I had been an ardent fan of Pan Asian restaurant, Mamagoto and have been recommending it to my friends ever since I had a meal at their Gurgaon Sector-29 branch three years back during a winter weekday afternoon. Their Thai dishes were so authentic that I remembered of the dishes and flavors which I had in Thailand, it satiated my Thai food craving which happens to be my favorite cuisine. It can be a separate blog post if I go on describing my love for this cuisine. So much so, that now I have learnt to prepare Thai dishes at my home from scratch (not with those ‘imported from Thailand’ curry pastes) and I must confess that all these last three years I had been waiting for this dream eatery ‘Mamagoto’ to open up one branch in my city of joy!
So, about a couple of months back when I heard Mamagoto is opening up one branch in Kolkata, I was truly overjoyed and ecstatic like a kid, I texted few people about this great news and was waiting since that day to visit this place! My excitement got an extra topping when I received an invitation from the Mamagoto management and Communications 2.0 team for visiting this newly opened place for a bloggers meet over a scrumptious food tasting session, thanks guys for having me over… it was like a clichéd scene from any Bollywood song video were you are running towards your sweetheart and your beloved is also running towards you with an equal intensity and passion! 🙂
It feels great to welcome this chain to our city on its sixth anniversary year and Mamagoto while keeping its signature quirky décor gives this outlet a lovely touch of colonial era Kolkata but with a modern outlook. It’s always fun, laid back and bit quirky to be at Mamagoto and to devour their absolutely brilliant dishes. So it’s true to its name which means to play with food. It has been inspired by a Japanese experiment of sorts with the same name involving infants to use their senses to understand the shapes, tastes and textures of food. Like their other outlets, this place has also got a very warm, colorful and vibrant décor that really sets the ambiance for a perfect cozy fun Asian meal with your friends and loved ones.
Though I felt the 50 seater joint with 2190 square feet is not too spacious but still the tables are placed at an optimum position and gap right now to give some breathing space. Also I noticed they have provision for high chairs for toddlers which can really be helpful. The restaurant is spread across two floors that consists of vibrant and diverse signature Asian graphics designed exclusively for Mamagoto by Azure Hospitality’s creative Director Ms. Chetana. This eccentric and edgy décor creates the perfect setting for fun Asian eating experience. I just loved the look of this place which is inspired by grill work at the lighthouse and is an ode to the Calcutta memoir – the journey of the city from its past to its present. There is a bar counter that oozes eclectic vibe with its red color and the bar tenders’ and servers’ T-shirts bear quirky quotes like ‘Trying hard’, etc on their back. 🙂 Ground floor has few seating arrangements as well and houses old black and white tiles and bulbs placed on walls forming a halo kinda look with retro disco touch to it. Overall the upstairs has got most seating arrangements but mostly the place is very dimly lit that doesn’t allow good food photography. Also I was tad disappointed since during this bloggers meet I expected more discipline from this place which was missing, the place was not that big to accommodate so many bloggers all at the same time and the tables were not large enough to hold so many dishes together. The servers were serving dishes very quickly and we had to request them several times to slow down.
Anyway, now coming to the food let us first discuss a bit about the menu at Mamagoto which includes dishes that are principally of Asian origins and focuses primarily on local cuisines of Thailand, Japan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Burma. Quantities served per dishes are good enough for two-three persons depending on the type of the dish served. Here at Mamagoto they do not use MSG and that reflects in the quality of the food served.
To complement the amazing food, unique concoctions using fresh juices and ingredients are used for Mamagoto’s signature beverages. We were served a refreshing range of mocktails which includes Kiwi and Mint cooler which I absolutely loved that had real fruit extracts and a mild fizz to it. The Lemon zest lemonade had a dense kick of lime though it was a tad less impressive. Then we had Cranberry and kafir lime mocktail which was tad on the sweeter side. Among the appetizers, we were served Crispy lotus stem which I didn’t like since it was too salty and for my taste buds, it had lotus stem chopped finely and fried till they are very crispy, they were then tossed with burnt garlic and dried red chilies. The Hua Hin Highways rolls were nice on the other hand, it had a stuffing of cheese, lemongrass and crispy asparagus. Rock Shrimp Tempura proved to be an instant hit since people loved it the most, the baskets were being emptied in moments and juicy shrimps inside those crispy covers satiated the love for shrimps for many.
Then we devoured the Hot Basil Chicken cups, I am familiar to this dish since I already had it at Mamagoto (Gurgaon). Hot basil chicken cups are a must try, one plate has got eight awesome lettuce cups filled with chicken, crushed pepper and chili. Perfect appetizer for sure. Cheese and Truffle oil dumplings were oozing flavors, these were green in color and were stuffed with minced veggies and a bit cheese. The Chicken Gyoza are my absolute favorites, these are Japanese appetizers are look very similar to Tibetan momos. The stuffing of minced chicken and the typical subtle flavors of a Japanese dish won my heart! Java grilled tofu was served next where the tofu was marinated with Indonesian sambal and wrapped in banana leaf and then grilled. The grilled tofu was then served with sticky rice. Overall it had subtle flavors and the tofu was pretty soft and fresh. Java grilled fish came up next with a pretty similar appearance, here the fish fillet were grilled in banana leaves and served with sticky rice, in short it’s a gem of a dish! Both these are the delicacies from Robata grill (a Japanese form of coal fired barbeque cooking).
Next came salads, and first came the Snow peas and green bean salad which I didn’t like, the green beans were tossed with burnt garlic, onions and peanuts. The Thai chicken and water chestnut salad was good in terms of flavors and selection of ingredients, it had chicken, water chestnut, chilli strips, kafir lime, lemongrass and coconut. It can prove to be a nice appetizer especially for water chestnut lovers. Then came the dish which visually impressed me to a great extent for its greenish hue, it’s Stir fried pok choy with water chestnut. The pok choy leaves were nicely tossed and still had that crunch which was amazing.
Now, coming to the mains which were best of the lot for sure. I just loved the Chicken Masaman Curry which tasted amazing and authentic. It had the nice balance of coconut milk, fish sauce, sliced potatoes, sliced chicken, chopped onions, tamarind juice, Kaffir lime, galangal, etc. It tasted heavenly with that sticky rice. Next came the Chiang Mai Train station chicken noodles which was again very flavorful and was noodles in a soup. The gravy had the rice balance of coconut milk and was rightly dense; it had minced chicken and was topped with some crushed peanuts. The Steamed fish in green chilly sauce also was very impressive, where the fresh steamed fish was lightly coated with garlic sauce and green chilies, it was then topped with lettuce and fried onions, and tasted absolutely amazing. The London China Town Chicken was also a joy to savor; it had sliced juicy delicious chicken tossed with green beans in subtle ginger flavored sauce. The common Pad Thai Chicken did justice to its flavors and authenticity; it had the right proportion of lemongrass, coconut milk, galangal, crushed coriander roots and tasted good with some steamed rice.
The desserts were soon to follow and we were very full by this time! The Misti Doi Cheesecake was surely the star dessert, specially curated for their Kolkata branch launch. The aroma of Misti Doi was not that strong but the texture and the softness of the product was absolutely mind blowing, and it was truly baked to perfection. The other dessert was the Caramel sponge cake with toffee sauce which I had previously tasted at their Gurgaon outlet. It consisted of homemade American style chunky caramel sponge cake with toffee sauce served with vanilla ice cream. Overall, I liked both these desserts and I can happily conclude that this was a lovely meal and much as per my expectations. I would surely rate this place high, as high as 8.5 on a scale of 10.
Kabir Suri and Rahul Khanna, the directors of Azure Hospitality very well know the affinity of Kolkatans towards Chinese food and that we have grown up eating these, so they are aware that presenting these Pan Asian cuisines to the city dwellers would surely be an exhilarating prospect for them. They at Mamagoto continue to create an experience with personality for the people with personality, and a little bit of that crazy in us all. Hope the city dwellers will love these Pan Asian food bursting with global flavors and a cosmopolitan appeal. So, that’s it from my desk. Let’s quickly recap the important points in a jiffy:
Where: 24, Park Street, Kolkata
When: 12:30pm to 11:30pm
Cuisine: Asian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese
Reservation: Limited only
Parking: Yes, valet available
Cost for two: INR 1500
Seating Capacity: 50
Verdict: Rated it 8.5 out of 10, Must Visit!