Seeing as it was Valentine’s Day, and Vietnamese is mine and Z’s favourite cuisine, it was the perfect excuse to try out the newly opened Mama’s Buoi in Surry Hills. I’ve read a lot of great reviews of the Surry Hills eatery, with some even comparing it to the traditional Vietnamese cuisine found in Sydney’s suburbs such as Cabramatta. We knew we had to give it a go!
Now I’ve never been to Vietnam so I can’t compare it to the décor there, but I have to say I absolutely loved the interiors of Mama’s Buoi. With rustic elements to represent its Vietnamese origins, mixed with beautiful woods and fairy lights, this was the perfect mix of Asian-chic and classic refinery.
Another thing I MUST mention before I get to the food is the impeccable service we received at Mama’s Buoi. Despite being frantically busy for Valentine’s Day, the service was definitely high-class, what you expect at a fine dining restaurant. Our waiter was attentive and very friendly, we wished we could take him home with us!
Now onto the amazing food that was to follow. Firstly I just wanted to say how cute the menus were, all covered in floral fabrics like this! The menu was very extensive, with a lot of options ranging from small to large share plates. I do have to mention that the vegetarian options were slightly slim, but definitely enough to order for myself.
We started with a couple of red wines (we were in a romantic kinda mood). I chose the Adelaide Pinot Noir ($8 per glass) which was absolutely delicious and very light on the palette. They also have an impressive range of cocktails on the menu, and a few Vietnamese and Australian beers. You won’t go thirsty here!
We started with the special Vegetarian Dumplings, which were a really nice spicy way to start the meal. Served with a delicious dipping sauce, we munched these down super quick!
The dumplings were filled with a spinach mixture, which although doesn’t look great in the photo, was really quite delicious, nothing too overpowering to start the meal.
We moved onto the Vegetarian Fried Spring Rolls ($8) served with Nuoc Mam. The menu provides the option of pork, seafood or vegetarian, but being a great boyfriend, Z let me choose the entrées. These again were delicious, fried to perfection and the sauce was the perfect balance between sweet, salty and sour.
For the mains, Z ordered the Caramelised Pork Belly Hot Pot ($16) braised in coconut juice with free range eggs. Now of course I didn’t taste this one, but Z raved about the flavours and managed to scoff it all down in under 10 minutes so it must have been good! He would recommend ordering rice with this one to soak up all the delicious sauce.
I opted for the Smoky Eggplant ($17) tossed with Chili, Garlic and Basil Sauce. The flavours of this were delicious and surprisingly clean-tasting compared to the usual Asian-wok meals I’ve eaten. I would definitely recommend this for the vegetarians, although I would have liked to see a few more vege-friendly dishes on the menu!
Finally, the absolutely perfect way to end the night; the Coconut and Lime Pannacotta ($14) served with seasonal tropical fruit and ginger syrup. This we shared, as we were so full from all the previous dishes, and it was perfectly light, exactly what I want at the end of a meal.
This was definitely an unforgettable meal, and I could not recommend Mama’s Buoi enough! I will say that it’s somewhere I don’t think I can afford to go on a regular basis, but definitely a go-to option for more special occasions. X
116 Devonshire Street
Hours: Monday to Saturday 11am-11pm