Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Mamaduke, Caulfield by Obelix

Got to love serendipity! I came across Australia's #1 Salmon Chef who was also ranked #2 Salmon Chef internationally at Mamaduke, a little cafe in Monash University, Caulfield campus. World Salmon Chef Championships?! Who knew? What's more astounding was that there were no signs or banners to state the fact such a salmon celebrity was residing there. We walked in to grab a quick bite and there was the usual display case of pre made foccacias, etc. I went for lunch expecting to eat a sandwich and I ended up dining on this magnificent fish dish prepared for the said accomplished chef.

world salmon chef championship;  mamaduke;  cafe;  seafood
Ta Da! - that's the award winning salmon dish...

In terms of dining experiences, Mamaduke was one of many contradictions. We were initially served by a waitress who had the most lackadaisical approach. It was a freezing cold day and the sandwiches were not looking appealing in the display cabinets so we asked for a menu of hot foods. She then proceeded to recite the specials for the day. The risotto of the day was mentioned. R queried what sort of risotto and the reply was "lamb? duck? prawn?" Not wanting a lamb-duck-prawn risotto, I settled for the fish of the day. For which she described simply as grilled salmon. Boy, was I ever glad that I did! For the 'grilled salmon' was the salmon chef's signature dish. I think you would agree with me that the dish looked like it belonged in a fine dining restaurant rather than an university cafe. I found out about the chef's accolades from a very helpful waiter who's whole demeanor was in stark contrast to the waitress taking our order.

The signature salmon dish was $18 and it was not simply 'grilled salmon' as our waitress described but more like salmon done 5 ways (see first pic). There was a fillet of salmon with a smokey glaze; salmon croquettes; an unlikely fin part which was surprisingly unctuous yet flavoursome; cubed salmon with some sort of savoury marinade and tiny salmon roe. There were different parts of the fish used and though I normally do not eat what I refer to as the 'armpit' of the fish, that is the finny bit which I have preconceived notions of it being very fishy in taste, it was the most delicious part! It was mind blowing and prejudice dispelling. How often do we encounter just a fillet of salmon, grilled on a bed of something or another? This was nothing like it. This was art and a real celebration of a fish.

corn fritters;  mamaduke;  cafe
R's corn fritters pales in comparison ($18.50). It was typical cafe fare with poached eggs and haloumi.

cafe;  chai;  coffee;  mamaduke
We also had a chai latte and a capp. I should mention the barista was ever so accommodating. When I screwed up my nose at the mention of their powder chai latte mixes, he concocted a spice mix from scratch.


We loved it
We loved it.


The salmon here is worth symphonic fanfare. Totally, totally, worth checking out. The cafe is open to the public so get yourself down there! The rest is standard cafe offerings.

Find it at

878 Dandenong Road
Caulfield East 3145

It's located at the basement of Building H at Monash University, Caulfied Campus.

Mamaduke Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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