I love the chicken rice at Phoenix Restaurant, and right next door to their Raymerville / McCowan location is another South-East Asian spot - Mumz. Since I believe there are more than a few ChowHounds that appreciate South-East Asian gastronomy, I thought I'd post something here. I'd also like to invite fellow ChowHounders to share their experiences.
When I first saw the restaurant's name, I had thought it'd serve Philippino food. To my surprise, it was closer to Malaysian and Thai. Though it recently opened, I couldn't in all honesty classify Mumz as a ChowFind, this place is a hit-and-miss. You'll see what I mean as I go along.
First, the decor is borrowed from the tried-and-true success of Restoran Malaysian. There aren't too many tables, and I've never been there when it was really busy. I find the service friendly, and the cozy atmosphere and the soft-rock pumping can help relax you. Each plate is served in quirky shaped bowls and plates. I'm sure to most gourmands, they'd appreciate the nod to modern plating and presentation. I however, don't much so care when you put common food, simple hawker food and try to upscale it. The style brings an almost pretentious atmosphere to what should be honest-to-goodness food and flavors. However, presentation should not matter as long as the food taste good, right?
As a south-east Asian, I can say that you will find the flavors authentic. Having said that, the authentic flavors don't get enough execution. For example, they use correct laksa spices for their laksa...(not the deplorable curry noodles) but the broth is simply not spicy enough... almost a teaser. I've also had their Char Kway Teow... (these 2 dishes are my barometers for Malaysian cuisine). I couldn't tell how much CKT I got because it was served in a long skinny dish, garnished heavily with fried shallots (a lil' too much for me). Again, the flavors were good, but there wasn't that elusive "wok hey" that makes the dish. Let's just say, I've had better CKT at LemongGass in the MetroSquare foodcourt. At least LemonGrass adds chinese sausages in their CKT.
But I've also had good grilled tiger shrimp there when they were giving them away for free from their grand opening coupons). Which is why I'm torn... I'm not sure if they've dumbed down the taste to be more Western-acceptable? But I see much potential in Mumz, and I'd rather see more SE Asian spots turn up than less... I can't hit Gourmet Garden everytime.. and Restoran Malaysian is too far for me... Mata Hari is my guilty pleasure/indulgence when I'm downtown... but more choices is always better! (yes, I've also been to South Asian..and Lion City... pretty much everywhere Singaporean food can be found)
What's intriguing is that Mumz menu is a lot of "variety".. i.e. laksa with a rack of lamb? The price point however is higher than either Gourmet Garden or LemonGrass.. $8+ for CKT.. and $6.50 for the traditional laksa... I actually haven't tried the Thai dishes on the menu.. more because Thai restaurants are quite abundant in the GTA. Considering the price, and the variety.. I couldn't possible find out all the hidden gems at this place.
So here's hoping that this piques your interest, and if you try Mumz, please reply back with your experience if your dish was a hit or miss... let's not rely on watching Anthony Bourdain or Andrew Zimmern or another food/travel network show to wonder how SE asian taste like.. we're lucky to be in the GTA... so let's see how these flavors taste in our own backyard.