Monday, 20 May 2013

Big Mama

I usually fail to take pictures of my Asian food because Ashley doesn't give me the chance to :( I end up having to seize my opportunity in between the split second of the waiter placing the plate down and Ashley picking up his utensils. The rate of my success is nearly zero. Last Saturday, I was at Big Mama (a Japanese-Korean restaurant along Swanston St) & for the 1st time, I managed to snap images of everything that went into my tummy.

I have been to Big Mama several times since 2 years ago and I still loveee it. It's strange that I only ever want to eat at Big Mama when it's cold. I love the side dishes (cold pasta!!!) even though they don't even seem to fit authentic Jap/Korea cuisine...

I hated tofu all my life until one fine day in 2011 my friend ordered a plate of agedashi tofu AUD $7.50 for 4 pieces in Big Mama & I was convinced to try. After having a mouthful I realised that I had been missing out all these while. They were so delicious! Crispy on the outside & soft on the side. Absolutely love the dried bonito flakes and sauce, which are the same toppings on Japanese takoyakis (octopus balls). P.s. They are not alive.

Before I came to Melbourne for studies, I hardly visited any Korean restaurants. My impression of Korean cuisine was sadly reduced to one word: Bibimbap. Korean food is amazing and definitely one of my favourite cuisines. Bibimbap is a signature Korean dish where a bowl of white rice is topped with different vegetables, runny egg and optional meat. One should mix the ingredients together before consumption. After all, bibimbap when translated directly means mixed rice. Every restaurant has a different variation of bibimbap. In Big Mama, the Bibimbap is served vegetarian or with beef at AUD $10.50 each.

I always request to change my dish to chicken instead of beef for everything, including Jap Chae AUD $10. I know that Jap Chae looks really unappetizing but you MUST try it.

I had my very first Jap Chae at a Korean restaurant in London called ASSA. When I first saw it, it reminded me of Chinese glass noodles which resembled thin translucent threads and are made from green beans. I dismissed the plate instantly but decided to take a bite for the sake of trying it. To my surprise, the taste and texture were infinitely better and I finished the entire plate. I now call it my favourite noodles. Jap Chae is different from Chinese noodles because the Korean glass noodles are made from sweet potato starch, are thicker and usually brownish in colour even in their uncooked form.

Big Mama serves several variations of yummy hot pots meant for sharing. There are also mini hot pots meant for one person. The hot pot that we had was in a kimchi stew filled with baked beans, mushrooms, sliced carrots, cucumber chunks, luncheon meat & bacon.

Last but not least, let's talk about the kimchi fried rice with garlic prawn cream sauce AUD $12. I did not have this item on Saturday. In fact I had it ages ago so the picture below is pretty old. Nevertheless, this is another famous dish in Big Mama. The combination of the cream sauce alongside with seafood, fried rice and kimchi is awesome. I am very fussy about the freshness of prawns so I'm glad to say yes, the prawns are fresh!

By the way, an important thing to note: Cash only.

Big Mama
466 Swanston St
Melbourne VIC 3053
03 9347 2656

Big Mama on Urbanspoon

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