The First Big Mama

Shop 462, Swanston St, Carlton VIC 3053.
Date visited: 25th January 2012

We have been coming here to Big Mama for quite some time now. I remember the first time we wanted to try this place with a friend, and there was over a half hour wait for a table so we decided to leave and ended up eating elsewhere. My two peeves about this place is that 1) you can't make reservations for small numbers (I'm pretty sure I tried to make a booking and they wouldn't let me) and 2) they take cash only, like most Asian restaurants.

We usually order 2-3 dishes with a couple of bowls of white rice to share. You get a long dish of appetisers or complimentary sides which may be different each time you come. Tonight we had some sort of sweet potato or yam slices, spicy chilli squid and the edamame (as reader H kindly commented).  The first time I tried eating the shells - yes, they were so hard and coarse I almost choked on them, so yes, I figured you had to crack the pods open and just eat the insides @_@  Yes, ignoramus, I know.

We had two of our usuals, the agedashi tofu and the chilli chicken karaage.

Agedashi Tofu
The tofu is really delicious, very smooth and soft and covered in sauce and mayonaise, topped off with fish flakes. Love it. 

Chilli Chicken Karaage
The chicken karaage is crispy on the outside but tender inside and covered with a sweet, spicy, sticky coating. Really nice. We usually have the takoyaki too, but tonight we decided to try something new.

The 'something new' we tried was the spicy beef stew. OMG when they said spicy, they were not joking! I am really not a spicy food person, and the first taste was enough for me, so sorry, unfortunately I can't elaborate more on what the dish tasted like besides the fact that there were thin slices of tender beef floating around inside. My aunt loved it though, she practically finished the whole dish with rice.

Spicy Beef Stew

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  1. You are definitely not meant to eat the shells of those beans! They're called edamame and they usually come lightly salted - just pull the beans out with your teeth. :)

    I went there recently with a friend (before seeing this post), and the agedashi tofu was delicious. We also had the chicken karaage, which was tasty, but not quite what I was expecting.

    The beef stew looks delicious - I can't wait to try that.

    1. LOL! Thanks for the confirmation of those edamame - I ended up squeezing the beans out of the pods after finding myself unable to swallow those super coarse, furry shells - figured a restaurant would never intentionally try to choke their customers to death =P