Mama's Pierogi - giving the Polish dumpling a go

The Chopping Board team always likes to try new places, now before anyone says, yes we are aware that Mama's Pierogi has been around for some time (on Port Road) so this review is for the newly opened CBD location.  We will also stress that this review is only for the Pierogi (which covers a number of different flavours) and not the other dishes on the menu.

Mama's Pierogi

Mama's Pierogi serves a combination of savoury and sweet pierogi with small servings (6 dumplings) at $5.50 (savoury) and $8.00 (sweet) and regular servings (12 dumplings) at $10.00.  Hot dishes are all $12.00. 

As the Chopping Board team went on a group visit, this review has been written up from each of the reviewers perspective, with a consolidated score at the end.  We also utilised the knowledge of a friend of the Chopping Board - Hazemo who has an Eastern background and was able to provide some background information on what a Pierogi should be like.  Ok, the review...

Hazemo (guess blogger)
As a kid growing up sitting in my Ukrainian grandma's kitchen eating Pierogi (pronounced peer-ogg-ee in the Ukraine), I fondly remember demolishing these tasty morsels and the amazing, heart-stopping pool of melted butter they were fried and served in.

While Mama's is a pretty good representation of the Cheese and Potato Pierogi, I can't help but feel the mass production of these little suckers might have detracted somewhat from the richness of the flavours. And maybe it's just a Polish thing - but there was no pool of butter for me to dunk my face in. I also gave their Kopytka a go, and again, I was disappointed with the lack of flavour - no real cheese or onion baked in flavour, but their texture was spot on.

All of this said - there ain't that many places you can relive your Eastern European childhood at lunchtime, so I've gotta give them some points for authenticity.

Walking into Mama's, I get the feeling that this place must be good. There are no free chairs, a massive line up, and people looking quite excited. I eagerly decide that I am having a mix of 12 dumplings - Spinach and Feta, Potato and Cheese, and the Beef and Sauerkraut. There is a bit of confusion as to when mine is ready, and it is collected when someone else hears their name called, and they also collect mine. Some improvements are needed here.  Onto the food!

Of the mixed serving that I had, the best were the Potato and Cheese - smooth, cheesy, well salted and heavy in taste, they were the pick of the group. In my opinion I needed more sour cream but, I was informed that that's not the usual serving method, so maybe I am just non traditional. The other two flavours were ok, the sauerkraut wasn't that strong in flavour, nor was the feta in the other. I would try another flavour if I return.

I order the beef and pork pierogi.  I open my take-away container and I see a hair in it - not a good first impression (note:  I have had such bad luck with this!  If you have read our Gilbert Street Review, something very similar happened...anyway!)

I returned my meal to the counter and let them know, and without fuss I am given a new meal and a kind apology.  I believe that you can tell a lot by a restaurant and how they handle issues like this and they dealt with it well.  Now the pierogi...the filling was quite dry and did not have the depth of flavour that I was expecting.  The dumpling casing was also a little thick (compared to the Chinese dumpling) and stuck to the roof of my mouth.  The additional toppings of bacon and sour cream were a much needed addition.

Being the first time to eat Polish food, I wasn't sure what to expect.  However, after seeing Mama's Pierogi on the Polish episode of Food Safari I was relatively excited. I ordered the Spinach and Feta pierogi with all three toppings of caramelised onion, bacon and sour cream. What was presented looked nice and appetising. However, after tasting the pierogi I was disappointed. These dumplings were stodgy and bland, with very little excitement factor. So much so that I got bored eating it and only ate 5/12 dumplings - and I hate wasting food. After eating at Mama's I was left with a weird mouth feel all afternoon. This unfavourable experience may be due my choice of pierogi flavour. However, I'm not really keen to go back to try the others.

Ambiance:  2.75/5 - Very busy, tables are small so it may be difficult for larger groups
Service: 2.5/5 - Average, but you can't expect alot given the environment under which its operating
Food: 5.5/10

In total, The Chopping Board gives Mama's Pierogi (Pierogi only - CBD Location) 10.75/20 chops on the chopping board.

Mama's Pierogi on Urbanspoon


  1. Hi there,

    just a few comments:

    Pierogi best taste with melted butter (heaps of it).

    Kopytka are not made with cheese and their texture and flavour were authentic.

    Pierogi dough is usually made with egg which gives them a lighter texture; however, as Mama's Pierogi are using frozen product, egg is not added to the dough so that the product freezes well.

    Chinese dumplings are nothing like Polish once, hence, comparison of those two should not be made.

    As a Polish person I do must admit that having tried a lot of Asian cuisines, the emphasis on strong and characteristic flavours is not much a Polish thing. Having said that, I do remember that my mum's pierogi had a slightly more distinguished flavour. An option of salt and pepper on each table would suffice so that inviduals can season to taste.

    I suggest the reviewers try other meals such as Mushroom soup, Hunters Stew or Beetrot Soup. They are to die for.


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