Ms. Maria & Mr. Singh is Gaggan Anand’s new Singapore restaurant based on a fictional romance between a Mexican girl and an Indian boy. It is more of a tragedy for diners lured in by his name. Read on for our review.
Review: Gaggan Anand’s Ms. Maria & Mr. Singh
Diners baited by the celebrity chef’s trademark papdi chaat, or four poker chip-sized crisps with a yoghurt sphere, tamarind and green herb chutneys, and a hefty S$20 price tag. His mango yuzu snowball – “Gaggan’s classic dessert from 2011, seen on ‘Masterchef Singapore,’ ” the menu proudly states: S$24. Cold curry ceviche that tasted neither like curry nor ceviche: another S$20. Crab curry in a bowl so small it must be for ants: market price, or as the fine print underneath haughtily declares: “according to Ms. Maria’s mood.”
Fiction is also an appropriate genre for the Ms Maria & Mr Singh‘s concept, which started in pre-covid Bangkok before opening in Tanjong Pagar last month. It is labelled as a Mexican-Indian restaurant, but grilled cauliflower with mole tasted more like aloo gobi. Jalapeño disappeared in a yoghurt sauce with fried okra. Under pineapple salsa, was this pork vindaloo tacos or carnitas?
Some of the more successful dishes at were the ones that didn’t try too hard. Fluffy vegetable biryani had whole caps of tender morels. Another biryani, this time with seafood and beef tongue, was flavourful with thick cuts of meat. Chicken tikka masala, creamy and sweetened with tomato, rivalled some of the better ones in Singapore.
Perhaps the best way to enjoy Ms Maria & Mr Singh is to think of it as a modern Indian restaurant with Mexican inclinations. The fried okra, which was battered in chickpea flour, was crunchy and delightful. Barramundi over perilla leaf tacos recalled a Naga fish curry dish. Patrani fish tamal, which involved a barramundi fillet coated in a coconut and green herb chutney, encased in a corn husk, then steamed in a banana leaf, was moist, sweet, and spicy. But it was barely bigger than a wallet, and costs S$30.
Desserts are a similar affair. Avocado falooda plays on the classic Indian noodle treat, but the Mexican fruit was nowhere to be found. The mango yuzu snowball was refreshing and flawless in execution, but if adding Alphonso mango and white chocolate makes the dish Mexican-Indian, then wearing a Uniqlo t-shirt and Levi’s jeans makes me Japanese-American-Singaporean.
This probably won’t put off diners. Currently, November reservations for Ms. Maria & Mr. Singh are completely full, and the restaurant was packed during lunch on a Friday afternoon late last month. Judging by Gaggan’s popular residency at Mandala Club, people will continue to lap up his love story.
Starters: S$12++ – S$30++
Tacos: S$16++ – S$20++
Mains: S$18++ – according to Ms. Maria’s mood
Desserts: S$16++ – S$24++
Ms. Maria and Mr. Singh is located at 43 Craig Road, Singapore 089691. Book here.