ‘Aubaine’ Chardonnay while I was waiting.  We were later seated along another bar overlooking the restaurant.

We ordered the corn, tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa, the truffle and mushroom quesadilla, and the goat’s cheese and green mole enchilada.

The corn was done with cheese, chilli, mayo and lime.  It was flavoursome with the chilli coming through.

The chips with guacamole and salsa were tasty.   The guacamole was delicious with fresh avocado and onion.  The tomato salsa was slightly spicy and complemented the guacamole well.  The corn chips were in interesting shapes and we speculated that they may be the left over cut outs from the tacos.

The mushroom quesadilla was something stuck in my mind from my last visit, not so much because it was outstanding, more because my friend raved about it before and afterwards.  Eating it again this time was better than I remembered.  The truffle was subtle, the mushrooms well cooked and it was also nicely flavoured with onion, cheese and epazote.  The flavours were original and blended.

I was looking forward to the goats cheese enchilada but it never came.  After waiting for over 45 minutes, the waitress confirmed that our dish was on its way.  About 15 minutes later she explained that there had been a mix up and that whilst she had thought we had finished our entrees, the kitchen thought we had not.  They had not even started cooking it.  We decided to cancel the enchilada as our backs and throats were sore with backless chairs and the noisy atmosphere forcing us to raise our voices despite sitting next to each other.

As we left the restaurant, I was surprised to see the queue trailed all the way down the steep stairs and out the door.   Don’t these people have anything better to do?  Who has time to wait on uncomfortable steps for an hour? I want to return and ask them, why?

As a marketer, the more interesting question is: how can Mamasita draw the crowds every night?  The food was good, no doubt the best Mexican in Melbourne.  But being the best does not count for much when the competition is terrible.  The space is modern and attractive but far too noisy.  The service could not cope with the amount of people and in our case the food did not arrive.    Overall, whilst I enjoyed my meal at Mamasita (perhaps even more than last time), I again concluded that it is some bizarre marketing hype that keeps people visiting, rather than an amazing dining experience.


Level 1, 11 Collins St
Melbourne 3000
03 9650 3821

Mamasita on Urbanspoon


  1. i think the atmosphere at mamasita is great. i love the black and white artwork on the wall and sitting in the window looking over the treetops across collins and spring sts to the cathedral. i've always had great food at a very reasonable price and very much enjoyed the cocktails. i think these are some of the reasons people are willing to line up to eat food that isn't available with similar flavours anywhere else in melbourne.

  2. Hi, thanks for your comment. I agree it is very stylish and the atmosphere is vibrant despite the noise. Although I think a crowd is what makes the atmosphere with all the young and beautiful people dining here every night. Perhaps the saying is true that a crowd draws a crowd?

  3. I have had mixed experiences with Mamasita. The first time I went i thought it was a bit overhyped - but I went last night and thought the food was absolutely delicious! In my opinion, the mushroom quesadilla was the weakest dish we ordered and I still enjoyed it! I didn't have to wait in line last night though....maybe that had something to do with it!?!