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Mabu Mabu - Big Esso

4.6
4.6
208 Reviews
$41 to $100
Australian

Big Esso is an all-day bar and kitchen located on the land of the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung peoples. We are beyond proud to be bringing Indigenous food and culture back to the banks of Birrarung (Yarra). This River was once an eel breeding ground; where shark, dolphin and stingrays could be found. ​ This place was a main source of food, hunting, cooking, and ceremony. By sharing food in this place, we hope to bring these stories back to life. ​ 'Big Esso' is an expression in the Torres Strait. It’s a slang term that means ‘the biggest thank you.’ This is what you say when you really want to express your gratitude. When combined, ‘Mabu Mabu & Big Esso’ is what you would say before kicking-off a celebration like no other. ​

Make a reservation

2 people

January 2022
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7:00 pm


Booked 38 times today
  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Australian, Indigenous, Modern Australian

  • Hours of Operation

    Tue–Thu 11:00 am–10:00 pm
    Fri, Sat 11:00 am–11:30 pm
    Sun 11:00 am–10:30 pm

  • Phone number

    (03) 9121 0510

  • Payment Options

    AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress Code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive Chef

    Nornie Bero

  • Catering

    We offer a full catering menu. Please visit: www.mabumabu.com.au/catering

  • Private party facilities

    Please get in touch if you would like to book our venue for private or semi-private events.

  • Area

    Melbourne CBD

  • Cross Street

    Swanston and Flinder Street

  • Parking Details

    Fed Square Parking is available via the Russell St extension.

  • Public Transit

    Directly across from Flinders Street Station

  • Additional

    Beer, Beer Garden, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitising

    • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Contactless payment available
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
  • Protective equipment

    • Waiting staff wear masks
    • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
    • Contact tracing information collected

Menu

At present, we do not have menu information for this restaurant. Please see their website or wait to visit the restaurant to learn more.

What 208 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.6
4.6 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.4Service
  • 4.3Ambience
  • 4.3Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Melbourne

    Healthy

  • Melbourne

    Australian

  • City Centre

    Fit for Foodies

  • City Centre

    Healthy

  • City Centre

    Outdoor Eating

  • City Centre

    Good Vegetarian Options

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Filters

  1. H

    Hals

    New York Area

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience4

    Staff were super friendly and food was delicious, we will be going back to try more items on the menu.

  2. TA

    TrevorAri

    Exclusive

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall1food1service1ambience3

    The ambience was lively and a nice looking venue. The service was not good, though the staff were not too busy they were hard to get a hold of for drinks & not helpful explaining the menu I was expecting to find interesting indigenous food. Instead, the crocodile was sliced & deep fried in thick batter. Tasty but just a stack of crunchy fried strips. Emu was cooked nicely but came with non edible garnish (bamboo sticks) and no other accompaniments. Pickled Watermelon was....a thick slice of watermelon? I was laughing at myself for paying$30 for 2 pieces of deep fried chicken on a slab of watermelon There were plenty of tables full and the customers seemed happy but I'm not going to book here again

  3. d

    dwdw

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Fav dishes-octopus, emu, wild rice Least fav (but not bad) -croc Had pippies too but would highly recommend the above 3 dishes. Can't wait to try the boar next time. Definitely go if you are keen to try different things.

  4. P

    Patoche

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    The food and cocktails are incredible with great flavours, all cooked with native ingredients. Great value for money as well! Definitely worth it and we’ll be back for sure!

  5. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience4

    Helpful and knowledgeable staff, and delicious food!! I’ll definitely be back when I’m next in town

  6. AS

    AntonyS

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall5food5service4ambience5

    Had a lovely lunch there with great background music. Amazing indigenous menu. Great experience.

  7. k

    kelp

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 5 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Mabu Mabu is perfect for a relaxed meal with friends. Staff are incredibly friendly and helpful, the food is brilliantly cooked and exciting new flavours. The ambience is great - you can sit outside and spend time - staff never seem to rush you to leave and in fact encourage you to relax and go slow. The pickled watermelon salad is brilliant and if you've never eaten the pig face plant this is the place to start! (I love the raw fish and lamb but if you're vegan or vego there are loads of exciting choices.)

  8. N

    Newis

    Melbourne

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Everyone needs to try this incredible indigenous menu, such beautiful flavours and presentation. We sat outside overlooking Federation Square, a really great vibe for our group of seven people. Staff friendly and service efficient! Highly recommend!

  9. BG

    BGS82

    Sydney

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall4food5service2ambience5

    Our booking came through a friend’s recommendation, and having looked at the menu online, we knew this was going to be food we would enjoy. The food was excellent, great depth of flavours - and certainly some less common flavours and ingredients used even in modern Australian food. The food was fantastic and based on that aspect, we wouldn’t hesitate to return to try some of the other dishes, and revisit the ones that were especially memorable (Emu, Crocodile, Pickled Watermelon!). The service however was not great. Obviously, with the pandemic and staffing issues and of course the stop/ start nature of dining and etc-we put some consideration down to that, but it would certainly benefit some improvement there. Regardless, we will be back when we visit Melbourne again, the food was that good! Hopefully the average service was just a glitch on the night due to the pandemic!

  10. NF

    NicolaF

    Melbourne

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall4food5service4ambience4

    Really enjoyed a casual lunch with a friend at Mabu Mabu. The food was fabulous, and we could sit outside under shade, feeling Covid safe.

  11. K

    Katrina

    Denver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 19 January 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Fantastic food and drink. Extremely tasty and unique. Loved everything

  12. M

    Midge

    Victoria

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on 19 January 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5

    Great menu. Third time of having lunch. Tried different dishes. Crocodile and prawns excellent

  13. PB

    PamB

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 18 January 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Fabulous food and good friendly service in a relaxed family setting.

  14. R

    Rumid

    San Francisco

    14 reviews

    4.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on 15 January 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5

    Very cool menu options with lots of variety on native food. The octopus was our fav, very flavourful and tender! Kangaroo tartare, and chilli pipis were also amazing. Emu steak was also very well cooked and tasty. The kingfish needed a bit of salt, wild boar - I would have preferred it cooked in a different way so you can taste the meat properly. Native pepper berry Bloody Mary was good, I would have liked a bit more zing to it. Super friendly staff, very casual setting and great ambiance! Would definitely go again!!

  15. K

    Kate

    Melbourne

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 14 January 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    The food is amazing, staff are knowledgeable and friendly. There are so many unique dishes to try and all round good vibes. Will be returning and telling everyone I know to pay a visit.

  16. A

    Alison

    Melbourne

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 14 January 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    We chose to share croquettes as starters - crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside and very tasty. Then for main we had snapper with warrigal greens - the whole dush was delicious and spicy. Our side dish was cos with lots of flavour and so moreish. All round the food and service was excellent, I highly recommend.

  17. c

    christophers

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 13 January 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience3

    the menu was extensive adventurous and delightfully prepared. The service was friendly and expert. i will be returning soon to work my way through the menu.

  18. SK

    SarahK

    Melbourne

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on 13 January 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Menu is super interesting and different, very delicous.

  19. S

    Shellex

    Victoria

    11 reviews

    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on 12 January 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Didn’t know much about Mabo Mabo - Big Esso, but we were impressed! Friendly staff, fantastic food and delicious cocktails all using indigenous ingredients. The emu and crocodile were standouts, but really, everything we had was excellent. Highly recommend.

  20. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on 12 January 2022

    overall3food3service2ambience2

    Service was poor. We didn’t have the opportunity to order drinks or for our water to be refilled without having to go in and ask. There were very few people in dining for lunch, so we expected more attentive staff.

  21. JT

    JeanT

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 9 January 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    We sat outside under the shade of a big umbrella with a gentle breeze keeping the heat from the sun to a reasonable level as we were served by waitresses who expertly brought the chai and coffee, first of all, to our table, where my daughter, who is a vegan and already impressed that we had several dishes to choose from, remarked on the used of Australian spices to flavour the chai and the strainer to prevent them from falling into the mug as she poured the liquid from a matching enamel container. Our food arrived in a timely fashion soon afterwards and the different flavours immediately stimulated our senses and as we shared the plate of yams, the grilled ochras with macadamia cream and the salt bush damper, we were utterly impressed by the flavours and just how perfectly cooked all the vegetables were as we chatted and looked forward to seeing the combined exhibition at the NGV featuring magnificent art made of found objects by Lorraine Connelly-Northey and Rosalie Gascoigne. Afterward, utterly wowed and impressed to the max by the art of Lorraine and Rosalie, we returned to Mabu Mabu for an equally splendid arvo tea of pavlova and panne cota with coffee and hibiscus tea.

  22. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Sydney

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 8 January 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Great menu. Lovely to sit outside, most innovative and tast Indigenous food we’ve eaten… well worth a visit. Not cheap but nor is it exorbitant.

  23. G

    Grace

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 8 January 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Incredible flavours and a great range of dishes and drinks. I’ll be back!

  24. DT

    DannyT

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 7 January 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Brilliant! Highly recommended! Definitely my ‘go to’ from now on!! Cannot fault!!!

  25. SD

    SandraD

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 7 January 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4

    What wonderful food! My favourite was the pepper berry oysters and the octopus, but the damper was next level - so light and delicious. Our waitress was very helpful and lovely (and was very polite to one of our party who was a bit grumpy - soooo thank you so much for being professional and patient). We would definitely go back.

  26. HT

    HelTL

    Victoria

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on 6 January 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience3

    Great food on a hot night. Happy that lots of room outside in current times as inside tables a little cosy. Yummy octopus and snapper that we will return for.

  27. JB

    JohnB

    Hawaii

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 6 January 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience4

    Great to have a restaurant that specialises in indigenous food - an alternative to other offerings in Melbourne.

  28. DK

    DeeKay

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on 5 January 2022

    overall2food1service2ambience1

    The food was not good. The Prawns were extremely over cooked and not worth the price. 6 Prawns for $50 with no accompaniments? Not peeled ? Not worth the price at all! The lamb was dry. The octopus was slightly overcooked as well and was a bit chewey. Unfortunately, it was a very disappointing experience this time and I will not be coming back. This was my second visit within 2 weeks but it'll be the last.

  29. j

    jason

    Melbourne

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 5 January 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4

    I had a great time at Big Esso with my Mum. It was my second visit. Once again the food was very good, tasty and interesting. We especially enjoyed the charred octopus. The waitress was really lovely and we enjoyed the setting. Thank you. I will return.

  30. RW

    RobynW

    Melbourne

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 4 January 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Really delicious food and great service. We especially loved the menu advertised cocktails could be made without alcohol for the teetotallers in the group

  31. P

    Pilar

    Melbourne

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 4 January 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    The food was amazing. Very tasty and well presented. Servings are generous. The crocodile was incredible. The surprise of the night for me was the emu! Absolutely delicious! The cocktails also great! Will definitely be back

  32. PA

    PollyAnnaMay

    New York Area

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on 4 January 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4

    Wow what an amazing experiencing dining at Mabu Mabu - Big Esso @ Fed Square. The food was absolutely delicious. We were adventurous and tried the crocodile which we can both thoroughly recommend. The wait staff were efficient and hospitable. It is well located in Fed Square. We chose to sit outside even though the weather was a little on the cool side but, just pleasant enough to enjoy the fresh air. Inside looked great. We would absolutely recommend dining at Mabu Mabu. A a great big thank you to the chef and the staff.

  33. AK

    AshK

    Melbourne

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on 31 December 2021

    overall3food1service3ambience3

    I was there for the New Years Eve menu and sadly it was definitely a huge let down. We paid $220 a head and had over cooked fish that tasted like cardboard, was given crab but nothing to break the crab to get to the meat “because they ran out of utensils”. The entertainment cancelled. Love the concept of what they are trying to achieve but a huge let down. Literally came home and made scramble eggs at 1am…

  34. AK

    AdamK

    New York Area

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 31 December 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Wonderful night! Food, Drink, Service, Vibe! Really something special. thank you!

  35. CS

    ChrisS

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 31 December 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Fabulous dinner both vegan and full menu, staff very welcoming and happy to be there and totally on it, New Years eave a very busy night and never had to wait on anything. Food was cooked perfect and delicious, will definitely be back and recommend to family and friends.

  36. RC

    RobertC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 31 December 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Absolutely lovely NYE at Big Esso. We had some really tasty food(with a great split of vegetarian and other for our group), and had a great dance and party to celebrate the end of the year (phew!). I cannot recommend the food enough - tasty, fresh and delicious. Absolutely fab -10/10 and is my first choice for a meal in the CBD

  37. SJ

    ShaJ

    London

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on 30 December 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    We had a fantastic dinner at Mabu Mabu - Big Esso. I unfortunately have not had much indigenous food before and was amazed by the new flavours and preparations of food that we had. The saltbush and pepperberry crocodile and the saltbush lamb shoulder were real highlights, but every dish was excellent. Also the service was great, we had a person who had special dietary requirements and the staff were extremely diligent and careful about ensuring that the food that person had was ok for them. Highly recommend!

  38. CC

    CraigandCo

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 30 December 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience3

    Amazing!!! We took our overseas visitor here for dinner and loved everything from the beer/cocktails to the multiple share plates. The staff were great an making suggestions and providing information about the dishes. We loved everything about it.

  39. A

    Andrea

    Cleveland

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on 30 December 2021

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Lots of vegan options and all the ones I tried were DELICIOUS.

  40. C

    Charles

    Melbourne

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on 30 December 2021

    overall4food4service4ambience3

    Some truly delicious things on the menu, one of your best options in/around Fed Sq

FAQs

Mabu Mabu - Big Esso is rated 4.6 stars by 208 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting bookings at the moment.

Make a reservation

2 people

January 2022
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7:00 pm


Booked 38 times today
Google Map for Mabu Mabu - Big Esso

Federation Square, Swanston St & Flinders St Melbourne, AU-VIC 3000

  • Cross Street

    Swanston and Flinder Street

  • Area

    Melbourne CBD

  • Hours of Operation

    Tue–Thu 11:00 am–10:00 pm
    Fri, Sat 11:00 am–11:30 pm
    Sun 11:00 am–10:30 pm

  • Cuisines

    Australian, Indigenous, Modern Australian

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress Code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking Details

    Fed Square Parking is available via the Russell St extension.

  • Public Transit

    Directly across from Flinders Street Station

  • Payment Options

    AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive Chef

    Nornie Bero

  • Additional

    Beer, Beer Garden, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (03) 9121 0510

  • Catering

    We offer a full catering menu. Please visit: www.mabumabu.com.au/catering

  • Private party facilities

    Please get in touch if you would like to book our venue for private or semi-private events.

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