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Trunk and Mamasita - Melbourne

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I made a quick weekend trip down to Melbourne this past weekend to catch a few of the Aussie Open sessions. As much as I wanted to focus on food, time was short and there was a lot of tennis to see.

I got in late Friday night and planned to go to Gami for some Korean fried chicken, but it was closed. Thankfully Trunk was right around the corner and still serving food. I didn't have much, but it was enough that I'd definitely go back to try more of the menu. I started with a few of the Arancini and chicken liver parfait. The arancini were fantastic. That night they were mushroom with taleggio (probably since that was the risotto of the night). They came piping hot on a puddle of citrusy aioli that helped cut the richness of the cheese. They arancini were crispy on the outside and meltingly soft once you cut one open. They packed a good amount of flavor into a small bite.

The chicken liver parfait was good as well. Just a well executed dish. Best part were the whole tray full of cornichones. I had to get a few more bits of bread to finish it all.

I went with the wagu ragu over fresh paparadelle. The pasta was a bit overcooked, and maybe a bit too thin. The sauce was a good version. It had a hint of sweetness but had a good overall flavour.

I had a few beers with the meal, but can't remember the names. And I was happy to see they had Fernet Branca for an after dinner drink. I ended up being a lot more full than I would have expected, so the Fernet was in order. I didn't have any wines, but the list looked pretty good and reasonably priced (at least compared to what I've seen in Sydney). There were quite a few other items on the menu I would have liked to have tried, so I'll keep it on my list for next trip.

Saturday I wanted to grab a quick, non stadium bite to eat between the morning and afternoon sessions. I wandered over to Mamasita and got there at just the right time. I grabbed a seat at the bar and a jug of margaritas, nothing fancy. Tequila, cointreau, fresh lime juice and a squeeze of agave syrup (which was a nice touch over simple syrup). The food, while only have a few entrees, was by far the most authentic mexican street food I've had in Australia.

I started with the elotes. Grilled corn on the cob with butter, a dusting of chili powder, grated cheese, and a squeeze of fresh lime. While not up to par of my old standby in Boston, you can't really go wrong with grilled corn on the cob served mexican street food style.

The guacamole was also spot on. Something I think Rick Bayless could enjoy. I had an order of the tacos al postor as well. This seemed to be more of a pulled pork with the al pastor flavors than spit roasted with a pineapple on top, it was pretty close. The only part it was missing were the crunchy outsides from the spit roasting. The El Yucateco hot sauce was a good addition too. I was glad to see a brand of hot sauce that's not the usual culprits in Australia. Again, this was a quick trip but based on the elotes, I'd be back just for a few rounds of them.

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  1. I had a really poor meal at Trunk about 2 years ago. Service was abysmal, the smell of dishwasher kept wafting over our table, portions were poor, my paparadelle left lots of liquid in the bowl... It was one of those meals where you decide you are never going back!