Mamagoto is a name that’s been creating waves in the Asian cuisine scene of the country for about 6 years now. It was set up with the intention of changing the way diners perceived Asian food to easy going, quirky and fun, and boy, have they succeeded! ‘Fun Asian eating’ is their tagline and they stick to it to the very T, right from their vibrant, colourful ambience, bustling staff with eye-catching quotes on their shirts to the detailed Asian menu covering their ‘Street Food’ concept.
Located on KNK Road, Nungambakkam in Chennai, this branch of Mamagoto has been a cherished restaurant of this genre ever since it came to the city. The bold, colourful board is hard to miss. The yellow entrance is inviting enough as is and the atmosphere inside is as zany as ever! Splash of colour in every direction, the Manga posters, live Teppanyaki grill and the beverage counters make the place have a casual and LIVELY vibe. The clatter of platters and busy, happy noises from the content diners accompany the wholehearted meal that follows.
Mamagoto’s menu mainly covers Thai, Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese dishes. The travel inspired menu goes back to the basics and has been curated specially for those craving fresh yet invigorating flavours on their palate with spicy flavours. They have now expanded this elaborate menu to include even more fun and energetic Pan-Asian delicacies and make it well-rounded. Generous number of dishes in each category like Grills, Steamed and Fried, it caters well to diners who prefer healthy food as well. Vegetarians and non-vegetarians are equally delighted too. Most of their dishes are for sharing among 2-3 diners, so don’t get greedy and order a dish for each here ;).
We were invited for a meal focussing on these new dishes that they’ve introduced. Boy, an Asian feast it was! First off were the super cold, refreshing Pop Rocks. These came in a variety of flavours: Orange, Watermelon, Blueberry (was the best of these!), Litchi and Kiwi & Passion. They were really cold and icy but the flavour concentration was really good! We also had the Orange Iced Tea and it was quite as brilliant and refreshing!
Then started coming in the plethora of dumplings and other appetisers. Kicking off with the many dumplings, there was the Cheese and Truffle Oil Dumpling and Crystal Dumpling. The Cheese dumplings, true to it’s name was SO creamy and indulgent yet being light and palate enticing with the pearls of pomegranate on it. The Crystal ones were slightly firmer and more filling than the Cheesy ones, but wasn’t as exquisite as a few other dishes that night. The bright green coloured Mama’s Dumplings (Veg) were very “healthy” on the other hand and was light and unique in flavour. Crispy Lotus Stem is another one of their LOVED appetisers which is now revamped into an even more scrumptious form. The hot and sweet sticky sauce on these crispy Lotus stems make it totally irresistible. The Silky Wilky Tofu Salad was the other vegetarian appetiser that came along. Super smooth, silky and soft tofu islands in a sea of mild broth. Soothing, gentle with subtle punchy flavours, this would be a sore throat’s best companion.
Then came in the non-vegetarian ones: THE standout undoubtedly being the Bophut Village Hot Chicken Wings. The first bite into this would take you to the shores of Thailand. Sesame coated, coconut flavoured, SPICY wings are all you need to satisfy your juicy, messy wing bucket challenges :D. From the dumpling section we had Prawn and Celery Dumplings, Mama’s Chicken Dumpling and Rainbow Chicken Dumplings. Hands down, the Mama’s Chicken Dumpling was the best amongst these, ESPECIALLY with it’s Chilli Oil Sauce dressing! All of these dumplings were stuffed with the PERFECT amount of meat and wasn’t too heavy as an appetiser. The Rainbow Chicken was the only mediocre dish from these. While it was just as meaty, there was nothing exquisite about it other than the presentation with a cube of tri coloured peppers on each delicately designed dumpling.
Completely set into the Asian Street Food vibes resonating within these walls by then, the main course experimentation was slightly less cheery than the appetiser endeavour. However, the Chicken Three Pepper Bomb, truly, DA BOMB of the main course. Succulent strips of chicken which was flavour packed with a fiery pepper hit. This went well with the subtle, meaty Yangchow Champions Fried Rice which had chicken, lamb and shrimp in it! The Bali Balmie Noodles weren’t as appetising as this fried rice though despite having a way more tempting description. It was quite bland and didn’t have as many flavours coming through. Was quite dry as well.
We had two Noodle Bowls: the Spicy Ramen Veg and Osaka Tube Station Chicken Noodles. The former was the easy winner in this, majorly owing to my Indian palate. A bowl of hot, soupy noodles in your PJs, well that’s the dream ;P. Both these bowls had amazing quantity and generosity of ingredients, a complete meal on it’s own. We also had the Sticky Rice with Massamman Curry which was quite authentically prepared with potatoes and meat in the super concentrated curry which went extremely well with the rice. While my first mouthful was a delight, the concentration of coconut and tamarind was too high for me and I couldn’t have more than 2 spoons of it. The lamb in it was slightly hard too, while the potatoes were a delight.
Desserts are very unique when it comes to the Asian cuisine and it was no less here. There was the exquisite Homemade Coconut and Palm Sugar Ice-Cream. Silky smooth and laden with flavour, the granules of palm sugar through the ice-cream complimented the coconut in it. Sticky Rice with Mango was the next dessert that wowed us. The cut mango wasn’t too sweet to overpower the dessert and it was in harmony with the creamy white and starchy brown rice. There also was the subtle hint of coconut that a Thai dessert generally promises. There also was a Coconut Panco Banana with Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice-Cream. Crispy strips of banana with an indulgent Caramel Sauce and creamy ice-cream, exactly as it’s description. These were the new additions in the dessert section, all of which are EGGLESS!
However, the temptation their Homemade “American Style” Chunky Caramel Sponge Cake with Warm Toffee Sauce and Vanilla Ice-Cream has been to us since our very first visit has been is unbounded and despite being a post about their new menu, this piece of brilliance requires special mention. Such drools. The warm sauce itself is enough to devour and satisfy your dessert cravings.
On an average, this place is not inexpensive. I would definitely say it’s VFM though, for their authenticity and traditional showcasing of native dishes. The funky ambience contributes to this as well. The “I’m as hot as a meal in a bowl” shirted staff are friendly and accommodative as ever. Overall, Mamagoto is a MUST visit restaurant, for Asian cuisine lovers!
WTF METER FOR MAMAGOTO:
Ambience – 9/10
Service – 9/10
Quantity – 10/10
Taste – 8/10
Presentation – 8/10
VFM – 7/10
Overall – 8/10
Valet – Yes
Wifi – No
Reservation – Recommended