We haven’t heard of too many people who have visited Asian fusion restaurant Mamagoto in Delhi and come away disappointed. And being suckers for a hearty Asian meal, we were more than game to check out what their Mumbai outpost had in store.
The Ghatkopar outlet opened a little before the one in Bandra, but we waited for the latter because of one all-important difference – a bar. Mamagoto only recently got their liquor license, but when we paid them a visit, we had to make do with the mocktail menu. Okay then.
We took in the funky interiors with three mocktails – Hawaiian Beach Comber, Wasabi Mary and Lemon Zest Plus Mint Lemonade (Rs 190 each). The latter was the only disappointment. It was no better than the Fresh Lime Soda we order during family dinners at the neighbourhood gymkhana. The other two, though, were spot on. The Beach Comber was tangy, refreshing and just what we needed on that dull summer night. The Wasabi Mary came to us rechristened as a Horseradish Mary because its main ingredient was missing. That doesn’t mean it didn’t have a great kick. And we didn’t even miss the alcohol, which is quite the compliment for the bartender.
The interiors of Mamagoto are kitschy and lively. Bright red sofas meet tiger motifs on the wall, and wooden frames separate the bar area from the dining section.
Ordering food here can be quite a task, because practically everything on the menu looks enticing. Some handy icons point out to you the recommended, healthy and old favourite dishes, we’re presuming from the Delhi outpost. We took some of their recommendations, and some from the staff (very alert and well-informed by the way). To begin with, we had Hot Basil Chicken Cups (Rs 270), which had a subtly spiced chicken mix served in cute cups of iceberg lettuce – crunchy, flavourful and a great first impression.
The Rock Shrimp Tempura (Rs 395) followed. Our fellow patrons couldn’t stop munching on the popcorn-sized bits, but we were hoping for a little more crunch and some more of the ponzu pepper powder that was sprinkled over them. We did, however, love the homemade chilli mayo that accompanied the bowl.
The star dish among the starters was undoubtedly the Pork Spare Ribs (Rs 1,1950). Six chunky pieces, smoked to perfection and topped off with peanuts, which added great texture, the highlight of our meal. Sticky, falling off the bone and glazed with subtle Japanese flavours, there was not one flaw we could point out here.
Already pretty satiated, we made a mental note to keep the mains light and save room for dessert. But how could that happen with a creamy khao suey on the menu? We’re glad we gave in to our craving for the Chiang Mai Train Station Noodles (Rs 465, chicken) that arrived in a hearty bowl. None of the flavours were overpowering, but we liked it that way. As an accompaniment, we got the Steamed Fish With Oyster Chilli Sauce and Spring Onions (Rs 385). The delicate fillets of basa came in a very watery sauce that we did like, but was perhaps best saved for another day as the khao suey was the cynosure of our eyes.
It was a little disappointing to learn that Mamagoto’s desserts weren’t created in-house, but the owners have ensured that the confections meet the high standards set by the food. The Caramel Sponge Cake With Toffee Sauce (Rs 285) was even more delectable than it sounds. The sauce was good enough to lick off the plate after we were done eating cake, while the dollop of ice cream on the side went neglected. We’ve heard a lot about the Banoffee Pie here too, but we just didn’t have the heart to go for overkill. Perhaps next time, on a day when the restaurant isn’t as flooded as it has been practically every night since its opening.
Fair warning, Mamagoto doesn’t take reservations, so we suggest you go early or wait your turn patiently.