“I’m gonna take this itty-bitty world by storm, and I’m just gettin’ warm”
If you’re going to make a good impression with The Dear Luncher, a great way to do that is to immediately provide an easy pop culture reference via the name of your establishment. Takes all the hard work out of it. When Hochi Mama appeared on Your Dear Luncher’s radar, he automatically knew that his review would be littered with Seinfeld and 2 Live Crew references.
HOOCHIE MAMA, repeated over and over in The Dear Luncher’s head for days.
When the day finally arrived to dine at Hochi Mama, The Dear Luncher was brimming with anticipation. Located on Liverpool Street up near the Spring Street end of Bourke, Hochi Mama is nestled between some of Melbourne’s oldest and newest culinary and retail spaces.
The menu is craftily designed with ample Vietnamese fusion choices. The Dear Luncher and his fellow traveller ordered a whole bunch of chicken and pork. Hold your bloody horses – we’ll get to the food shortly. It’s important to drink beer first. In this department we ordered the Hanalei Island IPA ($12). This is a slightly less full-bodied IPA with distinct orangey characters. Quite tasty and more importantly a really good beer match for the style of cuisine on offer.
Onto the edibles. Those following The Dear Luncher for a while will be well across his penchant for fried chicken. Well, Hochi Mama have their own particular fried chicken – so naturally this was ordered. “Does the Pope shit in the woods?!“, The Dear Luncher hears you gasp.
Gorgeous. The crispiness of the skin was unique. These wings were partnered with some of “Mama’s secret sauce”. This sauce was very much along the lines of a sriracha mayonnaise, delicious. The ramekin containing the secret sauce was about to get swept away by the waitress when the wings were devoured … but this sauce was going nowhere. The Dear Luncher wanted to smear other things with it as well. Create some of his own fusion.
Also selected from the ‘small’ section of the menu was a grilled Saigon chicken rice paper roll ($4.50). Beautifully presented, this bad boy was delicate. The Dear Luncher accidentally mangled his with a fork. Lesson learnt: should have used chopsticks to extract this sucker from its leafy abode.
Speaking of other things, let’s talk about the pork. Get some goddamn pork on your fork here ladies and gents. First up, the Saigon fried rice with pork belly ($14.90). This featured: traditional fried rice with crispy beans, apple, mixed herbs, boiled eggs and caramelised pork belly.
This pork featured in both dishes. The second dish was the rice vermicelli noodles ($13.90). Served with Vietnamese slaw, it was an enticing mixture. Get a better look at the caramelised pork, while you’re pondering all that. Porking outrageous.
How was the service? When you type the word service into google you get the following results:
The service at Hochi Mama was more along the lines of definition number one. Attentive and courteous. The general vibe inside this venue was rather inviting. Looks like a good place for some post work drinks too … yada yada yada.
The good folks at Hochi Mama invited Your Dear Luncher for lunch and he refrained from breaking out into song during this meal so as to not disrupt the other lunchers.
Location: 11 Liverpool Street, CBD, Melbourne.
Cuisine: Vietnamese, Asian.