MAMA SAN – HONG KONG

Posted by on Mar 29, 2015 in FOOD | 3 Comments

I met up with two galpals of mine who I met a few years ago in Hong Kong.

J still lives in HK and L is currently living in NYC. L was in town for a couple of weeks and so there was no question about it, the three of us had to reunite! After not seeing each other for a few years, I was a tad worried about seeing them again – Have they changed? Will the conversation flow? Are we still going to connect as much as we used to? Etc etc. Well, all of these doubts quickly evapourated the instant we sat down at our chosen spot and gabbed about what’s been happening in each of our lives – it is as if time has not passed at all.

DSC00284The venue of choice was Mama San. Having been to their branch in Bali and remembering how awesome my dining experience was, I was excited to see if they have successfully brought their Balinese charm over to Hong Kong.

Mama San is one of those places where you can relax, have a good catch-up with friends, celebrate your birthday with loved ones, or even conduct a casual business meeting over some good quality and inexpensive food in an edgy colonial Shanghai in the 1920s meets industrial-esque style of surrounding. This was the perfect venue for our intimate three-way rendezvous.

We went straight to ordering mains as our tummies were grumbling to each other, signaling us to stop talking for a second and order some grub!

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DSC00289I went for a superbly delicious stir fried beef flat rice noodles with chilli garlic, tatsu leaf, egg and Thai sauce. Man oh man, this was crazy yummers! A combination of cooked-to-tenderness-perfection beef slices, smooth chewy noodles, crunchy baby corns, all mixed together in a sweet tamarind-like sauce. I am telling you, the sauce was heavenly!

J chose a dish that, in recent years, has become a firm member on my list of favourite dishes from around the world, Pad Thai. Mama San‘s Pad Thai consists of rice noodles, prawns, dried shrimps, garlic, chives, bean sprouts and my personal fave bits, tofu and crushed peanuts. Having ordered this before when I visited their branch in Bali, I can safely say that J picked a winner. So good that she finished the entire plate in a zap! Girl power!

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DSC00293When we were looking through their menu, L mentioned that she really loves green curries. So, it was a no brainer for her when she saw this dish on the list. Her choice of main was a green chicken curry, served with baby corn, coconut, eggplant and Thai basil. Along with this, she also ordered a bowl of steamed rice that was sprinkled with dried shallots. She got so excited eating her main, she got a little curried away!

I honestly don’t know how we did it, but we managed to multitask like champs by eating and talking simultaneously! I know, I know, I believe this is a gift that God has given especially for us girls for times such as this 😉

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DSC00295And before we know it, our empty plates were collected, our table wiped from the mess we’ve made (not saying any names) and dessert menus were presented in front of us. After a few oohs and aahhs as we looked through the list, we made our choices and called for ze waiter.

DSC00301J opted for a double espresso as her after-meal refreshment – God knows why she chose to have this much caffeine so late in the eve, the crazy gal!

L went for a sophisticated and decadent turmeric poached pear with pandan, star anise and pistachio milk jelly. One word I would use to describe this pudding, AMAZEBALLS! Everything from the soft tofu-like texture of the pudding complete with its exotic yet subtle spiced flavour, the delicious soaked pear and refreshingly sweet ice-cream. A dessert that may look and sound sickly sweet was in fact a combination made in Asian dessert heaven!

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DSC00307I would say I had dessert envy but my dessert was not short of a success in its own right! My pud was a glass of cookies & cream, on top of white chocolate mousse and served with ice cream & berries. I’m actually not a fan of eating white chocolate on its own as I find it too sweet (I’m a dark choc kinda girl) but for some reason, I am okay to eat or drink it when it is used to flavour a food or beverage – just like this one! The combination of flavours coming from the velvety mousse, sour coulis and berries, crunchy cookie bites and a nice cold ice-cream to balance it all up was perfect. This was just what I needed after my carb-heavy main.

And to share, we had Mama San‘s highly popular lemongrass panacotta with cucumber and lime jelly served with a citrus, lemon and basil sorbet. Now, I really hate to go against the crowd and I know this is going to be controversial, but I have to be honest and say that I wasn’t really blown away by this dessert. After a flavourful main and dessert, the taste that I got from this dessert just did not blend well and did not stand out. It is supposed to be a refreshing number and almost mojito-like that cleans the palate. This dessert has gotten gazillions of awesome reviews so perhaps my palate was off that eve? or maybe I should’ve tried this dessert before my cookies & cream one? With so many good reviews, why did I not get the same experience that everyone’s talking about? Mama San, this is not over and this is not my definitive review on this dish. I will definitely be back and I will give this pudding a go for the second time.

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Until next time, Mama San!

For now, thank you for being an amazing host to an amazing reunion with two amazing girls.
It was an a-Mama-zing night!

All my ,

Amanda