Mama Baba is one of the many restaurants opened in Melbourne by the renowned MasterChef judge George Calombaris. He is known for traditional meals with a contemporary twist. Mama Baba is Italian and Greek inspired with a focus on fresh ingredients and humble food. The restaurant has an industrial feel with the high ceilings and simply decorated open space. It has a casual atmosphere and is a great place to catch up with friends for dinner.
As a starter I ordered the lamb arancini, sitting on spots of black tahini, surrounded by little herbini. (by herbini I mean micro herbs, I just wanted it all to rhyme) It had the warmth of a Sunday lamb roast compacted into a small deep-fried appetizer. The black tahini was delicious and a perfect sauce to accompany the tasty arancini bites.
The pork was cooked to perfection. It was soft and succulent and the crackle had good crunch. The sweet quince sauce was smeared on the plate in the shape of planetary rings, which made me feel like I was eating a funnily shaped, deliciously tasty mini pork planet with a side of apple and witlof salad. The pork was juicy and full of flavour. Uncomplicated flavours and perfectly cooked meat, humble cooking at its best! My friend ordered the gnocci ossa bucca with ricotta salata, which was also a winner. It was your typical traditional, hearty home cooked meal that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling with each bite. Yum!
For dessert I ordered the lemon lime bitters pavlova. It was fun. It was basically a sherbet bomb in the form of a dessert. It was a contemporary twist on a traditional classic. It was served with lemon marscapone, lime sherbet and bitters jelly. The lime sherbet was an interesting sensation, each bite tasted like fizzy.
You are able to make a booking, which is good, but the bookings are scheduled in two-hour sessions, which is bad if you like to talk. It does give you enough time to comfortably eat your meal without feeling too rushed. The food is served promptly and the staff provides good service. I understand the logic behind two-hour sessions but I do prefer to enjoy my dinner without a time limit. On the plus side, if you’re catching up with friends and want to hang out a little longer after dinner, Chapel st. is just a walk down the road.
Address: 21 Daly St, South Yarra VIC 3141
Phone: 03 9207 7421
Trading Hours: Mon-Thu & Sat 6pm-Late, Fri & Sun 12pm-3pm & 5pm-Late