Ammakase: Amma delivers her love, Omakase-style!

Ammakase bills itself as the World’s first Neo-Indian Omakase Fine Dining Experience.

Setting aside the mouthful of words, you had me at Ammakase, folks. I stumbled upon this most curious of monikers while searching for a new place to enjoy a birthday lunch with a dear friend.

Well, first I exploded with glee. I mean, a mash-up of “amma” (mother in several Indian languages) and “omakase”? Ammakase?! How cute, I thought, as I quickly pinged my friend who enthusiastically agreed.

So, off we went, two Singaporean Indian women with Malayalee blood coursing through our veins, wondering, what this omakase-inspired amma had in store for us.

(Come to think of it, this isn’t a stretch for amma. Omakase translates to “I leave it up to you” and tell me, when do we ever tell our Indian mothers what to cook?)

New Kid on the Raffles Place Block.

Ammakase entrance
Ammakase Chef table

Newly-opened at One Raffles Place, we were the only diners in the main dining area and had booked seats at the Chef’s Table.

Another group had sauntered in shortly and headed to the Private Dining area further inside.

Lunch starts at $79 per person, hopefully, they can get the word out and be able to attract the CBD lunch crowd, and not only those those looking for a luxuriously long dinner. It’s definitely an interesting place to go to especially if a special business lunch is on the cards.

As I further researched Ammakase, I saw that chef Abhijit Saha of now-shuttered Saha, one of my most enjoyable Indian fine dining experiences in Singapore, was the man who curated the menu here, so that was already getting me excited. There’s a slight bit of nostalgia too, as I notice my review of Saha was in January 2016, the month I launched this blog.

Can you feel amma’s hug at Ammakase?

We’re welcomed with a non-alcoholic gin-based drink and presented an amuse bouche of Fried Dosa and Tomato.

The subtle sweetness of a Riesling Kabinett goes well with Indian food, so that’s what I selected to accompany us on this journey around coastal India.

Fried dosa and Tomato
Riesling

The amuse bouche gave us a good idea of what’s to come…they told us that their cuisine is meant to represent the warmth of an Indian mother’s cooking and, as if to cement the point, their logo represents a mother hugging her child.

Well, the familiarity quotient is definitely there in the dishes. A fancier version of what our mothers would make, with a presentation that they most certainly would not, but close your eyes, and you can find comfort in the flavours.

Pretty or not, you are scrumptious!

The first course was a fun take on a couple of Bengali chaat (snacks). An Avocado Chaatlet (mash-up again of chaat and tartlet) and a Mango Chutney Stuffed Paniyaram which brought me memories of my mother’s idli.

Ammakase Avocado Chaat Paniyaram
Ammakase cured Hamachi

Ammakase’s next course was not only pretty, it was simply delicious. Goan Cured Hamachi in a candy-pink pool of coconut and kokum sauce that reminded me of the coconut milk with which I drown my other favourite dish, appam. The Mango Chilli Sorbet was a superb addition, a combination of heat and cold that cut through the creamy sauce.

Then came the “un-Instagrammable” of all dishes – the mains. Well, good thing we don’t judge Indian food by how pretty it is, because the best flavours often arrive quite unceremoniously, in a puddle of masala on a mountain of rice.

Ammakase Seekh kebab Haleem Biryani 2
Lucknow Archari Chicken Tikka

My Lamb two-ways, a Bombay Seekh Kebab and the Hyderabad Haleem Timbale with Saffron Biryani, was perfect. Perhaps, Ammakase was paying homage to Ramadan with this dish because Haleem (a sort of thick stew in which the chosen meat is pounded and cooked down for hours with wheat, lentils and spices) is often the choice for breaking the fast.

Even though I was reaching my limit, I gobbled up everything on the plate – as I said, masala and rice, very, very nice!

My friend was equally happy with her chicken option – the Lucknow Archari Chicken Tikka. I didn’t try it, but it was a good-looking portion of tandoor-grilled meat.

When Ammakase went all Italian on us!

Finally, we were brought right back to amma’s arms again thanks to the Paayasam Panna Cotta. Once again, this was a unique take on the classic milky rice pudding that is often served at the end of a feast. Normally, I don’t eat it because it’s just more rice after I had already stuffed my face with said grain, but this one at Ammakase, I devoured effortlessly.

Ammakase Dessert

The panna cotta was well-made and topped with crispy semiya and pistachio, it was just the right ending to the meal.

Though it didn’t stop there for us on this day. As we were celebrating my birthday in advance, my friend had informed them and a lovely blueberry cheesecake arrived.

Birthday cake
Bday Treat

Coupled with petit fours and dessert wine, it really was a wonderful lunch at Ammakase.

I would love to check out the dinner offering as I think that would give even more insight into how Ammakase can further elevate all the familiar flavours of Indian mothers’ cooking into creative and thought-provoking dishes!


Ammakase:

Address: #04-48, One Raffles Place, Singapore 048616

Contact: reservation@ammakase.com / +65 88985275

Website: https://www.ammakase.com/

Opening Hours:

Lunch – Monday to Friday – 12.00pm to 3.00pm

Brunch – Saturday & Sunday – 11.00am to 3.30pm

Dinner – Wednesday to Sunday – 7.00pm to 11.00pm


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