Mama San is an antiquated term that refers to a woman of authority in a geisha house or drinking holes in South East Asia – I salut this woman and I have no idea why Chef Will Meyrick & Palm Amatawet named their restaurant this. Perhaps is a shout out to all the Mama san’s of Asia!? Anyway the gig is a simple one of rustling up plates inspired by flavours from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Chuck in a cookery school upstairs, super sleek wine displays (everything has a price) and a cocktail bar serving up your classics with a twist in a Shanghainese 1920’s British colonial setting, gives you Mama San.
Kachooris with yellow dahl, coriander & mustard seeds served with mint and tamarind chutney were crispy deep fried treats with a nicely spiced filling.
Grilled Thai beef salad with cherry tomato, mint, Thai basil, cucumber – served cold yet impactful from the freshness and the slithers of pink beef were lovely.
“Dendeng belado” caramelised short rib with kafir lime, chilli and lemon basil. Gnarly looking things that didn’t really do anything for me. I’m sure they’d taste better somewhere else.
Deserts came in a sample platter of Asian treats consisting of a wedge of mung bean cake, topped with crispy shallots, coconut ice cream, black sticky rice with mango, chai tea caramel custard, jackfruit cake and some sort of poached pumpkin in a martini glass. I’d say all were interesting to taste but I couldn’t eat a whole one of any of them as they didn’t get my pulse racing.
When did I go? June 2015
The damage: Expect to pay $25-$45 (£15- £30) per head no booze
The good: Mama San felt like one of those meals when you’re in a plush West End London (without naming and shaming) which was pleasant, mainstream but nothing to shout home about. Don’t get me wrong it was interesting but easily forgettable. The low lit ambient vibe is ideal for dates and the extensive cocktail menu aims to please.
The bad: It just wasn’t special
Would I go again? Nah – curious to see more of Bali.
Address: Jl. Raya Kerobokan No.135, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Phone: +62 813-3942-3033