Unless you’ve had the pleasure of visiting the little cosmopolitan nugget of culture that Singapore is, you’d be hard-pressed to define its cuisine. But Mai Bao comes at the perfect time to fulfill some of our international cravings without the risks of taking a flight. The restaurant serves hawker-style Singaporean street food with a blend of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasian flavours, much like the country itself.
The giant neon sign lighting up the Commons at DLF Avenue is hard to miss, as is the Merlion sentinel guarding Mai Bao’s entrance. Let’s just say your Instagram will not be disappointed. The cosy restaurant can seat about 50 people, and the colour scheme is right up all the younger millennial-Gen Z’s alley. But be warned, the food knows no generation.
Start your meal off with the fresh pomelo salad. There’s an assembly line of satays to taste, and the pork and yam puff make for great deep-fried appetisers. If you’d like to go the healthy route, the green summer rolls—popiah—are incredible.
There’s an assortment of dumplings and baos to choose from, but also dishes for a more developed palate. We’re looking at the salted egg prawns. They’re exactly what they sound like.
Most of the gravy-based main course items come with a lovely blue pea jasmine rice, naturally coloured with specks of blue grains. They use butterfly pea flower, or aparajita.
The portions are not enormous, but they’re not small either. Try not to get carried away while ordering like we did. You can go for some safe options like the laksa, which was surprisingly light and refreshing, or the more heavy duty lamb rendang. Let your stomach guide your order, you really can’t go wrong here.
And if you’re wondering, we recommend brunch!
Singapore’s iconic chilli crab has been made easy here. Mai Bao serves a soft-shell crab version of the dish.
Pro Tip: If there’s nothing else you try, definitely try the boba. They have a range of delicious bubble teas like strawberry cheesecake and matcha. the coconut cream is heavenly, and they also have a vegan option.
What: Mai Bao
Where: Commons, DLF Avenue, Saket, New Delhi
When: 11.30am to 11pm