Ms. Maria & Mr. Singh, Craig Road, Singapore

Address: 43 Craig Rd, Singapore 089681
Opening Hours: Friday – Sunday 12:00 – 2:30pm, 6-10:30pm; Wednesday, Thursday 6-10:30pm; Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Official Website and Reservations: mariaandsingh.sg
Ms. Maria and Mr. Singh Singapore Menu

There’s a new fully booked spot in town — at the defunct Mezcla Taco bar by Proper Concepts, you know the same folks behind the Feather Blade. (And you know how much I detested the restaurant after experiencing leaking water coming out of my flatiron steak, made bearable only by a side of creamed spinach). Anyway, I’m not here to rant about the steak again, but to write about one of the most interesting restaurants I’ve been to.

Ms. Maria and Mr. Singh is an interesting contrast, a partnership between once World’s 50 Best chef and 2021’s No. 5 in Asia’s 50 Best Gaggan Anand and Proper Concepts Group (Feather Blade, Rappu). The former detests commercialized franchises and hence, not a single branding of Gaggan in the interiors of the restaurant. But to those insiders who begin their meals with the Papdi Chaat ($20) will know that the yogurt explosion is by no means a humble appetizer. This is what placed Gaggan Anand on the map, and for ordinary folks such as me to experience it on a regular basis, no need to fly to Bangkok for a theatrics is as accessible as it can get. One can see how the molecular influences of Ferran Adriá (of the legendary, now closed El Bulli) penetrate into such a simple Indian street food. It is not just an invention; this is Gaggan’s legacy.

Which brings me to how at odds Ms. Maria & Mr. Singh is now to Chef Gaggan. The idea of expanding a Thailand restaurant brand overseas (no less than Singapore) is in its core, a commercial venture. But I like that for folks such as me, who hardly has the time to fly to Bangkok (call that an excuse; I don’t like tropical countries and am called a polar bear once for loving winter destinations), or to those who can hardly afford a 15,000 TH Baht meal… Ms. Maria & Mr Singh should be on top of your list.

It is by no means a perfect restaurant. Here, I don’t find the Fish Tacos groundbreaking, a fantasy duality between fictional characters Ms. Maria and Mr. Singh (I don’t dare ask the origins of these characters, but I have a hunch as to why). The barramundi is good, well done, always always like clean fish on anything, but still doesn’t top my favorite Loup de Mer at Estatorio Milos at Hudson Yards. There is little to do with the edible Perilla leaf taco, though the textures combined is a welcome change to your usual taco, but perhaps I was expecting something to explode in my mouth after those Papdi Chaats. Such a hard one to top. (Don’t get me wrong, these tacos are inventive and still good!)

Meanwhile, the Pork Vindaloo Tacos are again a Gaggan trademark that you must try. I prefer them, if you must order a single dish.

The Cold Curry Ceviche ($20) is a toss of Coco leche de tigre, Guacachutney (also in the Papdi Chaats), Hokkaido scallops, avocado, and sweet corn. I always say, go for the raw scallops, because it’s sweeter. I’ll convert you guys one day.

It’s then I realize there’s a typo in their menu, the source of my error in an earlier edit of this post. I was thinking, I didn’t see or taste a single scallop in that Papdi Chaat, and there was no mention of those pomegranates at all.

There are other notable dishes I didn’t get to try, Biryani and the fish curry. For groups of 2-3, you’re going to have a fantastic time at Ms. Maria and Mr. Singh. Groups 4-6 — if you do manage to book a table, then snag one. But be warned, the prices are steep for their portion sizes (and I know, you’re coming with expectations that Indian cuisine is always, always abundant with biryani), but that’s one preamble before you make your way to Ms. Maria and Mr. Singh.

P.S. I might return for the Fish Tamal, if I do manage to get a booking for a large group.
P.P.S. This isn’t Mexican-Indian fusion cuisine. Please erase that from your vocabulary.