Life is too short, Eat dessert first
Mamagoto. What a fun name! Its literal translation is ‘to play with food’; a Japanese social experiment of sorts, involving infants to use their senses to understand the textures and shape of food. Indeed, a playful atmosphere is created by the kaleidoscopic set of imagery that is omnipresent in the restaurant. The illustrations on the walls to the detailing on the cushions really set up a very young first impression in your mind, which is full of energy and enthusiasm. The range of colours used is very wide, yet it does not hurt the eye. Therefore the flamboyant ambience of the place is definitely its unique selling point and is worthy of a 9/10 rating.
Seeing the paucity of authentic oriental cuisine restaurants, and exploiting the same as a lucrative opportunity, childhood friends, Kabir Suri and Rahul Khanna, the co-owners of Mamagoto, have made the idea become a real brand in no time. Mamagoto started its fruitful journey from its most popular branch located in Khan Market, in 2010, and has expanded since not just in NCR, but also has set foot in Mumbai. The restaurant was the first of its kind in terms of attractive and affordable destinations that could compete with the high-end long standing options of Taj and ITC Maurya. The menu is a fine blend of contemporary Thai and Japanese, with some original twists.
This particular dessert property that we went to review is called ‘Mama’s Sweet Spot’. The 4 desserts that we tasted are as follows:
Smoking Panda’s Lemon and Coconut Tart
Undoubtedly the best out of the four, it is an invention of Mamagoto. Its presentation is quite unique and the taste is unlike that of the standard desserts that are so popular in the market. Flakes of coconut whipped with lime, warm and crusty! The breakfast sugar seen in the corresponding picture has been removed from the dish now. Sourness and sweetness are balanced in an appropriate ratio, resulting in a one of its kind, pleasurable experience. The taste of coconut is carefully monitored, thereby preventing it from being overpowering. The outer layer is very crisp. Coconut flakes placed around the dish give it a beautiful appearance. It is definitely recommended to those who like to experiment with tastes.
Country Style Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Peanut butter and brown sugar set with chocolate and cream. This dessert consists of 3 layers. The top layer is that of chocolate; the middle and bottom layers contain peanut butter, crackers, assorted butter, different types of cheese and almond essence. The bottom layer is harder and has a stronger flavour of peanut butter as compared to the middle one. Slicing the cheesecake vertically and then having it would make you realise how the taste of chocolate is lost, how it is engulfed in the peanut butter taste of the second and third layers, thereby making it almost non-existent. With consequent bites, the peanut butter taste grows stronger .All this results in a bit of disappointment for the customer as there’s not much speciality in this dessert for which he’ll be willing to pay about Rs 250. However peanut butter lovers will like this dessert for sure.
Crunchy Nutella Mousse
As the name describes, the dessert is a blend of ingredients mingled in three layers, comprising of classic nutella hazelnut and chocolate sauce with biscuit crumbs and praline. Presented in a bowl, with nuts sprinkled on top, encompassing bifurcation of the three layers, easily visible to the eyes, the dessert tastes surprisingly salty in the first bite. However, as one moves on to finish the first layer, and pulls out a major chunk of the second layer, which is predominantly nutella, the dessert turns “too sweet” for the taste buds. The top most layer, boasting to be crunchy, loses its aura as it amalgamates with the nutella portion in the adjacent layer. But again, the astonishing part is the third layer, which also is in the same amount of contact with the second layer as the first one, remains as crunchy to the expectations of the brawling menu card. Having fiddled in with the intrinsic details of the constituents, the dessert includes within itself Amul milk chocolate, Philadelphia cheese, cracker, dry nuts and predominantly the before mentioned ingredients. . The dessert is undoubtedly a change from the routine affair that you’ll come across in various places, giving a somewhat justification to the unique conceptualized sweet eats, introduced by Mamagoto. However, if asked to choose among the four options when I visit again, this wouldn’t be topping my cloying craving, for the price portrayed doesn’t seem economical with the quantity offered.
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Soft, smooth and dwindling as you take a bite, within seconds, like a molten lava cake. Yes that’s the classic chocolate brownie winner for you! A necessity that every bakery showcases, this dessert is definite yes for those who like to play safe when it comes to relinquishing their taste buds. Chocolate brownie cake sprinkled with chocolate chips, is a classic favorite, enjoyed by all. However, to add a bit of difference to it, a scoop of ice cream, chocolate leaves (as portrayed in the picture) or whipped cream can be included. The price, being not justifiable to the quantity offered, could be reduced catering to the simplicity and normality in taste. Overall, the cake does taste flawless, if not flourless!
Apart from the desserts, we also tasted few of their starters and mocktails. Both starters, Bite Size Corn Fritter Balls and Hot Basil Chicken Cups were a class apart. Hot Basil Chicken Cups is a masterpiece pulled off in a blend of lettuce, bird eye’s chili and crushed pepper, is a non-veg starter to die for. The decoration is beautiful and unique in the form of cups cut out of lettuce and stuffed with a delicious mix of the aforesaid ingredients, on the spicy side though, but with a unique crunchy feel to it. Bite Size Corn Fritter Balls, the vegetarian starter was an absolute delight, with the crisp outer layer of the corn balls and an array of droolworthy sauces/dips that came along with it. The quantity was good, more than what is normally expected of a starter. Our joy was further enhanced by the accompanying mocktails, ‘Kiwi+Mint Collins’ and ‘Watermelon Beach’, to name a couple. The colour of both the mocktails was gorgeous and very attractive. Refreshing, delicious and of suitable quantity, the mocktails are sure to leave you in a state of ecstasy.
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So Mamagoto is a fun place for sure; even though the desserts disappointed us at some level, the amazing starters and mocktails more than made up for them. They are going to launch 4 new desserts in the coming time and surely the launch is awaited by us!
Ayushi Teotia and Gopal Seth,Foodie Correspondents