WATCH: Mama Knows Best
Written by Joseph Soh on December 11, 2015
When you hear “Kokomama Marketplace” for the first time, you might think its some Japanese wet market. Well, its far from that. Located in Dhoby Ghaut on the premises of SOTA, Kokomama Marketplace offers different cuisines with an added Singaporean twist. But before we start our culinary adventure, let’s talk about the ambience of the place. It might come across as a little messy with black chairs similar to the ones at Ya Kun at one corner, a bar table with high chairs in the centre and metal chairs with metal tables on the other end of the restaurant. Some food critics have written on blogs that the place “lacks identity” but for owner Chris, its this perceived mess that cements the identity of the restaurant as a “marketplace”.
Now, let’s dig in.
Chill Crab Bread Bowl
Starting off with the Chilli Crab bread bowl, it fuses several cuisines together. The Chilli Crab base originates in Singapore, whereas the bread bowl is made from Russian Rye Bread and the bread for the dip is French. Bringing it all together is the star of the dish, the soft shell crab.
Taste wise, the bread is fresh and sweet. The chilli crab base is uniquely Singaporean with just enough chilli kick and a sweetness that we are all too familiar with such that the soup does not overpower the taste of the bread.
A tip though, let the bread bowl sit for a little while before indulging because then the bread bowl would’ve soaked up all the goodness of the chilli crab base and you’d have a real treat.
Salted Egg Pasta
Drawing inspiration from your typical Tze Char stall favourites, the Salted Egg pasta is one of the newst dishes on the Kokomama menu. Combining Singaporean salted egg with Italian pasta, it cooks up a storm in your mouth.
The salted egg sauce has the right amount of spice with its signature salty, powdery salted egg texture. Accompanied by a generous serving of fresh prawns, the dish comes together nicely for as a main course.
Korean Unagi Cheesy Baked Rice
Served in a mass tin to remind every Singaporean son of their NS days, or NS days to come, this is probably the best dish of the lot. Fresh Japanese rice, tender unagi and some western flair in the melted cheese, it all comes together for a flavour explosion in your mouth.
At first, you’d get the strong cheesy texture like every cheesy baked rice you’d find but then what hits you is the tender unagi that is a perfect match for the cheese.
And for those of you worried about the cheese and unagi mixture, I guarantee you, it’s worth the risk.
Now, the craze of the town. This Korean dessert is what everyone is after at the moment and Kokomama Marketplace gives everyone a run for their money with a unique twist.
With flavours ranging from Matcha to strawberry to chocolate, you’d definitely have a flavour that you would enjoy.
As for the bingsu itself, instead of typical shaved ice, they use a snowmaking machine that gives you fine textures for ice which also allows them to flavour their ice so that instead of bland tasteless ice shavings, you’d have some flavour in them.
Kokomama also goes the extra mile in adding ingredients like mochi to the dish so that you’d have different textures other than crunch.
Overall, while still emerging in its prominence in the area, with its fusion of cuisines and a uniquely Singaporean identity, Kokomama Marketplace proves that mama really knows best.