Surrounded by nations sporting remarkable cooking heritage, Australia is spoiled for choice whenever it looks overseas for food-based inspiration. A smorgasbord of pan-Asian delights combines the renowned street food of Taiwanese night markets with the delectable sushi, sashimi and yakitori of Japan, making Mamasan's menu versatile enough to satisfy any eastern culinary craving. Established in Bondi with its first brave new outpost set up in Surry Hills in 2015, Mamasan has taken on the Thai and Italian-dominated culinary scene and injected some fresh flavour into the mix.
Tapas treats to share
If you're the sharing type, Mamasan has you covered with its perfectly portioned Asian tapas dishes, ranging from crisp popcorn snapper and kingfish pieces, lightly battered in a light tempura, to beautifully-filling barbecue pork buns and mixed prawn and vegetable dumplings.
Sharers can also dive into the impressive range of sushi and sashimi, with the 18-piece 'Big Mamasan' offering the very freshest and tastiest cuts of scampi, salmon, tuna, snapper, seared salmon and other fish market delights of the day. For those who aren't a fan of fish, the seared beef sushi and the melt-in-your-mouth beef tataki are set to make you re-evaluate your whole stance on sushi.
All-star Asian favourites
The big guns of the 'chef's favourites' section hail from all over Asia, with the wildly popular Sichuan chilli chicken sitting alongside Korean-style hot stone bimbimbap and Taiwanese-inspired pork belly sliders in apple wasabi. If there isn't something that jumps off the menu to grab your attention then Asia simply isn't living up to its reputation for rocking people's taste buds off!
Pairing any of these superstars with something from Mamasan's bountiful bar is a pleasure in itself, as the drinks menu is just as inviting as the food. Not only is there an impressive range of wonderfully balanced Japanese beers on tap (not to mention Hop Hog Indian Pale Ale, voted Best Beer in Australia for three years running), Mamasan also invites you to chance your arm with one of her bespoke cocktails. An Emerald Margarita, Asian Kiss or Twisted Firestarter will quickly demonstrate that Asia can perform just as much magic behind the bar as it can in the kitchen.
A very happy ending
Anyone expecting Asian desserts that are more of a flimsy afterthought than anything else can quickly think again, as Mamasan has some truly tempting beauties to finish you off. For a perennial street food favourite, the warm sticky rice, served with coconut cream, caramel sauce and sesame seeds, is guaranteed to leave you happily sated. However, for a full-on dessert extravaganza, it has to be The Gooey. Your spoon will effortlessly delve through a melting scoop of vanilla ice cream placed on top of a small but perfectly formed oven-baked chocolate cake, where it will encounter a rich seam of dark, velvety hot chocolate fondant sauce inside.