Recently, Mamagoto celebrated their five-year anniversary, and I was invited to celebrate with them by dining at their Bandra outlet. On the menu, was a new range of Dumplings and Mantau (Chinese Bread). With open minds and empty stomachs, my cousin and I made our way through Bombay’s horrendous traffic for an 8:30pm dinner.
This was my first time eating at Mamagoto and I’d heard quite a lot about them – good things, which encouraged my appetite even more. Mamagoto’s menu is primarily Pan-Asian, affordable food set in a casual dining atmosphere. Apart from the dim lighting (which made taking photos of the food a real nightmare), I quite liked their quirky, pop art and decor. This special Dumpling and Mantau menu with a ‘Mamagoto Special’ twist, was launched to commemorate their anniversary.
To begin the meal, we were served a fresh Mango and Vodka cocktail – which was ideal, since it is the fruit of the season – and Thai Spiced Peanuts, which were a bit soggy but had a nice hint of lemongrass. Glancing through the new Dumpling and Mantau menu, a lot of the dishes seemed a little experimental, but I was nonetheless intrigued.
First up was the Chinese Chicken Puff – wok tossed minced chicken with aniseed, baked in a pastry. A rather weird combination to feature on a Pan-Asian Restaurant menu, but not bad to taste. Reminded me of those Chicken Chilly Puffs we would order from the canteen in school, as kids!
Traditional Peking Dumpling with chicken, dipped in soy, vinegar and red chillies was super. You really can’t go wrong with this classic combination of flavours!
Jungle Dumplings, with chive-infused shrimp topped with ginger, mint and soy sauce was palatable, but somehow lacking that punch of flavour one would expect from a ginger-soy sauce.
The Street Style Spicy Dumpling ticked all my boxes – stuffed with minced shrimp and chicken, steamed to perfection and topped with a true-to-its-name super hot chili ‘street style’ sambal sauce. My cousin found the chili-oil in the sauce a bit strong, but I loved the textures in it from the burnt garlic and chili.
Porky Apple Mantau Makeover was just not cutting it, for me. Despite being a steamed bread, the mantau was served cold and the filling of the shredded pork belly with caramelised chili infused apple was just a bit too tough and sweet. I also ended up accidentally biting into a large chink of star anise – which resulted in half my tongue bursting into flames. The menu jokingly referred to this dish being a dumpling version of a Yorkshire Pudding, but it wasn’t my cup of tea.
Old School Gyoza – yes, yes and yes. These pan-fried chicken dumplings with a spicy ‘momo’ sauce were probably my favourite dish of the night. Savoury, salty and spicy made for the perfect combination. I would have happily had a second round, but getting one round of food was a long-enough wait without making it two!
I’m not entirely sure how I felt about the Tokyo Metro Mantau. Crumb-crusted slivers of chicken with wasabi mayo and Japanese BBQ sauce on mantau bread sounded quite fulfilling, but ended up being slightly underwhelming. Crunchy with a kick from the sauces, the chicken was good but once again, the mantau was served cold. If it had been served steaming hot, I think that might have elevated the dish overall.
Lastly, the Mango Coconut Sago Pudding was served up in a martini glass for dessert. To our huge surprise, my cousin and I ended up relishing it down to the last spoonful. The balance was perfect – creamy mango, with a light essence of coconut and a bite delivered from the sago was the perfect way to end the meal!
Overall, this ceryainly wasn’t the best meal of dumplings I’ve ever had, and the mantau dishes unfortunately turned out not to live up to the expectations, but I would go back for the Gyoza, Street Style Dumplings and that delicious Mango Pudding!
For some unforseen reason, service that night was really slow – my guess is because the place was packed to the gills (even on a Wednesday night, mind you) – so we actually didn’t end up trying every single one of the new menu items, but we had a good time. The staff are very well-informed about the food, by the way – and even when some of the dishes looked too similar to differentiate, our server was able to determine which was which.
Mamagoto literally means, ‘to play with food’ and I think they’ve conveyed that ethos through this menu. With three outlets scattered across Bombay, be sure to make a reservation before you go!