Food and Drink


Mr Big Stuff

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Embracing the high-comfort, high-calorie, “dude food” of 70’s Mississippi, Mr Big Stuff is dishing up Soul Train funk with the sass of Undercover Brother.

Now in its third week of operation, Mr Big Stuff signals a shift from the declining trend of American burgers to the emerging might of Southern American soul food.

The greatest draw card of this fun new restaurant is its reimagining of often-kitsch soul classics. Slimy gumbo okra is glorified as crunchy, pickled okra served alone ($4) and the chicken and waffles with a hint of rosemary are suited up and ready to swim in maple syrup ($19).

That said, some dishes just don’t need messing with; the corn bread ($6) and three-cheese mac n cheese ($12) are institutions that have been done great justice.

Other standouts include the ox tail slider ($9.5), and pork ribs hidden under a thick, bourbon BBQ sauce ($28).

Positioned serendipitously close to Parliament station, the drinks list demands attention too. With three cold shiny juice machines behind the bar, fruit is pressed daily for bright cocktail renditions of sickly-sweet Kool-Aid; think strawberry juice with gin, lemon and soda ($12.50).

Iced tea cocktails bear traces of genuine tea leaves; the ‘Real Big Mr Tea’ infusers are filled with cognac, peach sencha green tea and fresh lemonade with sugar syrup on the side ($34).

A red and grey fit out with wooden paneling, and waitresses in hoop earrings, shirts and suspenders give the vibe of a soul mama’s overcrowded dining room. A few smart modern touches, such as DJs spinning soul Thursday to Saturday, keep it fresh and funky.

Although this isn’t the place to take your diet-conscious friend, Mr Big Stuff exudes a casual air of genuinely not caring whether you walk out, roll out, or do a Soul Train line out the door.

16 Meyer Place, Melbourne
Monday to Saturday 6pm – late
(03) 9639 7411

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