Owners Jason Jones & Matt LaneWhats the go-to dish at Mamasita?
Jones: Definitely the elotes (chargrilled corn with fresh cheese, chipotle mayo and lime). Its the dish
that everyone mentions when I talk to them about the restaurant.
Lane: For us in the know, its the taco de lengua, the tongue and cheek taco.What do you think Mamasita has added to Melbournes dining scene?
Jones and Lane: A casual eatery with top-notch food and service; and soft-shell tacos, huitlacoche, chipotle,
epazote, quality tequila, mezcal, micheladas and awesome margaritas.Whats been your greatest triumph or proudest moment since opening?
Lane: Being in the top 100 most influential people at The Age Melbourne Magazine awards, and being invited to host master classes at The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.And your most embarrassing mishap?
Lane: Hmmm having to make Slash [the former lead guitarist for Guns N Roses] wait in the stairwell to dine.Where do you love to eat in Melbourne when not tied to the kitchen?
Jones and Lane: Thats a tough one, theres so many Cumulus [city], MoVida [city], Victoria Street [Richmond], my kitchen at home to name a few.Complete this sentence: When diners come into Mamasita, I want them to feel
Lane: That it was worth the wait.
Jones: Like theyre as comfortable here as they are at home, and they want to come back again. Just as they feel when they cant wait to get home again.Chin Chin
Owner Chris LucasWhats the go-to dish at Chin Chin?
The three dishes that remain the most popular since we opened are: the kingfish sashimi with lime, chilli and a coconut and Thai basil dressing; crispy barramundi and green apple salad, caramelised pork, peanuts, chilli and lemongrass; and the twice-cooked, grass-fed shortrib with coriander and prik nam pla (fish sauce and chillies).What has Chin Chin brought to Melbournes dining scene?
Casual dining that is affordable, fun and irreverent and, at the same time, deliver an outstanding food and wine experience.Whats been your greatest triumph or proudest moment since opening Chin Chin?
My proudest and most enduring thought is knowing that Chin Chin has created a new genre where a young generation of new diners and traditional diners now see restaurants as fun and accessible. Theyre enjoying great food with well-chosen wines and cocktails, and dining is now seen as an activity or an event much like in Europe and Asia.And your most embarrassing mishap?
I guess it would be sharing a few too many drinks with [Australian chef] David Thompson before our first-birthday dinner.Where do you love to eat in Melbourne when not dining in-house?
Rumi [Brunswick East], Hardware Société [city], The Commoner [Fitzroy].Complete this sentence: When diners come into Chin Chin, I want them to feel Happy. Moon Under Water
Modern Australian Fitzroy
Co-owner Andrew McConnellApart from those addictive cheesy biscuits, what would you say has been the standout dish at Moon Under Water?
One of my favourites was a dessert of poached meringue, served with candied pomelo and prickly pear granita. Refreshing, not too sweet and original. And a simple dish put together by head chef Josh Murphy of steamed asparagus, seared pearl meat and lemon sauce. I think that dish best typifies what we do at Moon Under Water the best produce we can get our hands on, cooked simply with tremendous care.What do you think Moon Under Water has added to Melbournes dining scene?
A unique, fun pub dining room that offers smart bistro fare. It serves a set menu that changes weekly, offers good value and it does not have to be an all-night affair.Whats been your greatest triumph or proudest moment since opening?
Our greatest triumph was getting the rotisserie restarted in the courtyard after being closed down by a disgruntled neighbour, who doesnt like the smell of roast chicken. The addition of an extractor helped get us over the line.And your most embarrassing mishap?
When the pump failed on our new air-con and the roof caved in as the first guests arrived for dinner. There is never a dull moment running a pub!Where do you love to eat in Melbourne when not tied to the kitchen?
Café: Miss Jackson, and Dr Jekyll [both in St Kilda]; bistro: Pei Modern [city] I like it for its relaxed, smart food; smart: Attica [Ripponlea] its some of the best food I have eaten.Complete this sentence: When diners come into Moon Under Water, I want them to feel ... Happily sated, as if they have just been cooked a beautiful dinner at a friends home.