Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ma Maison @ CENTRAL

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.

My joy.


-----------------

Price:
DOTENI hamburger: S$19.80
Paella: S$23.80
Cuttlefish Ink Spaghetti: S$15.90

Ma Maison Restaurant
6 Eu Tong Sen St
@ CENTRAL #03-96
Singapore 059817
Tel: (+65) 6327 8122
Website: http://www.ma-maison.co.jp


Your kohi, my coffee.
And we were never lost in translation.

26 comments:

CUMI & CIKI said...

id gv my arm(and a leg) for that doteni burger! Thought I haven't eaten it.. i can imagine sinking my jaws into the likes of it.. love the ink spaghetti... (black is indeed boootiful)... lol..

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

u knw ar..every review u done is in conjunction with xlb..what is with you two ar?? hmmmmm...

Jason said...

*Giggles over Joe's comment

So now you've been influenced by XLB to eat all Nihon-ese or you are an Nihon-ese all these time? :)

fatboybakes said...

for a briefffffffff moment there, i thought, oh? no jap? (as opposed to OH NO! JAP (again)) how odd, rechecks blog title..yup, korek site, ....aiyaaaa, then read oridi, JAP influenced western food. the food, i have to stay, looks stunning though. i honestly dunno what the big hoo ha is about squid ink pasta...

Nic (KHKL) said...

cumi & ciki, looks like there's another reason to head down to singapore, eh? besides the McGriddle, of course..haha! love the burger! errr, ma maison's i mean...hehehe

joe, aiyoh, no lar. actually hor, this is quite metaphoric one. "The guest" is actually joy. My joy. I've not had a good meal in a looong time, with reasons stated in the first para. so, Ma Maison was the place where i found joy again lar...cos the food was good..hehehe

jason, love that word, Nihonese..hehe..no lar, this month is special because it's the month for cherry blossom viewing in japan...and i really loved it. so, i decided to post all things J this month to celebrate the rebirth of my Ohana-chan lor..hehe...

fatboybakes, yeah, i can imagine ppl going OH NO! JAP (again)..haha! 2 more J-posts and will be back to normal programming in May. but the shiok sendiri elements will still be there lar...

ya, agree. i mean, i enjoy the taste and aroma of the ink pasta but clearly, the champion is still hokkien mee (or ckt), imho. thanks to the lardy lardy and soya sauce!

KampungboyCitygal said...

jap + french..
jap = expensive (eq. 1)
french = expensive (eq. 2)
jap + french = expensive ^ 2
why my math so good one? :D

ling239 said...

Cuttlefish Ink Spaghetti... look so black ~ >.<"
yet to sink my teeth into these squid ink thingy like the spaghetti and the bread...eeeeee

Hazza said...

Prices absolutely shocking! Well, maybe having western food in the east has its drawbacks, just like having asian food in the west.

Xiu Long Bao said...

ei, why your pix so similar to mine one.

Big Boys Oven said...

oh I must try to make paella, when will you be back, drop by for donner ok?

JOjo said...

Muahaha... *giggle at Joe's Comment*

The pic for the burger was well taken, very pretty!!! And uses miso bean? INteresting!

Hope u r coping well with your exam. I did but i almost felt like drowning myself for my last core paper =p

After your exam let's go makan-makan jalan-jalan tgt w XLB?

Camemberu said...

Wow, your Ma Maison photos look good! Which camera did you use? I haven't been to the Ma Maison at Central, but the Bugis branch is soooo DIMLY lit, it's nearly impossible to take photos! You did great here!

team bsg said...

the dark sinister potent platefuls of brown yellow and long lusty blacks would have definitely stirred up & totally unleash yr penth-up ravenous appetite to a level not seen since many years back when you first step foot upon the little gastronomic metropolis down south, hokkian mee notwithstanding

Jackson said...

hehe...i try this place 2 days ago in Bugis Junction

Nic (KHKL) said...

kampungboycitygal,
jap+french= 2(expensive)
not (expensive)^2 leh...hehehe...
but i agree lah, it's kinda on the expensive side...next time u come to sg, we explore Central, ok? :)

ling239, hehehe...ya, it's really black...put hokkien mee's black to brown...but tasted nice...salty and with a bit of charred aroma :)

hazza, i agree...but i guess we pay a premium for rarity...gosh, you have just reminded me of a RM6 yau char kway (fried fritter) in Kobe! Horrors..haha!

xiu long bao...ya lor, why ar? Maybe perhaps ALLLLL the pics where taken by ONE, yes, ONE person lar hor? hehehe...still thinking of my doteni la...

big boys oven, oh..sounds good!!! thanks!!! cant wait to get back to KL....i bring over some wine (since my cooking is really bad)...hehe...

jojo, thanks! yeah, a few more days to go and seems like i'm still not prepared yet...haiz...i'm sure you did well, girl ;>

yupe, let's go jalan-jalan cari makan wtih XLB when the exam's over! yay!

camemberu, thanks! i'm using Nikon D40X..with kit lens. yeah, read that you wanna get one, right? i heard Canon 450D comes with a live viewfinder!!! fantastic! wait for Comex 2008. better offer, i think.

oh, ma maison is dark indeed. i was lucky to get a table with a lamp :)

team bsg, indeed...just when i thought life was all about brunettes, blondes, and reds, came a hybrid that was not seen as me as a young innocent boy before down south. fair, aromatic, golden...but somehow, affairs like these made my love for hokkien mee grew more and more.

jackson, aiyah, why never call me??? oh ya hor, i dun have yr tel. no. yet...hehe...you can call XLB mah...hope to see ya soon at Pick 'n Brew!

~Christine~Leng said...

your photos are amazing :)
I'm hungry and at the same time... giggling over Joe's comment as well ;P

hmmm.... hmmm....

brad said...

Hello

saw from camemberu blog your comment that u using D40x? how much u paid for it?

i decided i'll be getting my dslr! but still don't know which brand shld i get, canon or nikon? haha

regards
brad, ladyironchef

Esther Chin said...

i ate the Cuttlefish Ink Spaghett before, and it makes my teeth black.

i remember the friendly manager of the place came up to me and said, "remember not to eat this when you come with your date"

kennymah said...

Hehe, I was just watching this HK cooking show where female celebs had to make black cuttlefish balls... one was so grossed out by having to squeeze the ink straight from the sac... I guess we don't usually think much about what goes into our meals?

Just makan lor... LOL

Alexander said...

Wow! Stunning photos! The food looks so delicious. I've got me hungry.

Alexander
Alex's World! - http://www.kakinan.com/alex

Jun said...

ma friend, why da squid ink spaghetti looks like something out of an x-files episode???

ai wei said...

*Lol* on joe's comment too!
are u 2?!?!?!?! .....

well, ur pics are amazing! they all 'd allure me! slurppp~

Sugar Bean said...

Wah, Cuttlefish Ink Spaghetti? I haven't heard of it before. Sounds interesting. Hope to try it one day. The hamburger looks good! Too bad I don't take beef.

Simon Seow said...

jya, ko-hi- wo nomimasho

yammylicious said...

look heavently great! slurp

Nic (KHKL) said...

*sorry for the late reply, people...exams still going on..sigh*

christine, thanks! hehehe, i am also giggling over your comment over joe's comment...hehehe...

no need hmm hmm liao..see my reply to ai wei below...hehehe...

brad, i paid about S$1188. got it at comex last ear. hey, check out canon 450d..i think canon is fantastic for those matte finish but if you are looking for vivid colours, go for nikon..but nikon lens dun come cheap :(

esther, thanks for dropping by! black teeth? really? hehe...my teeth was ok after the meal..hmm, or perhaps i didnt check in the mirror..hehe...the staff there were really friendly...

kenny, i thought it was rather exquisite...well, it tasted good though..hehe...sometimes, i think there's a fine line between think too much and think too little about food...arghh! am i getting mad?? haha!

to quote teckiee, eat first, think later! yay!

alexander, thanks for the compliment! yupe, the food was good...and i'm hungry now, looking at the burger..haha!

jun, haha...at first, i thought it looked yucky too but flavours got the better of me :) i think the episode with the liposuction was one of the yuckiest! hehe...

ai wei, hahaha! christine also pondered on the same question...scandal of the year! haha...yeah, she's my makan partner! haha!

thanks for the compliment!

sugarbean, yupe, the ink spaghetti was kinda good...oh, they also have other things like escargot! sounds like i'm promoting this place..hehehe...

simon, idesu! de mo, itsumo nomimasho ka?

yammylicious, yeah, the dishes do look good, dont they? i'm also slurping now..haha!