In 2019, Mexican institution Mamasita got a well-earned menu and design refresh. The new interior nods to restaurants in Mexico City, whose design in the 1950s was inspired by the aesthetics of American diners.
Grand old windows still look down onto Collins Street below, and the oversized monochrome print of a mamasita, which means “hot babe” in Spanish, still looks down on diners from the wall. Underfoot there’s black-and-white tiled floors.
Chef Martin Zozaya is Argentinian and moved to Mexico when he was nine. His menu represents what’s happening in Mexico’s food scene right now, but with a more modern slant. Regionality is explored as the seasons shift, so you can expect beefier, heartier dishes representing Mexico’s north in winter, and fresh seafood dishes from the Pacific coast in summer.
Highlights include rockling lightly cured in a mix of coconut, tomatillo, mint and tomatillo – a fresh take on a classic Yucatán ceviche. There’s also slow-cooked beef short rib, which comes with chiles toreados (jalapeños or serrano peppers, chargrilled and seasoned with lime juice and salt). For the Mamasita faithful, the chargrilled corn with cotija (a Mexican cow’s milk cheese), lime and chipotle mayo remains, and there’ll always be tacos and tostadas on the menu.
If you’re looking for a traditional Mexican beverage to go with your meal, there’s an extensive list of mezcals and tequilas on offer. Cocktail-wise, the Smoky Margarita is Peloton, dry curaçao, agave, lime and salt.