From the spunky yellow entrance to the homemade dips, Mamagoto, the new Pan Asian cuisine specialty restaurant, embraces the offbeat.
When a funky, canary yellow door opens into a boisterous two-level restaurant where men in black with graffiti like ‘Please don’t get formal with me’ mill around purposefully to take your orders, you know you are in a quirky place where food is fun. Mamagoto, the ‘Fun Asian’ restaurant chain will open its tenth (after Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai) on Road No 12 Banjara Hills this Monday. The industrial chic decor with factory-inspired lights, a dramatic wall with a row of disco lights, a sudden accent wall with table tennis bats in pink and beige instantly create the retro Chinatown feel.
Is the food equally out of the box? First comes the disclaimer – No MSG used. (Expectant moms with Chinese cravings, hear this). Then each page of the menu, it is unapologetic about challenging the conventional. Mamagoto means ‘to play with food’ and the place leaves no brass wire strainer unturned to ensure the Pan Asian food turns Fun Asian.
The Beijing Seafood Soup (`299), for instance, has garlic diving right into the soup along side fish and prawn. It was spicy with a ‘let-us-clear-our-throat-first’ feel. The Hua Hin Highway Rolls (`225) perfumed with galangal lemon grass, crispy asparagus rolls done with a bit of cheese served with a mama dip was melt-in-the-mouth, at the risk of sounding cliched. Street Vendor‘s Panang Curry Bowl with Mixed Vegetables (has chicken, prawn, tenderloin variants – starts `459) is served with peanuts and sticky rice. The minced garlic, fried onion slivers and of course prawn pieces merge delightfully to usher in the Thai flavours in every morsel. As you course through China and Japan, you screech to a halt when you find Chennai Chiller, a banana and coconut-flavoured drink. Reminded us of the Sharjah Shake, more watery though. Passion Fruit and Orange Cooler (`159) is what we vote for. The dessert menu has the Chinese regulars like the banana toffees (`250 onwards).
The menu book of the 45-seater is pretty descriptive with footnotes like healthy eating, mama recommends etc. Then the main list has sections like grills, soups, starters, our innovation etc and every dish is described with the ingredients and style of cooking. Although the menu remains the same across the board, the fish may tend to vary in Hyderabad depending on what is available locally, says Food Director Janathi. As they await the license to begin the bar, their express delivery is all set, she adds. Have the Mamagoto hangover? You can buy their merchandise – art, cushion covers, mugs too.
— Manju Latha Kalanidhi
Opp Audi Showroom,
Near Pension Office, Road no 12 Banjara Hills
Rs 1,200 (++) per person (a la carte) Details: 33999610