The Grandstand, formerly known as Turf City, is now home to numerous dining establishments that are generating lots of hype and traffic to the once inaccessible and secluded area. MAD, short for Modern Asian Diner, is no stranger to food and music enthusiasts.
Named after Dick Lee’s Mad Chinaman nickname, this celebrity-fronted diner is a five-way collaboration between reputable Singaporean success stories, including Tung Lok, Bakerzin, Bar Stories and Top Wines. The presence of Dick Lee prevails in the form of quirky Mad Chinaman pop art that adorn the walls, and the groovy choice of music that are personally curated by the legend himself.
The spacious multi-faceted and split-levelled MAD features a bar managed by Bar Stories, a 14-seater Omakase-style tapas counter, a wine cellar and tasting room by Top Wines, a bakery and bread boutique by Bakerzin, and a retail gallery with uniquely designed MAD merchandise and original creations by up-and-coming local talents.
The main dining hall on the second level is separated into two zones, which can be combined, switched or even further divided according to diners’ moods and needs –the total seating capacity is a whopping 180. In addition to the versatile dining space, the middle section has been planned to be easily reconfigurable to allow for a dance floor.
Grabbing the attention of a server in such a huge space is a challenge, but this worry is eliminated as technology saves the day. Service is given a modern touch – in line with the modern Asian cuisine – with an easy-to-browse iPad menu and fuss-free ordering system.
Potato Bravas with ali-oli ‘Garlic’ Sauce ($11)
The Potato Bravas opens the meal on a high note. This scrumptious snack of crisp and creamy textures will leave you wanting more.
Along with several other snacks, this item is available only from 6pm to 10.30pm.
Foie Gras Terrine ($15)
The signature Foie Gras Terrine is paired with pineapple chutney, olive crumble and vanilla oil.
The richness of duck fat is more apparent in this densely creamy consistency as opposed to the all-time-favourite pan-seared version. To balance out the richness, you can slather some of the creamy goodness onto the complimentary bread served at the start of the meal.
Deep-fried Beef Spring Roll
The long and slender Deep-fried Beef Spring Roll is an addictive snack with a quirky appearance that bears resemblance to cigars.
Flaky Radish & Ham Pastry ($6)
The Flaky Radish & Ham Pastry did not disappoint. The multi-layered crust is light without being greasy. The filling of radish and ham earns extra points for originality.
In this creative take on pan-fried dumplings, gyoza is doused in a creamy white wine cream cheese sauce that provides delectable suavity to the otherwise commonly-found dumplings. With that, I’m inspired to create a similar dish in my own kitchen!
Grilled Green Asparagus with Satay Sauce and Port Reduction ($14)
There is merely a thin line between fusion and confusion. The combination of satay sauce and port reduction is noteworthy. While I don’t quite consent to the pairing of asparagus and satay sauce, I enjoyed the components on their own.
Teriyaki glazed Mushrooms with Cuttlefish Tagliatelle ($14)
The signature Teriyaki glazed Mushrooms with Cuttlefish Tagliatelle is a must-order. This is one of the several dishes that truly translate the essence of modern dining to the table with flair.
What looked like strands of pasta at first glimpse, are actually strips of cuttlefish. I don’t usually fancy eating cuttlefish, but this springy-without-being-overly-chewy rendition won me over.
This item is only available from 6pm to 10.30pm.
Brandade Foam, Crispy Bread Roll with Balsamic-honey Dressing ($12)
The signature Crispy Bread Roll is exquisitely presented. The brandade foam brings out the inherent flavour of salt cod and olive oil in the subtlest way.
Ham Croquettes ($10)
Mushroom Risotto with Poached Egg ($23)
The Mushroom Risotto sends off an earthy fragrance so charming that one cannot wait to tuck in.
Crowned with a perfectly poached egg, its molten yolk enriches the grains of rice as it flows relentlessly.
MAD Baby Back Ribs with Homemade Barbecue Sauce ($29 for full slab)
For dinner, the MAD Baby Back Ribs with Homemade Barbecue Sauce is a popular choice across the table. Not my favourite though.
Rum and Banana Tatin with Vanilla Ice cream ($11)
The only dessert that we tried didn’t end the meal on a high note for me, but interesting options on the menu include Mad’s Lemon Tart ($11) and Chocolate Amber ($11).
The cocktails from Bar Stories are exemplary. In fact, “cocktail” is too prosaic a term for the innovative libations concocted by the talented mixologist. Libations beg for the honour of living their lives this way.
Rubber duckie spotted in a cocktail! In their anthology of cocktails, boredom does not exist.
Pomegranate Oolong Collins ($17), Squarepants ($20), M.A.D Whiskey Sour ($18), Ipanema Mint ($20) and Peru with Love ($18) are just some of the numerous cocktails that vie with each other in creativity. For more excitement, reveal your personal preferences and allow the talented mixologist to unleash their spontaneity and come up with something that will hardly ever disappoint.