Reeva, a blogger friend of mine from Proudly South African in Perth had asked me along to one of her favourite dining spots in Perth – Baby Mammoth in Northbridge. I had heard that it was South African, but not much else. Images of African steak houses, like Hippo Creek, filled my head and that’s basically what I was expecting – man was I wrong!
Baby Mammoth is a small, intimate little piece of SA, found in between other trendy bars and restaurants on William Street in Northbridge. Reeva and I met the lovely Casey from the excellent Perth wine blog The Travelling Corkscrew.
Executive chef Ryan Lambson and his wife Tania have owned Baby Mammoth for about two years – recently that they were granted an alcohol license. Now there are A LOT of alcoholic options – an extensive bottled beer list, loads of cocktails and an intensively researched wine list. The bar team love to get creative and their own beer based vermouths and liqueurs form the base of all their unique beer cocktails.
The wine list isn’t full of the usual suspects and I really love that. There are some interesting drops. I chose a Grinder Chenin Blanc from Paarl and Casey picked a South African Grinder Pinotage. There are also local, Australian and NZ wines available too – Reeva chose a Clockwork SBS from Pemberton.
The three of us were busily chatting away in our cosy booth about blogging and it did take us a while to decide on which dishes to share! Here’s what we ate…
Prawns in beer, chilli and garlic sauce ($16), and a corn ‘grits’ porridge was deliciously creamy and it was a generous serve of prawns for the price.
Cape Malay Curry ($26) was full of chunks of fish, roasted coconut, banana, chutney and rice – topped with a crispy pappadum. This dish was SO yummy!
The smoked fried potatoes ($6) is a recent menu addition and is accompanied by a chilli mayo – we loved them.
The pulled lamb Bobotie sliders ($17) were absolutely delish! Served on a African doughnut with chutney, they are very tasty indeed.
The cajun spiced calamari ($12) was tender and very tasty too.
I couldn’t fault any of the dishes. I really enjoyed the flavoursome share plates. Though the menu is clearly South African – it didn’t come with any of the cheesiness of a theme bar (I’m still having terrible flashbacks about inflatable kangaroos in the Walkabout in Covent Garden, London lol).
It feels very much like a regular, modern menu with hint of South African fusion.
Their dessert menu, with just three choices, is quite literary short and sweet. Though it was still a difficult decision! Feeling quite full, we decided to share something and though the Malva pudding and a Don Pedro were tempting – we chose their signature dessert “The Showtime’. It was inspired by Chef Ryan’s ‘night at the movies’. The components, popcorn parfait, Milo meringue, cola Turkish delight and a wicked chocolate sauce really worked and we all agreed it was a scrumptious dessert to finish on.
Though Baby Mammoth wasn’t what I had initially imagined it would be, I was very pleasantly surprised. The food is wonderfully different and reasonably priced – I’d absolutely love to dine there again.