One hot mama – Mama San, Bali

Anyone who’s been following me on Twitter or Instagram of late would have noticed that we spent a week in Bali recently, getting some well needed R&R, and some respite from the freezing Melbourne winter.

Being a huge fan of Will Meyrick, the ‘Street Food Chef’, and the man behind the ever-popular Sarong Bali, I was excited to discover that he’s opened a second restaurant in Seminyak, called Mama San.

A man after my own heart, Will is constantly travelling and exploring, gaining inspiration from all over Asia. His blog is full of the most glorious photographs and tales from his culinary journeys, bringing to vivid life the towns, villages and cities he visits, and then returning with the best souvenirs of all – new recipes and ingredients to work into his restaurant menus. 

The Mama San menu is bursting with flavour, colour and variety, with influences from Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, China, India and Malaysia.

We went for lunch, and tried the steamed barramundi with ginger and shallot, which was tender, sweet and simply gorgeous, followed by the beef and bamboo dumplings with chili and hot bean sauce. These little fellows packed a steamy punch and we wished we had ordered more of them. We followed this up with the La Lot vietnamese mince pork belly wrapped in betel leaves with nouc cham dressing, and the pork and prawn seiw mai with chilli sauce and ginger. Clean, fresh, perfectly balanced incredible flavours, enhanced by lovely but unfussy presentation.  We finished on the Chatuchak crispy pork ribs with green mango, peanuts and Nam Yam dressing. Talk about going out with a bang. This was truly delicious, the crunchy salty ribs being offset perfectly by the fresh juicy green mango, and the acidity of the Nam Yam.

The interior is described as  ‘colonial Britain in Shanghai during the 1920s’ which in this case means dark wooden floor boards, exposed brick, arty old framed travel pictures, lamps and leather couches. You wouldn’t know you were in Bali, except for the smiling hospitality of the staff.  It’s enclosed and fully airconditioned (also a rarity in Bali) which means it’s good to go all year round. Situated at the top of Jalan Oberoi, it’s the perfect place to stop for lunch if you’re enjoying a spot of shopping in Seminyak, or a quick cab ride from just about any hotel or villa in the area. Sadly it’s not closer to Melbourne, because I have a feeling if it was, I’d be there an awful lot.  Will, if you’re reading this, let me know if you fancy a stint Down Under! And bring those amazing cocktails with you. Especially the passionfruit one.


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