The Capital does have its fair share of restaurants offering pan-Asian cuisine, but with the recently launched Mai Bao, the city can boast of offering authentic Singaporean cuisines as well
The casual dining restaurant is decked in pastel colours, giving it a pleasant vibe. In keeping with this theme, their extensive menu is coloured the same. The wide and diverse culinary offerings of Singapore finds a place in their menu.
Right from their street food to their regular staples, one can get a taste of true Singapore flavours in their carefully crafted menu.
We started with the Crispy Chicken Salad. The pumpkin salad with crispy chicken, has a sweet and sour dressing and perhaps nothing like a regular salad you expect. The crunchiness of the chicken added with the hot and sweet sauce makes it almost addictive.
Trying something more traditional we went with their Prawn Laksa, one can also try this in their vegetarian variant. The thick creamy and spicy coconut broth with thick rice noodles is served with a platter of toppings that you can choose for yourself. This one surprised us with its spicy quotient. The rich coconut flavour goes well with this spiciness and makes for quite a filling dish.
This was followed by their Ayam Goreng, a Malay style fried chicken with crispy berempah spices. The taste of the chicken was accentuated with the spice which is a thick flavourful paste of ginger, turmeric, lemongrass and a whole lot of spices.
To take a break, we ordered Vanilla Cinnamon bubble tea and Mai Bao spirits. Their beverage menu consists of coolers, bubble teas all with a touch of regional flavours. While the bubble tea has a mild sweetness to it, the Mai Bao spirit has a strong punch to it. It serves as a good break from the food.
How could we stay away from dumplings? Going back to eating we were served Chicken Shanghai Dumplings. It was just the right amount of juicy and had the right amount of crispiness to it.
Going with what they are named after, we decided to try their Baos. We first tried their Duck Bao served in Hoisin sauce. The closed bao is flavourful and has the right amount of sauce. We also tried their Creamy Mushroom Shen Jian Bao, which true to its name was very creamy.
The highlight of the day was their authentic Nasi Lemak. The steamed coconut rice served with malay-style fried chicken, sunny side up, crispy anchovies, peanuts and sweet sambal – it’s a meal in itself. This fragrant rice dish is a total winner. With a mix of different flavours, what stood out in all their food was the overpowering taste of coconut.
This stood true for the next few dishes we tried and also the desserts that followed.
The Lamb Rendang with Blue Pea Rice also had a spiced coconut cream based curry. The braised lamb, however, gives it a different taste, cutting out the familiar taste of coconut.
Done with all that rice, we ended our main course with their Five Spice Tofu – battered deep-fried tofu cubes tossed with garlic and white pepper dressing. This one is rich in flavours and a perfect munching for tofu lovers.
The desserts, despite being coconut-based, were still a delightful surprise. The Mai Coconut looked delectable as it was served in a coconut-shaped shell filled with coconut mousse. This was topped with passion fruit puree and coconut dust. It was all a gooey sweet affair.
We ended the dinner with Mai Marshmallow, which was a buttery biscuit layered with coconut mousse and marshmallow.
Review done on invitation
Address: Mai Bao, DLF Avenue Mall, Saket