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Saturday, 30 March 2013

Review - Mama San @ Saint Jude's, Bath St, Glasgow

Easter has come early this year and after the long slog from Christmas, I was looking forward to enjoying the long weekend with my gorgeous wife, Nicola. We had booked tickets to see Irish comedian, Neil Delamere, who was playing The Stand Comedy Club as part of the Glasgow Comedy Festival, so we needed to find somewhere close to my work where we could grab a quick dinner before the show.
After a quick look on restaurant booking website 5pm.co.uk, we booked a table at Mama San on Bath Street. We had eaten at Mama San a couple of years ago when it was situated at a different address on Bath Street and really enjoyed their twist on Asian cooking, I'm not exactly sure what happened but the previous venue closed before reopening within the boutique hotel, St Jude's.
The deal that we had booked included two courses from the pre-theatre menu plus a drink for £12.95, and after a little confusion upon our arrival (apparently they had no record of our 5pm.co.uk - this isn't the 1st time that this has happened), we were shown to our table and given a choice of wine, lager or a cocktail as our included drink. Nicola decided to start her night with a cheeky wee Cosmopolitan which was fresh & fruity with a sharp citrusy finish, I chose to match my imminent spicy food with a pint of ice cold Cobra.
Pad Thai Spring Rolls
Sweet Potato,  butternut squash & chilli tikis
The pre-theatre menu had a good selection of both starters and mains, in the end we chose two dishes that we could share between us. The Pad-Thai spring rolls were fantastic! Crisp filo pastry filled with rice noodles, shredded vegetables with lime, coriander and peanuts, served with a fresh salad of spring onion, beansprouts and red chillies. The fresh flavours on the plate were complimented perfectly by a wonderfully rich teriyaki dipping sauce.
Our other sharing starter was Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash & Green Chili Tikis. I'm not sure what I was expecting from the 'tikis', but what arrived was a twist on good old fashioned pakora! The tikis were crispy on the outside, soft on the inside with a huge spicy kick. Thankfully, the fierceness of the heat from the tikis was balanced with a cooling cucumber and mint raita.
Basil Chilli Chicken
Beef Rendang
With our taste buds tingling after our starters, we were both looking forward to the main meals arriving. Nicola had ordered Basil Chilli Chicken, which was a mix of wok fried Asian veg, slices of Green Tea poached chicken breast, snow peas and egg noodles in a chilli Thai basil sauce. The bowl was full to the brim with soft egg noodles and veg in a very sweet yet surreptitiously spicy sauce (seriously, the sauce had a wickedly spicy kick to it). Although Nicola enjoyed her meal, she felt that the sauce was too sweet and she would have preferred more stirfried veg. That may be down to personal preference but it's enough for her to wish that she had ordered the Singapore Noodles instead.
For my own main, I ordered the classic Indonesian dish, Beef Rendang. This was a fantastic mix of slow braised beef and new potatoes in a rich tamarind, chilli & tomato gravy served with sticky jasmine rice. The beef was plentiful and so tender that it practically fell apart upon contact with the fork. The curry sauce was super spicy and flavoured wonderfully with the distinctive flavour of kaffir lime leaves and coconut milk. This was a devilishly good dish and something that I would have no hesitations in reordering or recommending.
The only thing that I would perhaps mark down was that we weren't offered water when we ordered our drinks. Our waiter was only assisting in the restaurant (telling us that he normally works the bar), so perhaps had we been served by one of the regular restaurant staff then water way have been offered as standard?
For the most part, our meal ticked all the boxes. All of the food was well presented when it was delivered to the table and at £12.95 for two courses and a drink, it would be difficult to find better value for authentic tasting Asian food.
Knowing that the quality at Mama San is as good now as it was when we ate there last, we made our way into the night and on to what was a very funny comedy show, knowing that this wasn't the last we'd be seeing of Mama San.
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