Masterchef’s Shelina opens Lakaz Maman in Southampton
By Rizwan Khan
I’m a sucker for exotic cuisine, so when I learned that Masterchef winner Shelina Permalloo had recently opened her first restaurant, I was compelled to give it a try.
Shelina, who won the coveted TV show title back in 2012 after wowing the judges with her Mauritian-inspired dishes, successfully opened Lakaz Maman, meaning “Mum’s House”, earlier this year.
Inspired by her roots, this smartly decked eatery, with its light and airy white and orange colour scheme, serves up Mauritian Street Food in all its authentic glory.
The Starters were lovely, with the moist chicken wings and crispy samosas made that little extra special by the delicious mango salsa chutney.
Mauritian cuisine seems to me to rely on the concept of simplicity allowing the clean, fresh flavours to speak for themselves. For this reason, while I thought my red snapper main was perfectly cooked, it perhaps lacked that extra punch my Asian-oriented taste buds are so used to.
The one I had was, in fact, one of her signature dishes presented on Masterchef. The Ginger Stem Cake was moist, springy and deliciously decadent, while the Coconut ice cream silky smooth. Really enjoyed it.
The only complaint I did have, one that’s easily rectifiable, is that the drinks weren’t cold. Had the Mint Mojito and the Mango and Lime Iced Tea been served chilled, they would have really hit the spot. They were pretty good for what they were though.
The service was friendly and on the ball.
In the end, if you like Mauritian food, or if you’re seeking something new, then I’d definitely recommend Lakaz Maman, if only to meet the affable and ever-smiling Shelina Permalloo.
22 Bedford Place,
Southampton SO15 2DB