We were queueing for tonkatsu in Takashimaya, but the queue for the weekend was so long. We saw the restaurant opposite was turning tables much faster and Princess was hungry. So we went to yoshokuya Ma Maison, which btw serve tonkatsu as well.
Ma Maison, meaning “my home” in French, is a yōshokuya (洋食屋). The founder Akinori Terazawa was so inspired by a pleasant experience and hospitality he got from a bed and breakfast in England that he decided to open a yoshokuya in Nagoya to offer the same hospitality and English-inspired food.
Yoshoku (洋食), meaning western food, is the name given to the Japanese take on western cuisine. Though not what people usually refer to as Japanese food, yoshoku is as much a staple of Japanese dining as ramen. Its derivatives, like curry, croquettes and katsu (breaded and deep fried) can also be found on menus of sushi spots and izakayas.
The decor took inspiration from the cottage house in English but distinctly “Japanese” in its layout. The Japanese has a very interesting fetish of Western culture that started during the Meiji Restoration, and they had adopted many Western habits and furniture to their culture with variations.
The clam chowder was not as thick as the New England version and was similar to the Japanese cream of corn soup.
The beef stew was made from Ma Maison’s own recipe and method, and was served with a serving of spaghetti as its base. The “stew” did not really have stew in it, but featured a braised beef brisket with their signature brown sauce.
The founder himself said that he opened the restaurant because he wanted to share with the world his special brown sauce. So what’s so special about their brown sauce? Firstly, it’s a demi-glace sauce made from veal bones and red wine reduction. But they have added special Japanese touch to the sauce, which I suspected it to be miso, as it was common in Nagoya to add miso to their Western seasoning.
The Japanese katsu is similar to the schnitzel – a piece of boneless meat, coated with flour, beaten eggs and breaded crumbs, and then fried. It is most definitely one of Japan’s favourite Western-style eats. Served with rice, miso soup and shredded cabbage, the katsu is a meal guaranteed to hit the spot, every time.
And the tonkatsu (deep fried pork cutlet with panko coating) is on my comfort food list, and I would eat it with lots of shredded cabbage when I am feeling the blue. The panko (bread crumbs) was made specially for Ma Maison, and the pork cutlet was wet-aged in house to intensify the flavour. And of course the perfect deep frying just made everything tasted better. Finally, the demi-glace sauce that was an extra charge, I personally recommend that you get it and use it as the dipping sauce instead of the standard sweet and sour katsu sauce.
And like all Japanese family restaurant, they have a plastic sample called shokuhin sampuru (食品サンプル) in the glass showcase outside the restaurant. It is always amazing to see how close they matched each other in presentation and look.
The food was good, the service excellent and the atmosphere eclectic. The only down side? The drinks were extremely dear, a homemade ice lemon tea was $3.50 but you can finish it in three sips. Recommend to go once in a while, but it would be too much for a regular visit.
Ma Maison Takashimaya S.C. 高島屋店
391 Orchard Road #04-27 Takashimaya S.C. Ngee Ann City Singapore 238872
Tel : +65 6734 4425
Date Visited : Jan 2021