The week we headed down south to check out suburban eatery Mama’s Gourmet. The shop front on South Road is small but comfortable and welcoming. Transparency of the kitchen allows you to watch the goings on and hear the clangs of the wok as your meal is freshly prepared. Taking inspiration from the Malaysian and Thai cultures there is also a representation from Japanese. The menu is thorough with 9 noodles 8 rice dishes and10 Japanese selections. For the hungry there is a decent selection of starters ranging from $4.50 to $8.50.
We loved the Curry Puff starter, 2 golden pasty shaped parcels with sweet chilli dipping sauce. The pastry is beautifully flakey and the contents of potato, carrot, peas are mixed in a robust curry mix. An overwhelming taste of pepper is the dominant spice with underlying curry flavours.
How mad is everyone going for Chicken Karaage these days! These boneless chicken pieces have a crunchy outer layer but are succulent inside. Served with kewpie that draws out extra sweetness in the chicken, it’s a good version of the dish.
Noodles range from $12.90 for chicken, 13.90 for prawns and 15.90 for combination. I can not go past a Char Kuey Teow so we made that our first choice with the chicken. The flat rice noodles are covered in fish cakes, chicken and garlic chives. Chinese sausage is pleasantly sweet against the salty soy and there is loads of it. We didn’t finish the plate so I took the left overs home for lunch the next day. They re-heated well and were just as delicious.
It wouldn’t be fair to not try everyone’s favourite Pad Thai in combination. The mound of noodles is served with a side of lime and dry chilli. 2 luscious prawns on top of the noodles, with loads of chicken, tofu and egg. Zingier than what I’m used to, I love the freshness of lemon that is swathed in the dish.
The Combination Laksa is not swimming in sauce. Loaded with egg, prawns, fish balls, tofu and chicken, it’s an exciting medley of protein and noodles. The creamy soup is fragrant and mild in heat although the flavour profile of chilli is strong melding with peanut and coconut.
The Karaage chicken is repeated in the Nasi Lemak. Sitting along side a serve of steamed rice, sliced boiled egg, cucumber, chilli sambal and condiments in this Malaysian staple. A full balanced lunch at a good price.
Our food tour of Asia is completed with the Pork Shogayaki Bento – crumbed pork rice and a chilli paste, boiled egg and condiments. The pork shredded into small pieces but respected enough in the cooking process that it is succulent and tender. It’s moreish savoury flavour exudes garlic and soy. The salad was dressed with a miso sesame dressing which was a nice touch. I’m not a fan of undressed lettuce.
A fabulous array of noodles, wok dishes and rice we loved everything we tried at Mama’s Gourmet. The husband and wife team know their way around the kitchen and are serious about fresh and tasty food. Mama’s Gourmet tantalised and pleased with their fresh Asian dishes.
Words by Kate Wilkinson
WHERE: 977 South Rd, Melrose Park