Sunday, October 28, 2007

MAMOU

3 out of 5 stars

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These days, there are always touches of originality with most eateries that it is ordinary to be original. Be it the famously touted brick oven pizzas in A Taste of LA; the sole provider of chilled steaks in Red; the deli-turned-restos Terry's, Galileo and Mickey's; or the boho ambience of Cafe Juanita and Fat Michael’s…I’m not complaining, just observing. The food and wine industry in Manila has matured in leaps and bounds that establishments have started to carve their own distinctive niche in the industry.
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Enter Mamou. Named after the owner, Mamou Fores, also the brainchild behind Blue Kitchen, this place advertises down-home cooking. But of course, home cooking with a twist as value added. One may not realize this from the industrial feel of the place, but being the literate folk that we are, read it from the straightforward slogan of “a home kitchen.”

So what does Mamou offer anyway? You can’t really discern the cuisine. It’s a bit of this and that, a sort of mish-mosh of influences where I guess Mamou takes comfort in cooking. Perhaps these are her favorite dishes that she prepares in her home gatherings, but her taste must be pretty extensive considering what I was holding was the October Menu. I assume that since it is dated, she must revise this every month or quarter, to say the least. Please scan through the menu and give me your opinion on what binds the theme of these dishes together, if you’d like ☺

Dsc01284 We started with an appetizer of Truffle Oil Vegetable Mushroom Dip with Whole Wheat Melba Chips. It’s pretty good, though I was having bread overload since they already served us complimentary bread and butter. Before I go on to the dip, I liked the free whole wheat and white combo breadbasket that they give, especially when it’s served piping hot and freshly baked. As for the dip, Pao said that although it had a hint of truffles, it was too faint to give the dip that truffle punch that I love. Maybe it’s because they use oil and not shavings (which are really expensive anyways). But still, we finished every single bit of the dip while waiting for our main. Then and there, I realized two things: First, I’m not personally fond of melba chips, and second, I still prefer the spinach dip of Cibo. But that’s just me.
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Mom had half a serving of the Roast Pork and Chicken (345 PhP). It was citrus-rubbed chicken and pork that came with Spanish rice, a side of beans, grilled plantains and onions. I suggest getting the pork over the chicken. The chicken didn’t marinade as well, and it was somewhat dry. But the pork was juicy and soft, and really flavorful. There was nothing spectacular about each of the sidings per se, but they all blended beautifully with the roast pork. It had a Cuban feel with the plantains and the beans. Though maybe they should include grilling the onions with the plantains next time because the semi-raw onions were too pungent.

Dsc01288 Pao got the Native Duck with Red Chorizo Rice (395 PhP). The menu said that it came with steamed veggies and a chili plum sauce. The duck was, well….duck. You know what I mean. Ducks have that unique taste that wasn’t messed up by bad cooking. It was either pan or depp fried and it tasted well enough, but not spectacular. The red chorizo rice was the same Spanish rice, but had chorizos in it, so it was delicious. But I found it hilarious to think that their concept of steamed vegetables was a single steamed stem of bok choi on top of the chorizo rice!! And the Thai-inspired chili-plum sauce was probably just store-bought plum sauce and chili sauce combined in equal parts. Or at least that’s how it tasted to me, and I carry and use both sauces at home.

As for me, I had the Beer Batter Fish n’ Chips with Malt Vinegar (255 PhP). YouDsc01287 have several sides to choose from, but I chose fries, because that’s how one normally eats it anyway. The English-inspired Fish fillet tasted great, though I could never really discern if there was beer mixed in the batter. It tastes even better if you squeeze the lemon wedge provided on the fish. It came with two sauces, tartar or malt vinegar (where the latter came again, from a Borges bottle that the waiter hastily shook into my sauce bowl). I prefer the malt vinegar to the tartar sauce, as the tanginess somehow matches with the neutral taste of the fish.

Over-all, Mamou is okay. To be honest, I find the hype (i.e. resto to celebrities and politicians) overrated, and I’d go back to this place only if I happened to be in Serendra (like Chelsea). To weigh the pros and the cons: The cons would be the cramped spaces, long waits if one doesn’t reserve during the peak hours, the mismatched industrial chic ambiance and the less-than-generous servings of food. The pros would be the eclectic food flavors and a good play of ingredients in a dish. Oh, and the frozen Mamou iced tea is better than its unfrozen counterpart, only that the latter has one free refill. Now, that’s a pros and cons debate all unto itself!

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Mamou - a home kitchen
Unit 1C-15 Ground Flr., Serendra
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
(63-2) 8563569

*Be sure to reserve before dining. It gets pretty packed sometimes.


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

In Mamou you don't order anything except for the prime beef ribeye 2 inch thick, crusty on the outside and juicy and fatty on the inside. Just be ready to empty you wallets.

Anonymous said...

yup i agree w anonymos.. you gotta have the steak.... you didnt order the best thing ;)

Anonymous said...

AGREE! The only thing worth eating is the steak! It's amazing!

graey eats said...

for all three: my friend told me that they get their meats just from meat plus (their family owns it), then season it with just pepper and salt then grill it.

But I have heard about their steaks, and the pictures do look nnice, so I'll do that next time :)

Lukinda Skye said...

but that's just how you really cook steak and not smother it with sauce so you can really have a taste of the meat first.

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