When you first set foot into Ms. Maria & Mr. Singh, you may think you’re in an edgy, modern taqueria. The restaurant’s eclectic interior is illuminated by neon lights—the large one saying “love should never be mild” is a forecast of the food to come—and tequila bottle lightbulbs hidden away in rustic rattan lampshades.
Each table is treated to a complimentary serving of mixed tortilla and vegetable chips, sliced finely and fried to crisp perfection. These are to be paired with a quartet of dips found on your table. From a well-spiced Pickled Baby Corn to the moreish Chilli Cheese, each one is better than the last. The real challenge here, of course, is to stop yourself from overdosing on chips and dip and ruining your appetite for the rest of the meal.
Once other appetisers and mains start to arrive, the Mexican influence that has been obvious so far begins to fade into the background. Anand’s rebellious style of fusion means that he injects recognisable elements of Mexican cuisine into several dishes, which shows up in his presentation as added flair. But for a majority of the menu, the flavours remain squarely Indian.
The best example of this comes in a duo of Barramundi fish tacos. The stars here are the impeccably flaky fish kebabs cooked in two different marinades. You may be getting the taco experience (albeit wrapped in a perilla leaf instead of a corn tortilla), but familiar palates will recognise the dish as an elevated fish tikka. That the tacos are paired with spiced tequila and gin shots is yet another fun twist.
The Cold Curry Ceviche, another standout fusion item, is a new iteration of a cold curried scallop dish Anand is renowned for. Anand reinvents it for Ms. Maria & Mr. Singh with the addition of a textural corn salsa, an avocado chutney and of course—leche de tigre. The result is a creamy, refreshing taste of Hokkaido scallops, a suitable respite from the spicier flavours of the night.
If you’re with a bigger group and have space for a couple more appetisers before you move on to mains, make them the Papdi Chaat—an expertly balanced, bite-sized take on the iconic Indian street food—and the dangerously addictive Spicy Crunchy Okra.
Choosing between the mains on offer will prove to be the true task of your night. From Anand’s Patrani Fish Tamal—expect the buttery softness of a banana leaf-wrapped Bengali fish paturi, but spiced in a wholly different way—to his signature mild but complex Gaggan’s Crub Curry, each dish is an experiential treat worth coming back for. If, like me, you are partial to a good biryani, the surf and turf version turns the famous dish on its head with layered additions of beef tongue, prawn and baby scallop. To say that it is a flavour bomb would be an understatement.
Any restaurant joining the new nightlife haven of Tanjong Pagar would be out of place without a stellar beverage programme. To that end, Ms. Maria & Mr. Singh boasts a mean gin and tonic—spiked with the smoky ajwain herb—amidst other fusion cocktails, alongside a thoughtful wine list prominently featuring natural wine. The funk native to these bottles, according to the restaurant’s bar curator, complements the fiery flavours of Anand’s dishes. If it’s something non-alcoholic you prefer, the friendly waitstaff will gladly bring you a bottle of Mexican soda, placed on colourful mosaic tile coasters you’ll want to bring home.
The verdict that Anand’s newest restaurant is a standout addition to Singapore’s contemporary Indian food landscape should not come as a surprise, given the chef’s consistent placements on the world and Asia’s best restaurant lists. If you’re looking for a more accessible window into his culinary genius, the eccentric chef will give you more than your money’s worth at Ms. Maria & Mr. Singh.
Ms. Maria & Mr. Singh, 43 Craig Rd, Singapore 089681
Inquiries: 9654 4351