Wholesome and healthy doesn’t mean flavourless or boring at newly opened Ooh Mami in Oxford Street, Bulimba.
Just like the play on the word ‘umami’, this food packs a flavour middle-eastern punch and it’s straight from a mother’s heart.
My mother never cooked like this when I was growing up but times have changed and the vibrant salads in Ooh Mami’s cabinets can now often be found on home menus. However most home cooks wouldn't have the same food flavour twists which makes this cafe stand apart.
Ooh Mami’s founders, two brothers and their best mate, hail from Sydney and love nothing more than a home-cooked meal made with fresh ingredients without any fuss. They’ve designed the new dining spot to serve busy locals, who are looking for a quick, yet nutritious feed that tastes just like it would at home.
“Our mother’s love goes into each and every one of her recipes, so there is nothing as loving as a home cooked meal,” said Mohammed Khcheiche, one of the founders.
“We wanted home-style cooking to be more accessible to people who have limited time to prepare weeknight meals, but are looking for a healthy option – either to takeaway or dine-in.”
The brothers ate a lot of wholesome meat dishes growing up and they really wanted to replicate this with their 'square meals' section of the menu. As their mother always focused on, a good lunch or dinner should always include all of the food groups and be packed with nutrients.
You will notice ingredients such as chickpeas, sweet potato, pumpkin and fetta as menu heroes, because they were often used in their mother's cooking. The tabouli is a very traditional and authentic recipe, prepared exactly as their mother taught them.
I asked Mohammed if he would share a recipe but the look of horror that passed over his face said it all. I don't think Mama would approve if Mohammed gave her secrets away!
The menu includes sharing plates with assorted dips that look familiar but all have Ooh Mami's signature flavour twist.
Their list of hearty salads, all priced at $12, includes a selection of eight and all can have a variety of meats added to them.
There's also gourmet rolls on bread specially baked to Ooh Mami's specifications and plenty of sides available.
|Chickpea and sweet potato|
|Red cabbage salad|
|Ooh mami salad|
It's casual dining with plenty of tables stretching onto the footpath and BYO. The dessert selection is the seasonal pie of the day but if that doesn't appeal there are plenty of other dessert options in busy Oxford Street.
Best tip: Great quick pre-movie option.
Bottom line: Prices range from $12 for salads, $14 for sandwiches, up to $20 - $24 for their 'square' meals.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest at the media launch for Ooh Mami