Has anyone been to Tiger Mama? http://www.tigermamaboston.com/
Not a fan myself but it has its share of professional reviews out there.
I have!! There are a lot of plusses and a few minuses. First off, the cocktail program is top notch. With the food, my only problem is the overall saltiness in many of the dishes. My favorite was the short rib crudo with chiles. Just simple and delicious. My husband had a coconut Tom Gar-like soup that I found unpotable owing to the reallllly heavy salinity. Same for the Pad See Ew, which I have there three times now - twice it was oversalted. Once it was spot on - and when we sampled it at the Taste Boston event, it was also pretty righteous! The lettuce wraps (Bun Cha Hanoi) and Thai pork sausage are delicious (come with two little spring rolls also good), and the pad thai, crispy papaya, and eggplant dishes were all very good. I will say again, since it bears repeating - the cocktail program is A+!!
Short rib crudo?! It seems like people are crudo-ing everything, even what I thought were incrudo-able foods.
short rib crudo with Thai chiles, mint,basil, and shallot - it was and remains my favorite dish on their menu!
Looks yummy. I’d call that a carpaccio myself, but crudo is the term they are all currently intent on beating to death.
I went looking for an explanation - and here is what came closest to a good explanation between the two terms:
In Italian, ‘crudo’ means “raw,” and ‘carpaccio’ means “skin.” In
cooking, then, a “crudo” is anything uncooked- generally it’s cubed or
minced (think tartare), but it can really be prepared almost any way.
“Carpaccio” then, refers to the thin “skin-thick” slices of basically
anything- tuna, octopus, beef, melon, etc. Carpaccio is often raw (as
the flavor is more delicate- carpaccio of roast beef would just be
lunchmeat…), but linguistically speaking, it’s carpaccio if its thin,
crudo if it’s raw, and it can be both at the same time!
Thanks! The cocktails sound great.
According to the definition I found below, I would have to say that this meat is not thin enough to be called carpaccio. In fact, (and maybe the picture deceives) it is far more substantive than any carpaccio I have ever had, ones which tear away like tissue paper. These pieces are pounded thin for sure - but have a lot more heft.
- Cowboy Hat Lady Pork w/star anise braised pork shank, pickled mustard greens, chili vinegar, soft poached egg
- Short Rib Rendang, rich coconut Malaysian style curry, crispy peanuts, toasted coconut
- Crispy Garlic Prawns “LOS” garlicky shrimp, crackly shells, brown butter - YUM!
- Pig Rice w/bacon, braised frilled pork, issan sausage, pork sung
- Chili Jam Clams, tangy & rich red curry jam, thai basil, sticky milk bread
Only thing we had that was meh was the coconut sticky rice, because we really couldn’t taste much coconut - best coconut sticky rice was at the old Yoma’s.
Finally got to Tiger Mama on Saturday evening (well late afternoon, as we could only get a 5 pm reservation). We had a vegetarian with fish allergies with us, so she ordered.
- Bok Choy - the way the menu describes the pea shoots. They had no pea shoots, and subbed Bok Choy. Best Bok Choy dish I’ve ever had.
- Mala Mushrooms - excellent, but wanted more mushrooms, less greens
- A vegetarian fried rice that wasn’t on the regular menu (not bad)
- Crispy Chili Potatoes (she flicked off any bacon she saw) My wife and I both wanted a creamy potato center. These were small whole potatoes. The crispy outside was nice with the aioli, but inside it was just potato, a bit dull in flavor.
We, the meat eaters ordered;
- Scallop Sashimi - the only way I truly love scallops, raw. Very nice flavors
- Nam Prik - very spicy, delicious
- Bun Cha Hanoi - The lettuce wraps with pork egg roll “palate cleanser”, yeah that was a quote from our server. Excellent again, but not sure how much palate cleansing was going on.
4.Cowboy Hat Lady Pork, the pork shank, which I ate most of. Very hearty portion, tender slow cooked taste.
- Lamb Roti also very, very good
- Short Rib Rendang - I enjoyed this more than my wife. She loved the sauce, not the meat. I thought both were very good.
- Coconut Sticky Rice - I got coconut, but still not quite enough
- Short Rib Crudo - listed last, as it was the absolute highlight of the meal. One of the best raw beef dishes that I have ever eaten. I would hope this never leaves the menu.
Cocktails were generally excellent. Neither my wife nor I liked the Mandalay Punch very much, we both felt it was too sweet. The Mai Tai was phenomenal, especially the way it seemed to contain an intoxicating mixture of fruit juices, yet the menu says pineapple and lime.
We ordered way too much food, but we know what we liked and order again. And I want to go back as soon as I can to have that short rib crudo again.
That short rib crudo is excellent and surely alone worth a return trip!
thanks for the post! is there a large bar area? would love to go and have a drink and an app early on a saturday. tried to make resos for the first weekend in june several weeks ago but there was nothing available. we are going to eastern standard instead but would love a drink there first. was it totally packed at 5pm? thank you!
Bar was filling up at 5pm. We got there at 4:45ish, and got three seats at the bar until our table was ready. Bar is big, but not huge, maybe 12-14 seats?
I had a dear friend visiting this past weekend and we FINALLY made it to Tiger Mama this for Sunday brunch (did I really say that out loud?). We went to the Gardner Museum first and I was a little worried about getting a table, but I think the torrential rain may have worked in our favor. Service was SLOW but friendly. Definitely a fun, festive spot.
-A little dim sum dish of char kuey chow that was brought out and we could choose to keep it or not (is that similar to what they do at Sarma?). Oh man, YES. That’s one of my favorite dishes but I’ve never had a good version in the States. This was very good. Lots of wok hei (“breath of the wok”), a little heat, and the plentiful greens were a welcome counterpoint to the wide rice noodles. Really slippery so we all used forks to dig in.
-My friend had the Indian fried chicken. She loved all the little accompaniments, especially the fresh cilantro and the mint chutney which she only discovered late into her meal. I had a taste and was wowed. The chicken itself, which was in chunks, looked a little over-fried to me but neither she nor B complained about dryness.
-I had the roti 'rito. For some reason, I didn’t make the connection that it was a burrito (thus the 'rito); in fact, none of us did. Had I made the connection, I wouldn’t have ordered it as I’m not a big burrito fan - I always find the tortilla to be too much. In this dish, a roti takes the place of the tortilla. I liked the filling of curried chickpeas but there was a chutney or some other element that I found too sweet for my liking. I ate all of the filling and left some of the roti behind. The roti itself was just ok. It had been pan-fried too long or something as the texture was quite hard on both ends.
-B had the pad gra prow which was done with ground chicken and topped with a fried duck egg. He declared it the best dish of the three and urged me to try some of the chicken part. I gotta say, he was right. Redolent with Thai basil, it was a flavor/umami explosion with a small amount of heat (although we all could’ve used a bit more).
B was surprised that there were no beer on draft (wasn’t this spot the former Happy’s which I know had draft beer, as we stopped in once before a Sox game). Guess they tore all those beer lines out? In any case, a fun lunch and the best meal we’ve had out in a long time.
What a coincidence. Was thinking of trying Tiger Mama this past weekend before an event but was down with a cold so we had to scratch our plans.
Based on your review—which was even for a brunch meal! —now it’s firmly in consideration for a future visit.
The Pad Gra Pow is what keeps me going back to Tiger Mama. Not quite as good as the pork version at S&I, but still really good.
When 80-90% of the drinks are tropical cocktails, and the rest is spread between beer and wine, having kegged beer isn’t too wise if you want to serve things fresh. With canning lines becoming rather affordable (not to mention mobile canning lines to rent), craft beer has great quality and variety in cans these days. One of the places I work at has eschewed their taps and only serves cans since we can guarantee fresher beer (we can buy less called for offerings in 24 packs instead of 1/6th or 1/2 barrels). An IPA is best with in the first month or two and has begun to fade at 3-4 months. In a store, I won’t buy an IPA older than 3 months from canning/bottling date.
More often than not I feel like I got run over by a truck the day after drinking draft beer, due to dirty tap lines or whatever. While I expect this at Fenway park, I find it happens at many places that fancy themselves craft beer meccas.