You know, opening up 4 outlets in less than a year of operations says a lot about any organisation. In came Mamagoto with their concept of “Fun Asian Dining” and have taken Oriental and Pan Asian food to the next level. From their innovative decor concepts to the funky looking menu card and items, Mamagoto has certainly set the standards when it comes to Oriental Cuisine not only that but we are sure they are putting out a lot of other Oriental restaurants out of business.
The Foodie: The first time I ever got to know of the existence of Mamagoto, was when a friend messaged me, asking me to meet her there. This was in its initial days. When it replaced my favorite Nature’s Basket on Hill Road and painted Cartoon tigers were all over its glass window. I honestly thought it was some new version of Hamley’s. Apart from that, I had read plenty of reviews from famous bloggers about this place. So the curiosity was there, but we didn’t force ourselves to try it. Then Mamagoto started spreading its wings and moved to Andheri and South Bombay.
So let’s see, what this Mamagoto is all about?
It means “To play with food.” Mamagoto has some solid branding in place. From their website to their restaurant outlets. You know ALOT of thought has been put into it. You enter and you will find vibrant artwork on every wall, along with colorful frames of funky pop art. While they claim the atmosphere has been created to which is “casual aand relaxed” No graphic designer or artist, looking for inspiration will sit still in a place like this! Every wall has something going on 🙂
Moving onto the food, Mamagoto has food mainly from China, Japan (no sushi), Thailand and their menu is split into many categories to make your ordering easy. Now though they haven’t added Sushi in the Japanese section of their menu, but they have something called Robatta Grill, which is a rustic form of cooking in Japan. It also means “around the fireplace.” It is supposed to be the Japanese custom of cooking in the irori ,traditional hearth common in Japanese homes. Usually in places with Robatta Grill, the diners sit around the table but at Mamagoto you get served just the Grilled dishes. So appetizing names like Java grilled fish in red hot sambal ‘salsa’, Grilled Fish with South East Asian Dressing, Pork Spare Ribs, Lamb Chops and of course Bacon wrapped prawns which is actually mentioned on the menu as the only dish that is prepared on the Robatta grill. What makes this bacon wrapped prawns different from the rest is that the prawn is marinated in Sesame and Japanese spices, which adds to the unique smokey flavor it has. There is a chance that this may get over or under cooked, therefore it is wise to tell the staff before ordering to pay attention to how it is cooked. 🙂
I got a chance to try their vegetarian small bites as well. Mixed vegetable Tempura that comes with seasonal veggies and a dipping sauce. I found it a little oily, but the over all taste was good. Their vegetable basil cups and Hua Hin highway rolls (asparagus and cheese rolls) are a few recommended vegetarian starters from Mamagoto. The Chef will share his review on how our last experience at Mamagoto. Though most of the vegetarian food I tried, I remember the Khau Suey which didn’t come with the burnt onions, chili flakes and all the other elements separately like it usually does. When asked about it, the waiter told us it is already added. Also the red Thai curry was too sweet for my liking.
I have to admit I played it safe during my second visit as I was very full and I did not want to waste alot of food. The Oriental Chicken Soup with Garlic, Pakchoi and Snow Peas did my throat some major good and had some freshness to it. No MSG, made me give it full five stars. Their Shrimp Rice was quite tasty too, but the Udon noodles, to me, tasted like I had just re-heated my previous days cold Hakka noodles. The Chef however, loved it.!!! I will go back to Mamagoto, to try their Grilled dishes for sure. Because that part of the menu is what lures me into their colorful walls, as I’m a sucker for anything traditional. Oh and I also want some sushi on the menu! People behind Mamagoto, I hope you’re listening!
The Chef: Working very close to the Andheri outlet, I never thought I would visit this place,as I am a lover of China 1 buffet food. My bosses always call for the Mama tiffin boxes (Valid only Mon thruoght Thur) which is a great idea. A starter, a starch and a sauce item all in one box starting from Rs 450 to Rs 565. One can call for Indonesian Java Fish to Thai curries and even Mutton Rendang. This also comes with a mocktail, if you visit the restaurant. My first taste of Mamagoto food was when I ate their Tiffin box, which contained the water chestnut spring rolls, Mutton Rendang Curry and Phad Thai noodles (Chicken.) From what I had heard, my bosses totally love the place and it makes them go back to the food they ate in Singapore. But when I opened their package (which I must say — VERY COOL AND INNOVATIVE) I wasn’t very pleased, 2 pieces of spring roll that too without any sauce ( Me thinks they forgot it) and a Mutton Rendang that was a little on the sweeter side with French fries in them for the starch content. Very weird the combination was, then I heard from a lot of people that in general the food that they serve, is sweetish. Not believing this we decided to go to Mamagoto Andheri, to try out everything including their Mama Buns (again – Very innovative)
I’ve seen this place only from the outside, but when we entered, it was HUGE! The decor was great, very industrial with small and big painting of all things far east. Their table set-up also was very funky, with tables for both big groups of 15-20 as well as small tables for 2. When we were being escorted to our table, it seemed like we had entered a labyrinth, turns here and there, we kept going in and in!! The walls again had lots of Chinese paintings, Origami and great spot lights placed strategically, such that they brighten the place up. Enough of the decor, let get to the food.
We had called 2 guests to join us for our meal, and they were also as excited as we were looking at the decor. The menu cards were handed to us by a very soft spoken waiter, we couldn’t catch her name but she did a great job with taking our orders. This is what we called for — The Fiery Shrimp Fried rice with Chicken ribbons, The Stir Friend Udon Noodles with Chicken, for soup we had the Tom Yum Chicken and the Clear Oriental Chicken Soup and for me, I called for the Dorky Pork MamaBuns. For drinks, since it was a dry day, we called for Watermelon cooler and a Kiwi based drink which I cannot remember.
Looking around I just couldn’t help but notice as to how packed this restaurant was. They really have made a name for themselves, so I was not very scared of all the things we ordered. Only concern was that I did not want any food to be sweet. The soups made their way to the table, we must say, the bowls were huge. The Clear soup had a variety of vegetables like Snow peas, Carrots, Chinese cabbage, Mushrooms, topped with chicken and peanut oil. Now the thing about peanut oil is that, it is very flavourful and fragrant, if you over-do it, it’ll f*** up everything and you will not be able to have another bite. But this soup had just the perfect amount of it, and I’m sure if the oil was not put, the taste of the soup would have been totally different. Coming to the Tom Yum, many places make it sooo spicy that it burns the lips, but here it was spot on. The stock was great and flavourful, just enough lemon grass and chili was used, the soup was loaded with mushrooms and chicken. We must say, if all 4 of us had a bowl of soup we wouldn’t have been able to order anything else!!!! But too good. Full Marks. Hit Hai.
Coming to our mains, now what Mamagoto has done in terms of mains is something different. Not only do they have the regular rice and sauce dishes but they also have pre-plated dishes that is a main course fit for two. Those were our options — The Shrimp Fried rice and the Stir fried Udon Noodles. The Shrimp rice was flavoured with subtle Thai red curry paste, topped with a fried egg, served with pickled cucumber and fried chicken ribbons. Would have liked the fried chicken to have some more depth in flavor, but what the chicken lacked, the fried rice made up. Good pieces of prawn, and wet rice, it did not even need sauce although they gave us some lemongrass based dipping sauce on the side. The Udon Noodles, for me it was perfect but the Foodie and our guests found them over cooked and very road side. I F*****G LOVED IT!!! Maybe it was the roadside taste and flavour or even the perfectly crunchy vegetables that were in the sauce. I finished it all 😀
Now my main area of focus, was the Mama buns. It was served with accompaniments like Wedges, Chili mayo, Pineapple salsa and raw papaya salattt!!! The bun itself was a multi-grain baguette sort of bread with was stuffed with thinly sliced pork which had some sort of a thai marination (WHICH FREAKING KILLED IT.) The best part about the bun was that it was only meat, thinly sliced pork meat, no bijitables (Vegetables) or anything else that will fill up stomach space. The downside, it got a little “bready” towards the end, me thinks me finished all the meat a little to fast. Will definitely go back to try all their other buns. After thulping ourselves and not being able to move as we eaten so much food, we were presented with a plate of complementary dessert. WE ALWAYS HAVE SPACE FOR COMPLEMENTARY DESSERT!!!!!!!!! This was a chocolate mud cake, with vanilla ice cream. The mud cake was crusty from the outside but soft and gooey inside. Great way to end the meal.
Mamagoto has certainly hit the right notes and reached my tummy in a nice way. It is putting its competition is quite a scare with its quality and quantity of food. Since it is located in the “Bar-studded” Andheri area, they are also coming with ‘After hours’ where they concentrate on their cocktails and keep a chilled out atmosphere. Good job team Mamagoto, please do not drop your quality.
Valur foe Money: 3.5