Tucked away off the main street, Pretty Mama is a little hard to find, but definitely worth the hunt. Opening just last month, the Carribean grill restaurant breathes life into the ‘New York’ side of the city.
Michael Cotter (Gumbo Kitchen food truck and Po’ Boy Quarter) and Shae Silvestro (Brooks Der Raum) are the brains behind Pretty Mama collaborating with Head Chef, Clinton Gresham (Cobb Lane Bakery, Mamasita) and what an outstanding job they’ve done. If you didn’t already know, we used to be a regular at Gumbo Kitchen – and it was definitely one of our favourite food trucks when they were around – so we knew we were in for a treat when we heard about Pretty Mama. Chatting to Michael after the meal, we could see his passion for New Orleans and southern food which was shown through each of the dishes.
We went with the waiter’s recommendations and ordered a few of each of the smaller dishes plus a main dish, none of which we could fault. The jerk chicken was just the right amount of smokiness and spiciness, the plantain w swimmer crab remoulades (how we’ve missed them in Australia) was fried to perfection, and those special lobster pastelitos were like a mouthgasm. We also have to mention the hot sauce they had, we’ve never had anything like it (Changz hot sauce), but we are now seeking it everywhere we go. It must be tried! (nb. the waiter did mention that they are looking to make their own hot sauce soon). Despite being full from our meal, we couldn’t pass the Banana doughnuts w spiced rum cream for dessert – which also was definitely a highlight! oh those banana doughnuts!
To complement the food, Pretty Mama had a range of delicious Carribean cocktails to match as well, Red Stripe beer and of course, an entire section dedicated to rum.
Take a little detour next time you’re in that side of the city, it’s definitely worth the time!
(Plantain w swimmer crab remoulade)
(Jamaican jerk chicken free range milawa chicken)
Where: Pretty Mama, 220 Spencer Street, MELBOURNE Victoria 3000 (Enter via Watertank Way)
When: Tue-Thu: 12:00pm-11:00pm