4 January 2014

Fusion food with a difference: Modern Asian Diner

Modern Asian Diner, known as MAD for short, is an outstanding meal option at the Grandstand, where horse races used to be held. The restaurant in the heart of Bukit Timah is a collaboration between local music celebrity Dick Lee and the TungLok Group. 

The name 'MAD' could also be an allusion to 'The Mad Chinaman', the 1989 hit album that catapulted Dick to fame. A stylised graphic of the Mad Chinaman is a repeated motif throughout the restaurant, adorning everything from the doors to the drink coasters. 

Each table has a stack of order forms with pencils. I visited MAD recently for the second sitting of the weekend brunch buffet and we were asked, Hong Kong/Taiwan style, to fill in the number of portions we wanted for each dish and to hand it to the wait staff. There is a separate open buffet area with chafing dishes of dimsum which is also part of the brunch buffet. Chilled fruit juices, coffee and tea are also available from this area, with other drinks available on order. The weekend brunch menu can be viewed here.

It appears that the same portions are served for ala carte dishes and the brunch buffet. Each portion is fairly large and three dishes for two people would be more than enough. Some of my favourites were: 

The laksa clams, which was served in a pot chock-full of clams swimming in very flavourful laksa gravy. Mussels are on the menu as well.

The crab benedict, an unctuous version of eggs benedict that was served lying gently on a generous bed of crab meat.

The truffle fries, liberally sprinkled with shavings of black truffles and sea salt.

 The honeyed French toast with strawberries, bananas and whipped cream. And..

The thick mango sago with pomelo sacs and a scoop of honeycomb ice cream. Mango sago is a classic Hong Kong dessert that has since been enlivened with pomelo. The ice cream is pure innovation from MAD however.

The seafood tofu with century egg was also delicious, though the batter for the sweet and sour calamari rings was a tad too thick. There is an extensive list of traditional dimsum on order as well, as befits a Tunglok Group restaurant.

I would recommended this restaurant for:
  • Business meals
  • Weekend brunch buffet*
  • As a slightly different type of event venue, preferably with transport arranged for guests. The Grandstand is served by three minibus shuttle services, travelling routes in Toa Payoh, Clementi and Bukit Timah respectively. 
*Reservations are highly recommended, especially for the weekend brunch, which has become even more popular with a Groupon offer.