For the most part, A and I have fairly similar tastes in food; I guess our tastes have evolved together after over 10 years of being influenced by the same food culture.
Still, we're fundamentally different where nostalgic comfort food is concerned. I tend to crave Asian food, whereas A can happily subsist on burgers and pizzas. Given a choice between bak chor mee and a Subway sandwich, for example, for me it's a no-brainer; bak chor mee every time. A's choice is just as vehemently for the Subway.
Which is why MAD, the new collaboration between Dick Lee and the Tung Lok group, is perfect for us. The restaurant serves both dim sum and Asian rice/noodle dishes, as well as tapas and Josper-grilled western fare.
The restaurant has a snazzy ordering system where you browse the menu and select/submit your order via tablet. The system gets the order right, but there are still a few minor glitches - the kitchen/servers weren't sure which table had ordered what, so we kept having incorrect dishes brought to us.
From the dim sum side, we ordered a char siew pau, and a fried yam puff. Both were decent but not very memorable.
We also tried the minced beef fried rice, which I found a tad oily, but otherwise quite tasty, with a good amount of wok hei.
The tapas kitchen is helmed by the ex chef of Bodega Y Tapas, and it certainly shows. I hate to admit it but the western dishes definitely shone more than the Asian ones.
The teriyaki mushrooms with cuttlefish "tagliatelle" was really good. The tagliatelle was thin strips of cuttlefish which were cooked till tender but still retaining a distinctively sweet cuttlefish flavour. They paired well with the juicy teriyaki-glazed button mushrooms.
The Iberico top loin with apricot chutney and braised cabbage, from the Josper grill section, was also outstanding. We selected "medium rare" for doneness on the tablet, and it arrived slightly pink, juicy and really tender. The flavours of the pork and apricot also went very well together.
We decided to have gelato from a nearby joint for dessert, but otherwise the dessert offerings here look pretty interesting.
The restaurant is quite big, but they recommend that you make reservations on weekends. Their website has an online reservation system, which allows you to see if your selected timeslot is still available or not.
I didn't expect to like MAD this much, expecting more of a gimmicky theme restaurant than a proper one, but they've proved me wrong. Definitely a new go-to place, especially when A and I can't agree on what genre we want.
My expectations were low so I was pleasantly surprised. The Asian dishes were average, but the "tapas" was pretty good. And with the variety, both C and I can find something. Plus the Asian dishes have a decent portion size and are not expensive.
Overall, we'll probably go back.
MAD - Modern Asian Diner
200 Turf Club Road
#01-20/21, The Grandstand
Open daily: 11:30 am till late