Food Review: Ms. Maria & Mr. Singh Singapore | The Casual Mexican-Indian Restaurant By Chef Gaggan Anand
The Place Mention Chef Gaggan Anand and there is a certain level of interest from foodies due to his successful eponymous restaurant in Bangkok, which he had chosen to wind down at its peak. Fret not, there is now Ms. Maria & Mr. Singh Singapore, Chef Gaggan Anand’s latest venture in Bangkok that was first opened in March 2020, which just opened its first overseas outpost along Craig Road, Tanjong Pagar.
Ms. Maria & Mr. Singh Singapore is brought into Singapore from Bangkok in a collaboration between Chef Gaggan and The Proper Concepts Collective (behind brands like The Feather Blade and Goho). The interior of the restaurant is designed based of a fictitious story that reflects a love affair between a Mexican Girl, Ms. Maria and an Indian Boy, Mr. Singh.
The Food Expect some of their original hits in Bangkok, as well as new dishes specially created for Singapore. The menu features tapas and small plates starting from S$12 and the cuisine marries home-style Mexican and Indian cooking, categorised in five themes: Love At First Bite, I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing, I Need You Now, For Wedding And Maybe A Funeral and Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.
For a start, I had the complimentary bowl of crispy Mixed Chips (S$8 for each bowl thereafter) comprising sweet purple potato, sweet orange potato, yam, and yellow corn tortilla that is accompanied with four house-made dips (S$4 per dip thereafter) such as Pickled Mango, Chilli Cheese Sauce, Guacachutney and Pickled Baby Corn.
Next up was one of the greatest hits served at Gaggan Restaurant, Papdi Chaat (S$18). A bite-size snack with a yogurt explosion of flavours inspired by the popular Indian street food made with crisp fried puri, sweet and sour chutneys, yogurt and sev. This is quite a myriad of flavours in one go to start the meal!
The Cold Curry Ceviche (S$20) is surprisingly light and refreshing, not something I would expect of a curry dish. The cured scallops and crispy corn here is soaked in the classic South American leche de tigre marinade spiced with a touch of guacachutney.
Next up was the Truffle Quesadilla (S$28) where the flour tortilla is added with paneer masala, truffle paste and honey. You get a crispy quesadilla texture though the various elements like truffle are quite muted for me.
Another sharing plate I had was the Spicy Crunchy Okra (S$12) deep-fried in chickpea batter and served with chillies and pickled dip. Crispy bar bite here, though not too much to shout about in terms of flavour.
The Pork Vindaloo Tacos (S$17/2 pieces) showcases pulled pork in a Goan-style masala wrapped in a flour tortilla and it is layered with mozzarella cheese and pineapple salsa. Similar to the truffle quesadilla, I find the elements like cheese and salsa rather muted as I was expecting something more punchy.
On to the namesake Maria & Singh Fish Tacos (S$18/2 pieces) which comes with Barramundi fillet in perilla leaf tacos and in two different marinades – one in Ms. Maria’s marination and the other, a choice of Mr. Singh’s. It seems to be the style of the tacos here, but the fish fillet comes across as a tad too bland for me in terms of flavour.
Fortunately, my meal got better with the main act. I had Gaggan’s Crab Curry (S$32) which is a signature dish of Chef Gaggan since 2016/2017, a coconut and coriander-based curry dish with shallots, tomatoes, tamarind and crab meat. The spiciness is very mild though the curry itself is quite delicious.
The other curry dish I had was the Chicken Tikka Masala (S$14) where the chicken chunks are cooked in a spiced tomato and cream base curry.
The best way to enjoy the curry dishes are to have it with the Biryani which is available in a few variations – Surf & Turf (S$28) with mixed seasonal seafood and beef tongue; or the likes of meatless option of Morel Mushrooms (S$22).
I prefer the morel mushrooms biryani more than the surf & turf, which is good enough for me. The biryani is quite fragrant and not too greasy, perfect with the crab curry or chicken tikka masala curry.
For desserts, there are options like the Mango Yuzu Snowball (S$24) which is Chef Gaggan’s classic dessert from 2012, as seen on MasterChef Singapore comprising a mango yuzu base topped with white chocolate snow and chopped mangoes. It is a pleasant and citrusy taste for me, not too rich and quite a good balance after the curry dishes.
My meal ended with the Churros (S$16) with Dulce de leche ice cream and cardamom caramel. It sounds like sweetness overload but surprisingly, I find it quite well-balanced. The churros are delicious with a nice firm texture and the ice cream complements the churros well.
Rants The seating is way too cramped at the restaurant and the tables are also too small for comfort dining after a few dishes came at the same time.
Will I Return Again? Some hits and misses on the menu for me and generally, the more Indian-centric dishes like the curry and biryani fared better for me than the Mexican-inspired elements like the tacos. There is much hype about the Gaggan brand and if this is one restaurant you are curious to try regardless, manage your expectations.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 3/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 3/5
Ms. Maria and Mr. Singh Singapore
43 Craig Road
Tel: +65 9654 4351
Lunch: 12:00pm to 3:00pm (from Friday to Sunday)
Dinner: 6:00pm to 10:30pm (from Wednesday to Sunday)
Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays
Ranted by The Ranter