Mamagoto, the quirky, pan-asian cafe that arrived in Hyderabad towards the tail end of 2015 amidst much fanfare, has now opened its second outlet in the city. The new outlet is located at the heart of Cyberabad, near the Google office in Kondapur. Mamagoto literally means “to play with food”, and the restaurant proudly proclaims that nothing on their menu is authentic. Instead, everything they serve takes inspirations from the Asian flavours and offers its own twist. I’ve been to the Banjara Hills outlet multiple times and have returned happy. So I gladly accepted the invitation to come and experience what’s on offer at Kondapur.
The Kondapur outlet retains the characteristic quirky and vibrant vibe of Mamagoto. The ceiling is adorned with bright and eccentric paintings and pastel coloured lamps. I settled in at a corner seat, and began my meal with a Cucumber and Mint mix coolant. Although Mamagoto Kondapur is serving alcohol on select days, they still don’t have a permanent alcohol license and are making do with day licenses for the weekends. Thankfully, their bar nibbles are available everyday, because their Prawn Crackers with Sambal Dip is absolutely brilliant. These light, crunchy crackers are incredibly addictive and are a great way to kill some time while you’re waiting for your appetisers to arrive.
Mamagoto has launched a new ‘Creative Things to Eat’ initiative as a part of which it’ll be showcasing innovating ways to experience the familiar Asian flavours. The first promotion is called Tah-Kohs and offers soft-shelled Tacos with an Asian flavoured filling. The Tacos are offered in a choice of flavours like Smoky, Porky, Prawny, Craby, and Ducky. Regular readers of this blog must be familiar with my unabashed love for pork. Quite predictably, Porky was my first choice. Alas, I was told that the Porky flavour was not available. So, I picked Ducky, which promised crispy duck with plum sauce. Duck meat can be difficult to work with, and I’m often apprehensive about ordering it as many places get it wrong. But, Mamagoto delivered! The duck was beautifully cooked – soft and supple duck meat with a hint of crispiness that was doused in an absolutely delicious sweet plum sauce. Encouraged, I wanted to try another Taco – my eyes were set on Crab, however the staff recommended the Smoky – a smoked chicken, green chilly, and goat cheese stuffing served with Mamagoto’s own Taco sauce. Truth be told, the taco was nice. I enjoyed the filling, but Chicken itself failed to make much of an impression.
Mamagoto is known for its significant portion sizes, and since I only had a friend for company, I had to be careful about the quantity of food I ordered. After the Tak Kohs I requested a plate of dim sum followed by main course and dessert. The Prawn and Celery dumplings were quite simply amazing – bursting with flavours and just the right texture. For a dumpling lover like me, this dish alone is enough to make me want to keep coming back to Mamagoto. After the pleasant experience with the Ducky Tah Koh I was emboldened to order for more duck. For the main course, I selected Masaman Curry with Duck and Lichi. Masaman Curry, a unique fusion of culinary cultures, has long been one of my favourite dishes. This curry is prepared with Traditional Thai ingredients but also many Indian spices that were introduced to Thailand by Muslim traders. The duck in the curry was once again cooked absolutely brilliantly. Duck worked wonderfully in the Masaman curry. It is not as fatty or rich as mutton or lamb that is used in most Masaman curries across the city, yet it is more flavourful than Chicken. Be warned though, the Lichi adds a lot of sweetness to a gravy that already has coconut milk. The sweetness definitely felt a little unbalanced, but I still loved the gravy. I finished my meal with Mamagoto’s fabulous baked Cheesecake with Blueberry compote.
I was happy to see that even on a Monday evening Mamagoto was doing brisk business – most of the tables were occupied and the restaurant was buzzing. Service was great and the food came thick and fast. Everything I ordered was good, and some of the stuff was quite simply fabulous. Mamagoto’s own style of fun Asian definitely succeeded in chasing away the drudgery of a Monday. By my estimates, my meal for two would have cost around Rs. 3,500. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that duck is priced at a premium. In my experience, most meals at Mamagoto cost around Rs. 2500 for two.