Food! Lists! Crossing food off lists!
(but no buckets)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mole & Mamasita

Mel: On Monday night at Mamasita, Alex and I began to eat our way through our bucket food list. Trying mole for the first time was the reason for the excursion. It was a yummy and fun night with many new flavours: mole, plantains and huitlacoche. It was also a humbling experience as I quickly realised that for all my love of eating I have no natural talent as a food writer or critic. Where Matt Preston chews pensively with an uninterpretable expression, I eat with sound effects and talk with my mouth full to express how good it is. After Matt Preston has tasted he delivers a witty and precise comment about the dishes balance of flavour and texture. I, on the other hand, found myself gesticulating wildly, pulling faces and making noises as I struggled to finish sentences like "it tastes so...". Thankfully since I'm no professional, I can fall back on a smile and declare it to be good.

Alex: That was pretty much the theme of the evening, as far as I'm concerned. For all that we are both such literary nerds, words failed us.

Mel: We started with Tacos de Pescado, soft tacos with grilled fish, lime, achiote paste & red onion salsa. They were delicious, fresh and zingy. I would have happily eaten many, many more. Next we had Quesadilla de Huitlacoche which included mushrooms, roasted corn, epazote & queso fresco. Huitlacoche is also known as "corn smut" and was described in the menu as Mexican truffle. I really enjoyed the first few slices of the quesadilla, especially the meatiness of the mushrooms with the crispy fried tortilla. Then I got a bit tired of the flavour and started dreaming of eating more fish tacos.

Alex: Mel is being a bit coy here. Huitlacoche - and no, neither of us tried to pronounce it - is actually the mould that grows on corn. I guess if something is growing on your main food supply, you figure you might as well try eating it? I agreed with Mel - I really enjoyed the quesadilla, but it was a bit too big, especially compared with what felt like too little of the fish. Mmmm fish and lime...

Mel: At last the main event, Mole Poblano con Pollo, chicken mole. Yum! The chicken was beautifully cooked, moist and tender. My first reaction was that it didn't taste like I'd expected. (Not quite sure what I'd expected to be honest.) It tasted unlike anything I'd ever eaten before and I really liked it. I remember reading about mole in Like Water For Chocolate in Spanish class and it has intrigued me ever since. As we ate I tried to recall ingredients but I couldn't remember very many (the fact that I read it in Spanish may be part of the problem). It had a thick but soft texture and I really liked the warm flavours of the spices. We ate the chicken mole was Platanos Machos, fried plantains with salsa & queso fresco. Our helpful waitress said plantains looked like fried bananas and tasted like potato. Indeed they do. I enjoyed eating them just as they came and also as a vehicle for mole sauce.

Alex: I had no idea what to expect from mole, really; all I knew is that it had chocolate in it and about a million other ingredients. The chicken was some of the most tender bird I have ever had in my entire life, and the mole was one of the things that had us both struggling for words. Rich, deep, thick, comforting, warm... these all work and convey nothing of the reality! And I am now officially a Fan of Plantains.

Mel: To end end we shared Flan de Menta con Caramelo, mint flan with caramel. It tasted surprisingly light for a custard. Perhaps the mint at work? I liked the burny taste of the dark caramel. I've been wanting to eat Mexican at Mamasita ever since I got over my sadness that Recorded Music Salon was no more. Now I am eager for an excuse to return! Alex, can we put ceviche on the bucket food list? I'm pretty confident I've never eaten it...

Alex: I had no idea that 'flan' implied custard, not pastry, so I was surprised to have what looked like a creme caramel arrive in front of us! Ah, so narrow a view.... It was utterly delicious and wonderful, and just the right note on which to end. Ceviche? Fish in citrus? Hell yes, on to the list it goes!


  1. You ate more than me Monday night ! (and that is saying something, as I was at +39 on someone else tab !)

  2. We so did not eat more than you. All of these were shared! And not very big! And I definitely *drank* less than you...