06 Apr Mama’s Buoi, Chadstone
This family has come a long way. Originally refugees from Vietnam, they began in the Australian food and hospital industry with Roll’d before launching Mama’s Buoi, a home-style Vietnamese restaurant which now has branches in the CBD, Chadstone and Sydney.
We begin with a delicious, full-flavoured Vietnamese coffee. Cocktails are also available, like refreshing martinis with slushy-like ice and a chilli salt rim. The food menu is very much a collaboration between the family and executive chef, and is inspired by the food that mum might cook up in the kitchen.
The adventure kicks off with the Pulled Duck Pancakes. Pieces of duck come atop a salad of peanuts, carrots and cabbage in a hoisin, tamarind and honey dressing. Strips of pineapple add a complementary sweetness to the overall flavours. The filling is generously piled on, almost making it hard to eat without mess, but it’s OK. We’re not in a stuffy restaurant here. In fact, the table is soon spotted with drips of dipping sauces and stray ingredients, just like it would at home.
Banh Cuon, a common breakfast item in Vietnam, is a dish of tube-like rice noodles filled with seasoned minced pork, black fungus and fried shallots. It also comes with crunchy crouton-like pieces of bread for texture, and chunky slices of spiced and finely minced pork.
The highlight for me are the Beef Betel Leaf Parcels, which are incredibly tasty. Bundle them up in a lettuce leaf together with some pickled vegetables, add in some sauce, and you’ve got yourself a flavoursome DIY wrap.
Perfect for the cooler months ahead, is Slow-cooked Caramelised Pork Belly which has been braised in coconut juice together with boiled eggs.
There are a number of seafood dishes too, like Wok-tossed Seafood with lemongrass, tiger prawns, crispy squid, pipis and ling, and the traditional Vietnamese Style BBQ Pipis, which feature pipis from South Australia. Soft-shell Crab is fried in a light coating of tapioca flour, and is accompanied by a refreshing green papaya salad and crunchy crackers. All the seafood is handled well, and the sauces don’t overwhelm the natural flavours of the produce.
Vietnamese Coffee Creme Brulee ties off the feast. The brulee has a perfect crust on top, and the custard itself, which uses only free range egg yolks, is smooth and has a decent hit of coffee flavour. A scoop of iced coconut coffee, made of coconut water and palm sugar, comes on the side. It’s a great end to the meal.
Mama’s Buoi will give you a taste of Vietnamese family cooking, and it’s refreshing to see a range of dishes that extends beyond just banh mi, rice paper rolls and pho.
Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to Mama’s Buoi. Opinions expressed here are purely my own and are based on my experience at the time of the visit.
Level 1 Chadstone Shopping Center
1341 Dandenong Rd
Chadstone, VIC, 3148
(03) 9569 1036