Mamagoto — means "to play with food" and literally in the context of Japanese dining system for kids where they play around to understand the food by its texture and shape.  Inspired by this Mamagoto opens up the pan-Asian outlet to experiment with the traditional Asian cuisine dishes and bring the fun factor into the dining experience. I have already been on the opening times of their Banjara hills outlet where I was invited to review the place and it mighty impressed me with a huge menu and many a hit than a few a misses. This outlet coming bang on time when restuarants are opening left and right and spot on the location of buzzing kondapur IT sector area - a much needed entrant and I should say they have come with all gears prepared. The place on entering, gives a fun-element of vibrant paintings usually in the walls now hanged up in the ceilings which by itself is different and in this case plays really well with the Chinese vibrant colors all over. The spacing I should say is similar to banjara hills but the same issue happens as not enough place to move around when crowded or busy.

Note: This review experience is based on Management Invite and was on the house & review shared is honest and unbiased in the interest of fellow readers and foodies.

       Invited to review their offerings as part of tasting session on the house, we got into their busiest time slot of Friday Lunch and I should say , they were jam packed for their anti-buffet which is now their USP to bring in buffet twist by having live cooked food in buffet offering style. We were a pack of 10+ so they decided to do their entire anti-buffet offerings served in our tables to avoid delay in ordering and by end of the meal, I think this was the best decision as the menu itself was so huge.

         We started off with variety of mocktails including Passion Fruit Collins, Blueberry cooler, Lemon zest & Mint lemonade, Fresh coconut orange infusion, Watermelon Beach, Cranberry Gola and Bloody Mary twist. Among them few impressed me including Orange Coconut infusion which has typical tender coconut infused with mild orange juice which was right on spot without dominating the coconut flavor. Watermelon Beach was spot on sugar level and for a summer day, you would want to marry this. Finally Bloody Mary Twist which was much like typical bloody Mary but different in the mix ratios and tasted sour and brilliant. Was a complete palate cleanser. Others were good but weren't WOW.

              Since it was a set menu, waiter had no issues to keep dishing the starters back to back but what turned out it was filing our tables in no time and we had to explicitly ask them to slow down as food would turn up cold and we cannot really relish them in it true temperature. For a change, I will start with veg starters as they impressed me equally as meat dishes.

               Crispy Lotus Stems is more of their signature dish as very few places experiment this ingredient and I remember my experience of this dish in their Banjara hills outlet. This was super good crunchy, a bit dry and with the spring onions and red chilies, the right amount of flavor hit us splendidly. Hua Hin Highway Rolls which are your traditional veg rolls expect they were stuffed with cheese and asparagus in it and it surprised and made me go WOW Absolutely delightful with the sambal sauce- MUST TRY.

                Cheesy Tacos is one dish which is quite interesting to see a pan-Asian dish taking a Mexican makeover and for a change worked. The cheese balls on bite just oozed cheese and the soft tacos along with fried banana chips, made it go WOW - MUST TRY. Then came Java grilled Tofu which is banana leaf wrapped and boiled tofu served with sticky rice and sambal sauce. Tofu was cooked perfectly but unfortunately it didn't marry well with the abundance of sambal with which it was cooked and it couldn't soak in the spicy essence but dish didn't disappoint me either.

            On the non-veg starter fanfare, Basil Chicken Cups, minced chicken served along with cooked basil leaves on lettuce wrap cups was good and flavorful but I would need strong flavored on the minced chicken. With the sauce, it was quite good. Chicken Gyoza traditional chicken dumplings fried than regular boiled versions floating in soy and sweet chili sauce. This one was very good and with the apt temperature on the dumpling coatings, we gulped them in no time - MUST TRY.

             This chicken dish Smokey Chicken Tacos mighty impressed me in the cook on the chicken with right amount of smokiness and the char feeling but not yet deep smoked and with splendid sauce. The radish slice along with the tacos gave the crunch needed and the whole dish came together splendidly well - MUST TRY. This fish variant Java Grilled Fish did impress as the Basa fish sucked in all the spice levels from the sambal from which it was cooked wrapped up in banana leaf. The fish was almost falling off forks and with the spicy sambal sauce, I was class. The accompanying sticky rice and sambal was something that I loved and cleaned it in no time.

   Among all the above starters, two dishes one from veg and another from non-veg mighty impressed me . From the veg section, Cheese & Truffle Oil Dumplings - MUST TRY.Size wise the dish looks small and not so filling, take one bite with the cheese bed on which they are structured and you are bound to get an explosion of fine flavors and make you go instant WOW. The dish sizing may be small but flavor were dominant and clear, On the other hand, Rock Shrimp Tempura, traditional butter batter fried prawns , with chilli powder drizzling was the most comforting snacks you can taste and with the accompanying sweet and chilli sauce, it was absolutely lip smacking - MUST TRY.

     The starters which were overall pretty impressive stuffed us to the rim but no main course hasn't even peeped yet and we were in no time filled with their main entrée`s.

      We were served London China Chicken, Steamed Fish in Green chilly sauce and Prawn Three pepper Bomb. London China chicken is your traditional Asian style curry chicken more on Manchurian style and it was good but lacked any WOW Factor on its plain appeal. Fish on the other hand was a no pick for me as the backed fish lacked any big seasoning even with that green chilly sauce and sprinkled fried onion and lettuce. The dish was the blandest of all. Prawn Three pepper Bomb was my pick amongst the three as I love prawns and the pepper flavor in them married well though the dish has nothing unique about it but packed flavor for me. 

     Not stopping the dishes coming in, we were then served my all time favourite in Mamagoto - Chiang Mai Train Station Noodles which is their adapted Khow Soey with the rich brothy noodles floating in coconut milk along with crushed peanut and other condiments - MUST TRY. Next came in Pad Thai Chicken Noodles & Chicken Masaman Curry . Both dishes were excellent and the masaman curry with the sticky rice impressed me big time. Pad Thai could have been better on the sauce levels but none the less the crunch from bean sprouts and peanuts along with perfectly cooked chicken made the dish justifiable to any palate.

     No meal mainly if its lunch is not complete without desserts even though you are even filled to almost to be exploded lol. Steward Shakti literally forced us to try their two dessert options - Blueberry Cheese Cake & Caramel Sponge Cake with toffee sauce. Blueberry cheese cake gave the most required cooling factor after that hot & spicy array of dishes and the cheese layering was rich but there are many places u get par this dish but none the less, worthy for trying. Caramel Sponge Cake on the other hand impressed me again, the rich spongy caramel pastry with the hot and guey toffee sauce and chilled vanilla ice cream does make your meal a complete one on a sweeter note. The marriage was heavenly and result outstanding and even with a more than full meal experience, we cleaned the plates.

Service & Hospitality:

            Mr. Amit Agarwal from Communications 2.0 in charge of PR for Claridges was there to ensure things fell in place and with able monitoring by Mr. Satya Dixit , Manager In-Charge and his team ensured dishes kept flowing into our tables though we were almost 15 member group. But initially it went too fast that by the time we clicked picks, the tables were overflowing with food but then on request, it was slowed down and pace was maintained. I personally want to appreciate and highlight Steward Sakthi who took care of food service without  a break for 2+ hour for us and ensured we heard the dish name, waited till all N clicks happened and then patiently served food all with smiles. SPECIAL MENTION to their management. I think they got the service department all sorted out to handle the mad crowd due to it location and price offerings.

Verdict:

    Mamagoto with its anti-buffet offering and also introducing a new range of dishes from their old menu, has again impressed to make the pan-Asian cuisine stay as authentic as possible and at the same time appeal to the masses of Hyderabad palate. There is a deviation from 100% authenticity but it for the easy adaption of this nizam crowd to love it. I was also impressed to see their Soft Taco Festival running up and that's an interesting combination of cuisines to try for and I will be going for the same. So Mamagoto like its Banjara hills peer delivers and keeps it consistent. I hope they also innovate more authentic dishes as there are quite a handful of pan-Asian places in Hyderabad now that options are everywhere.

Note: This review experience is based on Management Invite and was on the house & review shared is honest and unbiased in the interest of fellow readers and foodies.

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