Mama Yo, a brand-new Chinese restaurant on Dublin’s Camden Street, opens on the 14th of February, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Located at 76 Camden Street, the subtle façade of Mama Yo gives little away of what lies behind the intricately designed cast iron gate. Step through the narrow entrance and let Mama Yo welcome you to her home, where great food and hospitality await.
Mama Yo blends traditional Chinese recipes with a contemporary twist, whilst being respectful of the techniques, flavours, and rich history associated with such a diverse cuisine, all served up in beautifully designed space. The menu has been created with sharing in mind, so get a gang together and go family style to experience the best of Mama Yo.
Like any great host, Mama Yo welcomes her guests with tea to settle in and warm up for the feast to come. Start off with a range of bite sized Dim Sum, dishes include tea smoked BBQ ribs, organic pork char siu bun, cheung fun, baked snow mountain bun, traditional soup dumplings, hot and sour soup, and house made pork and prawn wontons.
The star of the show is most certainly the Beijing Roast Duck, a hallmark traditional dish that dates back over 1,000 years. The best quality Irish ducks from Thornhills are roasted slowly over wood in the specially designed duck-roasting oven. The oven, which combines traditional wood roasting with gas, allows for a consistent temperature to control the roasting process, resulting in the most succulent duck with the crispiest skin. The half (€50 – serves two) or full duck (€100 – serves four) is served with all the traditional accompaniments- pancakes, cucumber, scallions, and hoisin sauce (must be booked in advance).
The selection of main courses features many familiar favourites, such as beef short rib and black pepper, lemon chicken, sweet and sour organic pork with caramelised pineapple, char siu and salt and pepper tofu.
The cocktail menu follows the simple concept of using the five pillars of Chinese cuisine: spicy, salty, sour, sweet and bitter, each cocktail created to achieve one of these tastes. Mama Yo’s 6th and signature cocktail is the Boba Milk Punch, a unique twist on the Boba Tea craze that is hitting the nation. A clarified milk punch is combined with flavoured popping ‘boba’. This drink is complex, fun, and bursting with flavour, and is a must try on any visit to Mama Yo.
The wine list is a short but curated selection that pairs well with the bold flavours of Mama Yo’s food, as well as traditional Chinese beers and a selection of no and low alcoholic drinks.
The kitchen team of 14 is led by Head Chef Daming Lu, who brings a wealth of experience from kitchens across Ireland and China. Mama Yo’s front of house team is led by General Manager Kathy Li. Kathy, who hails from Shenyang in China, has been working in hospitality management for over 15 years in Ireland.
“Mama Yo’s opening is something that I’m ecstatic to be a part of. The combination of high quality, contemporary Chinese cuisine, brilliant drinks, warm service, and a dazzling venue is truly unique, and an exciting addition to Dublin’s thriving food scene. I envision and am certain that Mama Yo will provide any guest with an unforgettable experience.” – Kathy Li, General Manager.
The 335 square meter restaurant has been designed by O’Donnell O’Neill Design, who have created an inviting, intimate feel within the large dining room. The reclaimed timber lined space is presided over by two trees which make a striking centrepiece. Mama Yo’s guests will sit below these dramatically lit trees on a mixture of booth and banquet seating, creating a magical and enchanting effect. The walls are dressed in bespoke colourful art, adding a layer of far eastern exoticism to the interior. Every detail has been considered, down to the bespoke silk hanging lights and elegant wallpaper, to create a warm, homely feel.
Behind the trees, running the length of the restaurant, is an open kitchen adding to the buzzy, casual atmosphere of the space. Guests can watch the expert chefs firing up woks, patiently wrapping wontons, and admire the hanging ducks cooking and crisping up slowly in the oven.