No playing with food

Powerpuff girls on the walls, innovative dishes on the table. Delhi's Mamagoto seems to have cracked the magic formula of getting diners back again and again.

     Print Edition: June 27, 2010

It's almost five months since Mamagoto opened, but the crowds just refuse to go away. It's 1 pm on a hot, sweaty Thursday, and tables are still hard to come by at the Asian eatery that's become the new go-to place in Khan Market. Young couples looking for fun dining options, dapper lunchers, families with grandmas in tow, bohochic mamas, corporates... you'll find them all at Mamagoto.

The most reassuring part for young owners Rahul Khanna and Kabir Suri is after their first visit, almost every diner comes back again, and again and again. The location and cheery ambience (think bright yellow and green d├ęcor and quirky Japanese graphics) might help, but I'd say it's the culinary offerings that've got people hooked. Food consultant Jayawanti Duggal and her band of chefs in the open kitchen have got the dishes down near perfect.

On the third, fourth, even fifth try, the food tastes just as good. I'd recommend starting with Spicy Fried Calamari and the ideal-forsummer Snow Peas and Green Bean Salad. The Water Chestnut Spring Rolls are another interesting option. I'm told the Hot Basil Chicken Cups have many fans but I'm not one of them. The fish with Japanese sambal flavours from the Robata Grill is tiny-portioned but exquisite and the taste lingers long after you've left the restaurant.

Other musttries include Soggy Thai Basil Chicken fried rice and the khao suey-like Chiang Mai train station noodles (available in both veg and chicken) options. Finish up with Hazelnut and Chocolate mousse cake and/or the Hot Fudgy Brownie with Vanilla ice cream. Till the bar licence arrived, most people seemed happy washing down their food with Wasabi Mary (Virgin Mary given life with wasabi) and Kiwi and Mint Collins (freshly muddled kiwi with mint and lime, topped with soda).

But now, the booze is flowing. It isn't exactly cheap with Breezers going for Rs 185, and vodkas ranging from Rs 175 to Rs 350, but that isn't stopping anybody. Beers cost Rs 150 to Rs 350 while a JD can be had for Rs 395 (taxes extra, of course). The smiles and attentive service are free-well, almost. At: 53 Middle Lane, Khan Market. Meal for two: Rs 1100 plus taxes (sans drinks). Open from noon to 11 pm.

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