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Mabu Mabu - Big Esso, Melbourne, AU-VIC

Mabu Mabu - Big Esso

4.6
4.6
331 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. ​

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Additional information

  • 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.

  • Neighborhood

    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, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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 331 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

4.6
4.6 based on recent ratings
  • 4.7Food
  • 4.4Service
  • 4.3Ambience
  • 4.3Value

NoiseModerate

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Filters

  1. K

    Kate

    Melbourne

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 23, 2022

    overall3food2service3ambience4

    Staff were great, menu was brilliant... In theory. Food was flavourless, really needed seasoning and got cold quickly. Not a great sign when the drinks menu is better than the food one.

  2. F

    Foodie1993

    Melbourne

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Always just love this place. The menu is always changing, with new interesting things all the time, and the service is so friendly.

  3. AE

    AlisonE

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience3

    Loved the food and the staff, but the music was a bit too loud to be able to chat and relax

  4. GR

    GaleR

    Melbourne

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 16, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4

    Fabulous, different, indigenous tapas style dishes. All were really tasty.

  5. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Melbourne

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 16, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Everything from the service to the delicious food was outstanding.

  6. C

    Claire

    Victoria

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 16, 2022

    overall5food5service3ambience4

    What a special place. Unique tastes like nothing else.

  7. JW

    JulesW

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Third visit and I just love the food here! Great variety and original flavours and great use of indigenous ingredients. Love the emu! Fast become a favourite destination.

  8. BM

    BenM

    Melbourne

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4

    It’s the fourth time I’ve dined at MabuMabu Big Esso in eight months. They are pretty much doing everything right.

  9. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 8, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience4

    Birthday dinner for 6. Curious about your cuisine. Server recommended 6 small, 6 large dishes. MUCH TOO MUCH food. Very nice wine recommendation. Once again, no crocodile. Annoying.

  10. DM

    DiptaM

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Really good (unique) food and good service! Definitely going back to try more! The namas, pipis, kangaroo, crème brûlée and native gimlet were my personal faves!

  11. TM

    TamsinM

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Splendid meal out with international colleagues. The food was excellent and interesting and the staff welcoming.

  12. BB

    BevB

    Melbourne

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Very impressed - delicious and interesting food. Lovely friendly and helpful staff. Highly recommend.

  13. RR

    RebekahR

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Amazing food, great energy and good vibes. Highly recommended.

  14. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 6, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4

    This cafe has brought people back to Fed Square ! Really lovely and different tasting foods, reasonable prices, friendly staff and pleasant outlook made it an enjoyable birthday celebration. I have recommended this place to many people I will be back for sure Jennifer O’Dea

  15. RC

    RonC

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    The food was delicious and the service was efficient and friendly. Our friend from the UK found it an unforgettable experience.

  16. AP

    AntalP

    Limerick

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 3, 2022

    overall3food3service2ambience2

    The service is very poor. The staff don't actually listen to your requests. Or maybe they just can't hear over all the noise in the place. The food was mostly average. The fries were good. The creme brulee was good. The emu was good but they burnt the outside of it far too much. The crocodile was well overcooked. The kangaroo tail was mediocre. I won't be going back. Far too noisy also. I couldn't talk to the person I was having dinner with.

  17. A

    Alison

    Melbourne

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 3, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    We shared several small plates, each of them delicious and exactly as described. The indigenous flavours were unique and so refreshingly different. This was a repeat visit for me and the menu was new. I highly recommend it.

  18. AJ

    AmyJ

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 2, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience3

    We enjoyed the food, however really struggled to hear each other over the noise. Music was too loud and everyone else had to talk loudly to be heard above the music.

  19. R

    Remy

    Melbourne

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Best food we’ve had in a long time. I’ve been looking forward to trying some Indigenous ingredients for a while now and everything was so amazing. Can’t wait to come back, thanks for having us!

  20. KG

    KerenG

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 2, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience3

    Took very long time for the food to come. The lamb was very small compared to a big share. Promised river view, but not even close.

  21. AM

    AnnaM

    New York Area

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Great vibe, food and excellent service. Will be back

  22. DR

    DavidR

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Great place to eat and share a meal with friends.

  23. R

    Reviewer

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 31, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience3

    Very friendly staff, very delicious food! A bit of wait time but it was worth it

  24. J

    Jaca

    Melbourne

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on March 31, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience5

    Food is amazing as well as the service. The waitress was very helpful in explaining the menu to us and helping us decide what to order (we ended up with seven small shares for 4 of us and it was very much enough). The cocktails are also amazing. I had a green-anti-ini and OMG it was the best martini I have ever had! We booked for 90 minutes sitting (5pm - 6.30pm) but the waitress first wanted to move us to the outside table around 5.45pm (although we booked the inside standard table) and then around 6pm started to rush us out ... it was a bit of the downer but hopefully it is just an exemption to the otherwise perfect experience. I will deffinetly come back again.

  25. CA

    CatinaA

    Melbourne

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    An excellent experience, in and out quickly before a show.

  26. T

    Tammy

    Melbourne

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on March 30, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4

    First time here did not disappoint! I feel like Federation Square was calling out for a place like this. Friendly and attentive service, a casual and fun vibe with a dash of sophistication, and a creative menu that showcases indigenous ingredients. Delicious food designed for sharing and a drinks list to please all. Can't wait to come back!

  27. JS

    JuliaS

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 30, 2022

    overall5food5service3ambience5

    Delicious food. Great ambiance. A fantastic after-work meal.

  28. L

    Lav1

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    charred emu and baked yam with sea parsley was exceptional. also would order queen of hearts cocktail with quandong syrup again

  29. B

    Bails

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 29, 2022

    overall3food5service5ambience5

    Food and service is great. Portions are way to small for the price.

  30. BT

    BrandonT

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Great menu options and staff were extremely friendly and professional. Would certainly recommend!

  31. DL

    DebL

    Melbourne

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on March 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Really terrific menu with so many choices, we dined outside with a beautiful view overlooking over Fed Square and the city. Service was genuine and friendly. A really great night.

  32. G

    Giovi

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Delectable food, amazing service and reasonable prices

  33. KE

    KayEm

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Food was absolutely glorious! Staff were fabulous! Good times all round. :)

  34. JM

    JuliaM

    Las Vegas

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 26, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience4

    We had a few items missing from our order but they were eventually rectified and provided. The food was delicious but we struggled to easily share the meals, even though the menu is labelled that way. Maybe some more advice on what to order for a large group so we could have ordered dishes more suitable to splitting. Loved the different ingredients, was exciting and tasty. The high tables were a struggle for us oldies but we managed.

  35. T

    Tracey

    Melbourne

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 26, 2022

    overall4food5service2ambience4

    The service initially wasnt good and took 15 minutes to have someone ask us for any drinks. The food was absolutely delicious . So overall a good experience except for initial service.

  36. M

    Moucha

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 26, 2022

    overall4food4service3ambience4

    The food is very interesting and full of wonderful spices and some heat depending what you order. The croquettes were very tasty texture as in a sweet potato. The kingfish was scrumptious, as was the stuffed cuttlefish ( my favourite) croquettes come in pairs and we were 3 so asked for an extra one, unfortunately it was forgotten had to ask twice and finally came after we already had other dishes. But again I would recommend Mabu Mabu Big Esso to everyone.

  37. K

    Krawf

    Melbourne

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 25, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4

    A terrific choice to catch up with friends. Big Esso has a relaxed vibe with helpful, friendly staff. We all thoroughly enjoyed the croquettes, crocodile and prawns. Looking forward to going back soon.

  38. SW

    SteveW

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 23, 2022

    overall4food4service3ambience4

    Food style great and excellent to share which was encouraged. The service was marked down because it was slow, but it was attentive and engaging. (I assume this restaurant is trying to manage staffing shortages like many). Location in Fed Square makes it easily accessible. Looking forward to eating there again with friends.

  39. MB

    MarcB

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    This is genuinely one of the great dining experiences in Melbourne. Awesome spacious, bright and funky layout. Incredibly fresh, Torres Strait Island led menu, execution flawless and super fun times. Can we have more Mabu Mabu style restaurants all the way round the country please!!??

  40. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Food was amazing and staff friendly and knowledgeable

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

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

    • Limited number of seated diners
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
    • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
  • Screening

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

FAQs

Mabu Mabu - Big Esso is rated 4.6 stars by 331 OpenTable diners.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


Is this your restaurant?
Claim this listing

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Swanston and Flinder Street

  • Neighborhood

    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, Gender Neutral Restroom, 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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