By the same people of the fine-dining Indian restaurant Punjab Grill, 3 week-old Maziga Cafe serves modern (North) Indian street food in tapas portions. Maziga also has a club on the second floor, playing Bollywood dance music.
The food retains the spice and flavors characteristic of Indian cuisine, but is given a modern twist, sometimes in the form of presentation. Such as the Old Delhi golgappa chaat ($12.90). It is presented on toy chairs, the tamarind sauce in a test-tube, and coriander-mint in another, chilled in nitrogen.
Some dishes do appear over the top, served in basket, or lunchbox—too gimmicky for me—but they are tasty. The chili crab akuri ($16.90) is a play on Singapore’s national dish, but it’s not the sweet chilli crab we expect; it’s a not-spicy Indian curried shredded crab stuffed in deep-fried sweet mantou. Quite enjoyable.
The tandoori lamb chop ($22.90), marinated with cumin and masala, is bony but delicious, tender and flavorful. But the best dish is indubitably the tandoori garma garam prawns ($18.90, above), which are slathered in a thick creamy coconut sauce.
Butter chicken ($17.50)
A modern twist to palik paneer: Ricotta, spinach, saffron korma ($17.50)
In general, the carbs aren’t as good as the small bites. The lamb kebab burger ($10.50) is mushy.The chicken tikka quesadilla ($15.90, below) tastes like Old Chang Kee curry puffs, which isn’t a bad thing.
Another area I enjoyed is the Indian-inspired cocktails. The bubblegum Bailey’s is fun. Masala dhaniya martini ($15) is coriander-based, and savory. Indo merry ($15) is similar to a spicy bloody mary, using guava juice. Mast cola ($15) is an easy drink, sweet with beer, lime, and cola.
Although the direction for Maziga is confusing—is it a cafe or a tapas bar?—it is clearly very different from its fine-dining counterpart, Punjab Grill. The food at Maziga is not as refined but it is still delicious and the essential Indian flavors remain; it is more casual and fun, catering to a younger crowd.
Maziga Cafe & Bollywood Club
3C River Valley Road, #01-10 Clarke Quay, Singapore 179022
T: +65 6253 7307
Service: NA (tasting)
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.
This is a hosted meal.