Mama Buoi’s, Crows Nest

No better place to pig out than at Mama’s

Located 77 Willoughby Rd, Crows Nest NSW 2065

It’s at the family table when you’re in your element. You leave the etiquette at the door and feast to your heart’s content. So when I was invited to pig out at Mama Buoi’s, I almost immediately jumped at the opportunity. One visit to this joint, you’ll believe me when I say this eatery has the make-up of a welcoming family home. The crockery is assorted, the interior is cosy and there’s always a nice buzz of warm, friendly chatter in the background.

With pun intended, Drool Worthy World was asked to sample Mama’s pork extravaganza. We headed over to their Crows Nest restaurant, which is just a bus ride away from St Leonards Station. The storefront sits unassumingly next to Guzman Y Gomez. It’s dimly lit inside and there’s plenty of outdoor seating. A bar stretches along the back with a spectacular display of spirits.

“One visit to this joint, you’ll believe me when I say this eatery has the make-up of a welcoming family home.”

We commenced the night in style with some cocktails. They were eclectic in range, but mostly Western style cocktails with a unique Asian twist. The Monkey Magic, for example, had a dash of ginger to infuse the beverage with that Asian flavour. My personal favourite was the Mellow Yellow. There was nothing mellow about this cocktail as the presence of liquer was rather potent. Moreover, it had a nice citrus tang given the strong presence of lime.

As for food, the three pork-themed entrees arrived at the table looking delectable. The Crispy Pancake was bent into a taco, then dressed with grilled pork and sliced vegetables. A sprinkle of pork crackling was the final finishing touch to this Asian style taco. It was extremely crunchy and a messy affair given the pancake shattered into pieces as soon as you took your first bite. It was a perfect starter but be sure to have a few tissues at the ready. The next dish to arrive was the Pork Bao. This soft and fluffy bun was loaded with pork belly, which had a nicely salted rind. Hoisin sauce normally finds its way on duck pancakes, but Mama’s still paired it well with the pork belly. Finally, we had the Lemongrass Pork Spring Rolls. It was a gigantic spring roll — almost double the size of most restaurant’s starters. There was a nice chilli oil and fish sauce concoction to pair. This dish was the most akin to Vietnamese cuisine given lemongrass and fish sauce are both quintessential condiments in Vietnamese cooking.

The mains were progressively brought out, along with a family-sized portion of rice. We first sampled the Crispy Egg Tofu in Pork and Mushroom XO Sauce. The tofu had a crispy exterior and each cube was drowning in a delectable pork and mushroom XO sauce. I loved the fact that the mushrooms were finely diced as it gave the overall dish an interesting texture. Rice perfectly matched this dish as there was so much sauce leftover to pair with the steamed rice. The other specialty dish was the Sticky Vietnamese Pork Ribs. The pork ribs were finger-licking delicious! So much meat was loosely attached to the bone and not to mention the meat was smothered in a lovely marinade. But the crowd favourite at our table was the Braised Pork Curry. The braised pork was ridiculously tender and the potatoes were well-cooked. The spice of the curry had a nice kick to it that lingered on the lips ever after the first bite. Like the Egg Tofu dish, the pork was swimming in a great tasting sauce.

To end, we tried out their unique dessert. This dish featured a whole mix of elements: candied bacon, fried peanut butter, fig ice cream and dainty dollops of cream cheese. It was presented beautifully — drawing inspiration from fine dining establishments. The incorporation of pork to the dessert was very creative and the candied bacon really brought the dish to new heights. The fried peanut butter looked innocent from the outside but it was seriously intense on the inside.


Overall

What better place to pig out than at Mama Buoi’s! My fellow Drool Worthy World contributor and I were shamelessly devouring the dishes and sipping on Mama’s Asian-inspired cocktails all night. These seven dishes are available for a limited time only, so you better get in quick if you want to try out these delicious dishes. You can’t get by without ordering the braised pork curry. The round balls of pork were insanely tender and the spice was palpable with every bite. The dessert without a doubt went down as the most Instagram-worthy and all guests thoroughly enjoyed snapping and eating this sweet treat.

Rating: Yummy in my Tummy
Service: 4/5
Gourmet Gumbo and Fat Cat dined as guests of Mama Buoi’s.

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