Yōshoku at Ma Maison

Ma Maison Restaurant - Interior

8th August 2010. Written by Xin Li.

Dressed in a European cottage style, one might mistake Ma Maison for a European or French Restaurant from its name and exterior. However, beyond its European façade is a Japanese Restaurant serving yōshoku (洋食).

Ma Maison Restaurant - Details

This was something I picked up from National Geographic Traveller’s Guide Book. Yōshoku (洋食) starring dishes like the Hamburger Steak and Beef Stroganov started around the 19th and 20th century in Japan after the Meiji Restoration with their lifting of the ban on red meat and introduction of western cuisine.

Ma Maison Restaurant - Beef Straganov

The Beef Stroganov, a Russian dish was brought to the shores of Japan following the fall of Imperial Russia resulting in the White Russians fleeing Soviet Russia to Japan with the Russian dish.

Ma Maison Restaurant - Beef Straganov

This dish was Wei Xiang’s choice for our lunch at Ma Maison restaurant located Marina Parco last Sunday. Taking a bite from the warm, brown stew accompanied by an omelette covered buttered rice, I quite like it, the beef was quite tender and the fluidity was just right, the fragrant butter rice goes very well with it.

Ma Maison Restaurant - Beef Straganov

Wei Xiang described that “the butter rice is fragrant, the beef and mushroom is evenly spread out with gravy that is nice in texture and the egg buffered both the rice and beef, making it a nice balanced overall.”

The Beef Stroganov Omu Rice Set cost 16.50++ SGD and comes with soup, mini salad and drink.

Ma Maison Restaurant - Hamburger Steak with Brown Sauce

The Hamburger Steak known as Hanbāgu (ハンバーグ hanbāgu) is another common yōshoku dish found in Japan. You can read my maiden Hamburger Steak experience at UCC Plaza Café in Kyoto here.

Ma Maison Restaurant - Hamburger Steak with Brown Sauce

Craving for that melt-in-your-mouth Hamburger Steak in Singapore, I ordered the Hamburger Steak with Brown Sauce Set (16.50++ SGD) without hesitation. I found the steak to be quite decent, it was well-seasoned and the considerably tender and juicy.

Ma Maison Restaurant - Hamburger Steak with Brown Sauce

However, it lacks the melt-in-your-mouth sensation that I had in Kyoto and there were some fatty bits in the hamburger steak. The brown sauce was too thick as well.

Ma Maison Restaurant - Hamburger Steak with Japanese Sauce

My fellow schoolmate, YY had the Hamburger Steak with Japanese Sauce Set (16.50++ SGD). This was much better than the Hamburger Steak with Brown Sauce, it was lighter and the sauce did not overpower the flavour the beef patty has to offer. The scallions added gave savoury touch to the dish which makes it tastier than the Hamburger Steak with Brown Sauce.

Ma Maison Restaurant - Hamburger Steak with Japanese Sauce

Both Hamburger Steak came with soup, mini salad, bread or rice and drink. The sauce changes every 3 days.

Ma Maison Restaurant - Salad

Nobuko had the Omu Rice with Brown Sauce Set (15.50 ++ SGD) – Ketchup Rice Wrapped in Omelette with Choice of Brown Sauce or Ketchup. It came with a soup, mini salad and drink.

Ma Maison Restaurant - Omu Rice

Unlike the other Omu Rice we find in hawker centres and food courts. This particular omu-rice has a more fluid texture almost like a scrambled egg. While it was quite good, it starts to feel a little heavy on the palate to the point one might get a little tired of it. As a result, Nobuko wasn’t able to finish her Omu Rice (the portion was quite big too)

Ma Maison Restaurant has very good service, the waiters and waitresses were very friendly and knowledgeable. Water was being refilled with prompting and they took the time and effort to explain the specials, dishes graciously and professionally.

Ma Maison Restaurant - Soup

The restaurant has a nice romantic, cozy atmosphere. It is like what the restaurant seemed to present itself from the very first step you enter its cottage-style environment. Even the bill is presented as a key, a nice detail. The only place that makes paying of bills a little different that I know of is OVOlogue in Hong Kong.

Ma Maison Restaurant - Bread with Butter & Jam

Pricewise, the food was good and the service was great. Food comes in set and the specials changes daily, even the non-specials come in sets priced around 15 SGD – 25 SGD.

Ma Maison Restaurant - Bill

The normal sets includes salad, soup (or bread) and a choice of drink (or ice cream).
On weekends they even have a Special Set starring steak and their hamburger steak with soup, salad and ice cream plus drink.

Overall, I felt that Ma Maison is worth try as the price is reasonable for a set and the food is quite good. There are two other branches of Ma Maison located at Bugis and Central (Clarke Quay) and several more located in Japan.

Set G – Omu Rice : $15.50++
Set H – Beef Stroganov Omu Rice : $16.50++
Set F – Hamburger Steak Set : $16.50++

Ma Maison Restaurant

9 Raffles Boulevard #P3-03 Parco Marina Bay, Millenia Walk Singapore

+65 6338 9391

Opening Hours
Daily: 10.30am – 9.30pm


  1. Mmm.. I have been wanting to try Ma Maison for ages.. good that you helped to recce their reasonable set lunches first! =)

  2. haha you should try it =) the prices are reasonable. I also saw some Japanese desserts on sale (i.e Green Tea Ice Cream).

    The Bugis one is normally very packed.

  3. Oh I really like Ma Maison's hamburg in brown sauce & their pastas which are surprisingly pretty good! I've only been to their Bugis outlet though but I think I will like this outlet much better. Walked past it the other day but made the biggest mistake in choosing another Japanese restaurant. The food there was awful.

  4. xinli: Nice, warrants a visit after my work ends next week!

    ice: I hope it wasnt the Tonkichi look-alike.. Been planning to visit that one.. haha

  5. I love omu rice! I didn't know that they have such affordable set lunch! I'm surprised the hamburg steak wasn't as good as expected. Shall try the omu rice soon :)

  6. hmm i wonder how the hamburg steak got its name..

  7. to Daniel : ;) give it a try, Ma Maison is probably one of the most elaborately decorated restaurant chains in Singapore too!

    to BellaV: Had I not been Kyoto, this Hamburger Steak would have been awesome. However, after Kyoto, it was good not as good as the one I had in Kyoto =p.

    to Stargirl: hey hmmmm I not a food historian but from what I gathered around, the Hamburger Steak has another name: The Salisbury Steak (an alternative to the German name of Hamburg Steak (originated from the city of Hamburg, also known as Hamburger Steak) during the World War. Both refer to the same dish of a Hamburger patty.

    This minced beef patty however was a modified dish brought back from Russia by German traders. It was known in Russia as Steak Tartare in the 1600s.

    The name Hamburg Steak originated from the city of Hamburg which was a major trading city during the the 18th and 19th centuries.(similar to Hamburgers).

    It was brought to other countries such as the US by German immigrants. The Hamburg beef was favoured for its longer shelf life as it was salted and slightly smoked (perfect for long sea voyages).

    My guess is that this dish got really popular in the US and it was in turn exported to Japan during the Allied Occupation, the Hamburger Steak for example was part of a school lunches in Japan, it became more popular in the 1960s (probably the policy of serving them in school has influenced the taste preference?).

    Hope this helps (:

    - http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/HamburgerHistory.htm

    - http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A1021825

    - http://dictionary1.classic.reference.com/help/faq/language/e28.html


  8. I love Ma Maison! My husband and I love the unique ambiance as well as their food. I've tried their pasta served in sizzling plate (ooh, it was way too much but i was able to finish it!) I forgot the pasta name. We liked beef stroganoff as well as that dish with Madeira sauce.



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