The guest has not been visiting.
We shared many a good time together. We were best of friends.
Was it the dreadful good food drought? Or some shitty things I said?
Or simply because life's been too hectic recently?
I was expecting the sounds of Nina Simone or Edith Piaf but what instead that filled the room was...Jamie Cullum. This Nagoya-based French restaurant has been the talk of the town for quite sometime now. The main decorative piece was the alluring sense of romanticism, complete with cosy seats and charming tableware. Jamie aside, the perfect soundtrack would have been soft, sensual whispers and seductive laughters.
Doteni hamburger. A perfectly minced beef patty with chopped onions. The meat was sweet, smooth and exuded a warm scent of beef. It came with a sunny side up egg...and its rich and smooth yolk. Break it, dip in a bite-size piece of the patty, allow it to dance in your mouth and let your senses take you over. There was also the sauce. The lustful sauce that tasted like a heavy reduction of burgundy...only stronger. Who would have thought that it was actually a red miso bean (doteni) stew. Sweet, salty, creamy. I peaked. And you've always thought of trading-in your humble Toyota for a Renault. Did I also mention the stew came with pieces of soft beef tendons?
Paella. Not French but absolutely well done, Japanese-style. With an array of seafood, including mussels, prawns and clams, the rice was flavoursome with a hint of freshness from the sea. Let's dirty talk about the rice. It was fluffy and well-cooked. Moisture content was just right. The guest never enjoyed the lumpy ones. A gorgeous yellow meant there was a nice touch of saffron. What it lacked was a simple addition of vegetables for more flavours and bites.
Cuttlefish Ink Spaghetti. Aromatic, it was. With a touch of savouriness. All thanks to a luscious coating of ink on the spaghetti. Extra oil gave a certain smoothness to the pasta while the onion slices added sweetness and crunch. Delectably simple. Still, rest assure dear Hokkien Mee. For you are still the best, and always will be.
There's something subtly different about Japanese-styled western dishes. Perhaps it's more refined. Or the use of exotic ingredients that are not available at your nearest Carrefour. It still remains as a mystery to us all. Like how good Japanese girls look with their blonde dyes and made-in-Paris Chanels.
The guest called. Here, at Ma Maison, my house.
DOTENI hamburger: S$19.80
Cuttlefish Ink Spaghetti: S$15.90
Ma Maison Restaurant
6 Eu Tong Sen St
@ CENTRAL #03-96
Tel: (+65) 6327 8122
Your kohi, my coffee.
And we were never lost in translation.