Ms Maria And Mr Singh by Gaggan Anand
Just a few months ago, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants named Asia’s 50 Best. Coming in at number 33 was Ms Maria & Mr Singh, an Indian-Mexican concept that opened in Bangkok back in 2020. Based on a fictional romance between a Mexican girl and an Indian boy, marrying homestyle cooking from both cultures, the restaurant’s similarly named outpost opened in Singapore late last year, but has recently seen a menu revamp.
If number 33 in Asia isn’t proof enough of this pudding, the brains behind Ms Maria & Mr Singh is none other than Gaggan Anand, the Netflix Chef’s Table alumnus whose eponymous restaurant sits at number five on the same list. His previous restaurant, Gaggan, topped the list for a record-breaking four years running and placed seventh in the world before he shut it down in 2019.
Food at Ms Maria And Mr Singh
It’s more accurate to think of the fare at Ms Maria & Mr Singh as predominantly Indian, with touches of Mexican influence. Prices for a five-course Quick Fix at lunch start from $48++, while the dinner Tasting Menu is priced at $68++, $78++ and $138++. We had the $78++ menu, along with some ala carte additions and bites from the $138++ menu.
The very first course you will start with is Papdi Chaat, inspired by a traditional Indian street snack and a signature dish at any Gaggan restaurant. The sphere, which you pop whole into your mouth, contains yoghurt and chaat masala, an Indian spice blend.
Served on a papdi cracker with a duo of chutneys—tamarind and green—this tangy dish gets your palate ready for the meal that is to come. If you love this, you can order it a la carte at $20++ for four!
Only available on the $138++ menu is Golgappa Uni, where a deep-fried pillowy cracker is topped with uni, and paired with a shot of tequila-based green verdita cocktail that balances out the creamy richness of this snack.
You’re advised to finish this in a single bite, and ASAP, because the Hokkaido white corn puree that’s been piped inside will cause the golgoppa, AKA panipuri, to lose its crispness.
Guacamole Ikura is third in the trio of opening dishes you’ll be served at Ms Maria & Mr Singh—unlike your usual guac, this is herb-driven, and served with house-made blue corn tortilla and papadum, dusted with beetroot and chilli powder for a touch of extra flavour. Enjoy it with briny spheres of ikura, which add savouriness to the fresh green guacamole.
The final starter is Ceviche Ms Maria & Mr Singh, which if you’ve eaten at Gaggan’s restaurants before, you’ll recognise for its parallels to his Cold Curry Scallops. Here, hamachi and prawn cubes are cured in Leche de Tigre, or Tiger’s Milk, which is a classic Peruvian marinade for curing fish.
Together with grilled octopus, as well as prawn fritters, it’s all served in a cold chipotle leches that mimics curry. Mix it all up before digging in; it’s like curry, but cold and with tart, zesty notes. This is available a la carte for $20++.
Moving on, there’s Scallop Tostada—an atas take on tacos. Here, a fried, house-made tortilla of tomato infused with oregano is topped with fresh Hokkaido scallop sashimi, salsa matcha, basil aioli, and romesco sauce—a sauce of roasted and charred tomatoes and peppers.
The dish that had my dining companion and myself divided was Mole Madre and Pipian with Seasonal Root Vegetables: this season, we had lotus root, slow-cooked in mole negro, AKA black mole.
For those unfamiliar with mole, it’s a traditional Mexican sauce made with chillies, nuts and other spices; black mole gets its dark colour from smoked black chilli and chocolate. You’ll also find grassy mole verde on this plate: a green version of the sauce, given its colour by green chillies.
Spread both mole sauces on a soft purple tortilla, then top it with slices of the crunchy lotus root and enjoy. I loved the contrasting bright and dark flavours of the two sauces, and the earthy bite in the lotus root, but my dining companion found the mole negro, in particular, a strange flavour to process.
Next up is Taco Pork Vindaloo, which sees a classic Goan curry made with pulled pork, plus roasted pineapple and pineapple salsa, on a flour tortilla. Fun fact: vindaloo was originally a Portuguese dish called Vinha De Alhos, which they brought to India, and the Indians transformed with local spices and chillies.
We enjoyed the balance of spice and brightness in this little taco; the roasted pineapple also lent a caramel sweetness to the acid-forward vindaloo.
The undeniable highlight of the meal at Ms Maria & Mr Singh for us both was the rice course, which we had with three curries: Chicken Tikka Masala, Gaggan’s Crab Curry, and Ms Maria’s Dal.
I was already pretty stuffed, but I simply could not stop eating the South Indian Coconut Rice. It was subtly aromatic and unbelievably fluffy, with a light finish that I compared to digging my spoon through clouds.
We chose to start with the Chicken Tikka Masala, a dish that was, ironically, invented in Britain, though credit is said to be due to cooks of South Asian heritage. The cream-based tomato curry was fragrant with spices and nuts, with that characteristic zing of yoghurt brightening each bite of the tender chicken.
Sporting a similar spicy, lightly tangy flavour profile was Ms Maria’s Dal, though it had a more mellow and earthy slant thanks to the medley of red kidney beans, white chickpeas, green beans, black-eyed peas it contained.
You won’t find Gaggan’s Crab Curry except on the $138++ menu, but you could order it off the short a la carte menu—fair warning, though, that it would be charged at market price, or as the menu states, “according to Ms Maria’s mood”.
It was the first time my dining companion had tried this dish, and my second, since my first visit to Gaggan back in 2017, where it was a signature dish. My dining companion’s eyes quite literally rolled back in his head, while I sat in quiet relief that it tasted just as I remembered it did.
Here, large chunks of stir-fried crab meat sit in a coconut-tamarind-raw mango curry, before it’s drizzled with curry leaf oil to finish. The freshness of crab was in no way overwhelmed, but rather enhanced by the curry.
We ended our meal on a Churros with Sticky Rice Ice Cream note, which sees freshly fried churros with a cardamom-scented dulce de leche, or caramelised milk. I was apprehensive about the cardamom in this but found it unobtrusive. It also paired well with the glutinous rice ice cream, made with toasted rice for a surprising touch of sticky chewiness.
Ambience at Ms Maria And Mr Singh
With only 32 seats, it’s probably best to make a reservation ahead of your visit. The space is long and narrow, but is brightly lit, and decked out with mirrors and pampas grass wall features which add a cosy touch. You’ll find both low seats and high bar tables, so put in a request with your booking if you’ve got a preference!
My dining companion’s reaction to the crab curry aptly sums up what we felt for most of the meal at Ms Maria & Mr Singh. If you enjoy strong, punchy flavours, and are looking for an affordable introduction to Gaggan’s cuisine, you have to put Ms Maria & Mr Singh on your list. Plus, you’ll save on a trip to BKK too.
There has been a slew of globally recognised brands opening in Singapore of late: think YAO YAO Sauerkraut Fish, Kelim Dakdoritang and more, so you really don’t have to go very far to get yourself any of these popular dishes.
Address: 43 Craig Road, Singapore 089681
Opening hours: Tue-Thurs 6pm to 10:30pm, Fri-Sun 12pm to 3:30pm, 6pm to 12am
Tel: 9654 4351
Ms Maria And Mr Singh is not a halal-certified eatery
Photos taken by John Lery Villanueva.
This was a media tasting at Ms Maria And Mr Singh.