Having established itself in New Delhi and Mumbai with eight outlets, the yellow door finally opened in Bangalore’s posh suburb – Indira Nagar. Mamagoto is a Japanese word and when literally translated means “to play with food”. It was a Japanese social experiment of sorts, involving infants to use their senses and understand the textures and shapes of food. Borne out of this idea was the Mamagoto concept – to make Asian eating fun, experiential and social. The place has a relaxed and casual atmosphere – the highlights being affordable Pan-Asian fusion food, plus drinks, combined with quirky decor.
Keeping in tune with the existing outlets Mamagoto Bangalore offers just as much in terms of their food and ambiance. Whether you come to dine, to enjoy a few drinks or to help work on your stomach, it is the new ‘in’ place to be.
We walked in through the yellow doors with stylish model and ad-film maker Mariam Begg and pretty jewellery designer Purvi Dhruv.
Mariam, born and bred in this beautiful city, has dabbled in modelling, jewellery design, photography and ad-film making. She’s passionate about what she does but is quick to state that she works to earn a comfortable living so that she can pursue her true passion – travelling. She loves scouring the globe in search of new adventure, old friends and good food.
Purvi Dhruv is one of Bangalore’s most sought-after jewellery designers. Her love for tradition, combined with her eye for fashion, reflect clearly in her stunning designs. She was recently featured on the popular show on TLC, Oh! My Gold, in their episode on Bangalore and its jewellery culture. Despite being a vegetarian Purvi is open to sampling new cuisines and was keen to check out the delights of this new restaurant.
It was an added bonus that our guests were old acquaintances – we were actually able to do just what they expect at the restaurant – relax over conversation, share a few laughs and enjoy some super food.
Mamagoto has created concoctions that they believe are not available elsewhere. Using fresh juices and ingredients where possible, a concise and yummy range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are on offer at incredible value. Fresh fruit cocktails such as the kiwi and mint Collins that graced our table, share the stage with house cocktails such as the Bangkok G&T.
The restaurant has been designed keeping in mind fun and colourful Asian designs that send your mind into visual paradise. The entire space has a loft like quality to it, keeping dining there casual, yet chic.
It worked in our favour that both our guests were fans of Pan-Asian cuisine. Both being avid travellers, Purvi and Mariam were happy to go through the extensive menu in detail before coming up with a list of dishes that they were eager to sample.
Delicate vegetable basil cups was the first dish to hit the table – little cups of lettuce were filled with minced shitake mushroom, zucchini and soya with bird’s eye chilli and hot basil. Then came a bowl of succulent prawn tempura served with a special chilli dipping sauce, along with a Som Tam or raw papaya salad and a unique Asian Summer salad made of fresh rocket, orange wedges, an oriental fungi and red chilli. The dressing for this brilliantly put together salad is a specially created soya infused balsamic concoction, the recipe of which the chef treasures.
More small plates followed with asparagus tossed in sweet soya and black and white sesame and some delicate vegetable spring rolls that Purvi, being a vegetarian specially enjoyed. Mariam, an avid foodie, tucked into Hunan Grilled Fish served on a bed of sticky rice with spinach and sesame salad.
Since Mariam was just recovering from about of flu, she was keen to try some hot laksa. The famous Chinese-Malay broth was brought to the table in heavy black stone-ware bowls, but lacked the punch that Mariam desired. Though the fragrant dish was filled with noodles, chunks of tofu and vegetables, the taste of kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass and galangal did not dominate the soup as they should.
For the main course the chef brought out dishes from his signature menu – stir-fried udon noodles, stir-fried pakchoy with water chestnuts and bamboo shoots and Mamagoto Goreng – nasi goreng with sambal and peanut sauce, chicken satay skewers and fried egg. We couldn’t stop tucking into the flavourful rice dish, so filled with its variety of spicy and savoury infusions that we nearly ended up finishing the entire bowl!
We had no space to fit in dessert and did only cursory justice to the crunchy nutella mousse that the chef insisted we try. We were loathing to rid our palette of the wonderful Asian flavours it retained that we just dipped our spoons into the slightly over-sweet hazelnut chocolate concoction before ending our meal.
Like owner Rahul Khanna says, “Steel shutters adorn the walls, antique windows make up the façade, signature graphics in faded canvas are hand painted over rugged bricks. The idea was to create a sub culture where creative minds interact in a space filled with a ready energy.” And that’s exactly what Mamagoto has given to this city that is a food-lover’s paradise.