Plus hundred points for the suburbs! Especially the Andheri bylanes that are now home to some of the best and most renowned food options the city has to offer. The latest entrant to add to the list is Mamagoto, which is one of my all time favorite restaurants in this city. I had blogged about my recent experience at their Kala Ghoda outlet, for a cocktail making session here. Excellent food, quirky interiors, and such convenient locations make them my favorites. Not to forget every time I eat there I imagine I’m in some Jackie Chan or Kung-Fu Panda film. So I was thrilled when they decided to launch in Andheri, so so close to where I work.
I was lucky enough to be given a sneak peek at the restaurant a day before it launched to the public. I was looking forward to a lovely dinner with good food, perfect ambiance and perfect company. And the evening did not disappoint.
Ambiance: Just like its pre-descendants, the Andheri branch is done in the trademark Chinese-anime-meets-Oriental-palace look. I absolutely am in love with the interiors of all the outlets. Done in this kitschy Oriental vibe, the place is like a quirky, Asian house on steroids.
I love the mismatched chairs and the opulent, colorful chandeliers. I could spend hours going through the portraits scattered all over the walls. Special mention to my favourite portrait at all Mamagoto outlets: A cartoon caricature of The Last Supper with Chinese children. Someone buy it for me, will you?
This outlet has a lovely sectioned off, dining area which could serve as a party room, or a VIP section. I loved the look, with the jail bars and the use of bright red. The lighting and decor gave it a club-like vibe.
Service: We went before the restaurant had officially started, and, keeping that in mind they get full marks for service. The staff was efficient and, knew what to recommend. The food was churned out and came to our table quickly. No time spent there! A few teething troubles, in terms of no one serving our mains to us immediately. But apart from that, spot on service. Special mention to the restaurant owner Kabir who was present that night and came to each individual feedback to chat and receive feedback about the food.
Food: At any restaurant, the food should be the star. And our dinner was a starry affair indeed. The restaurant is still to receive its alcohol permit, so on the night, we visited we started off with some non-alcoholic cleansers.
Both drinks were refreshing, and perfect for the summer. The watermelon reminded me of my childhood favorite watermelon slush. It contained chunks of fresh fruits mixed with mint and lime. I was a tad bit apprehensive about ordering the kiwi drink because I’m not too fond of the fruit. However, I enjoyed this drink which had kiwi, mint leaves, lime and soda to give it that fizz. Must have if you’re a Kiwi fruit fan. Or want to be converted into one.
Now the daunting task of ordering food. The menu is exhaustive and one is spoiled for choice. Also, the portions are generally on a larger scale, so I was a bit worried about ordering too much food for two people.
We started with the ‘Hot Basil Chicken Cups’, which was basically diced chicken flavored with pepper and chilli. This was served on lettuce cups which makes it convenient to pick up and eat. These are fun, small bites to go along with your drink. Nothing too exciting, however.
The next dish we ordered based on the staff’s recommendation was the highlight of our night. It is something I am definitely going back for. The ‘Prawns wrapped in Bacon’ comes under the Robatta grill section of the menu. It contained large, juicy prawns that were marinated with sesame and japanese spices and then grilled. This is then encased in some of the smokiest bacon in town, and served with a tasty honey-soy dipping sauce. We gobbled down the prawns in silence, and were left wanting more. This dish was a winner!
For mains, I knew what I must have. The Chian Mai Train Station Noodles have been ordered every time I’ve visited Mamagoto. The first time it was just for the innovative name. And every subsequent time it was because they’re so damn delicious. This is Mamagoto’s twist on the Burmese Khao-suey style noodles. The noodles are doused in a coconut milk broth and topped with burnt onion, roasted peanuts, and garlic. There is a lovely aroma and taste of coconut milk, lime, and spices that make this dish unbeatable. I dare you to eat this without slurping the noodles off your bowl.
The next on our list was the Mamagoto Goreng. This was a Nasi Goreng inspired dish with rice, chicken satay skewers, fried egg, salad, sambal and peanut sauce. It makes for a meal by itself. I loved what I ate, and it came very close to the traditional Nasi Goreng.
We were too full to eat anything else, but too greedy to pass up the option of desserts. All my favorites weren’t available that night, so we tried two new options. The Oreo Cheesecake was like any other regular cheesecake. But I liked the base which was made out of oreo biscuits. Light and airy, this dessert left us space to eat another one.
The Chocolate Mud cake served with vanilla ice cream was less like a conventional mud cake, and more like a dense chocolate pastry. But yummy nevertheless.
I was pleasantly surprised with the little box we received on our way out. They contained ginormous Chinese fortune cookies. Unfortunately my fortune cookie was on a day off. Another reason to go back to Mamagoto, to break open another fortune cookie!
I end with a quote from Chinese scholar Confucius who said, ‘The way you cute your meat reflects the way you live’ and Mamagoto stands true to this Chinese belief. I still dream about those Prawns wrapped in bacon. Sigh!
Value For Money: 3.5/5
Address: Mamagoto, B40, Unit 1-5, Patel Commercial Premises Cooperative Society Limited, Opposite City Mall, New Link Road, Andheri West, Mumbai.