Tiger Mama

1363 Boylston St.
Boston, MA 02215

At the end of spring break a few weeks ago, my parents and I tried out Tiger Mama, a new-ish southeast Asian fusion restaurant in the Fenway area. Interestingly enough, it was opened by the owners of Sweet Cheeks down the street. The place was packed when we went on a Friday night, and so reservations definitely need to be made a couple weeks in advance for busy nights. The dim lights and loud music scream, “Look at me I’m trendy!” so it shouldn’t be surprising that this place also serves (the ever-so-trendy) small plate portions and encourages family style eating. The waitress encouraged us to order two to three dishes per person, and so I’ll just go through the items that we got to try out.

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First we tried the Spicy Okra, which was lightly fried, and perfectly seasoned. I’m normally not a huge fan of okra because of how slimy it gets, but this dish balanced out the usual sliminess by giving the vegetable a satisfying crunch. There’s also a decent amount of okra in this dish, so it’s a good one to share.

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We also tried the Yu Shiang Eggplant, which was seasoned with cilantro and mint. The eggplant was tossed in a savory “stolen Chinese sauce” (whatever that means) and quite tender. My parents like eggplant much more than I do, and so they both enjoyed this dish more than I did.

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I was a huge fan of these Lobster Fresh Rolls, which had lobster and veggies wrapped in rice paper and complemented with a spicy peanut sauce. Each crispy bite came with a bright touch of mint that gave the appetizer a pleasant freshness.

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The Short Rib Redang curry was the all-around favorite of the night, and we were encouraged to order a side of coconut sticky rice to sop up the curry broth. The sweet, aromatic coconut rice paired amazingly with the short rib curry, resulting in the ultimate sweet and savory duo. The short ribs were beautifully tender, and the curry was bursting with flavor.

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We also tried the Lamb Roti, which was a crispy sandwich of spiced, braised lamb with a basil raita for dipping. The distinctive lamb flavor stood out between the crunch of the fried roti, and the fresh raita (a traditional Indian cucumber and yogurt dish) added a cool touch.

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Lastly, we tried the Singapore Street Noodles, which included crispy curried noodles, bok choy, and pea pods. The bowl of noodles was a decent amount of food to share, but the dish was simply too salty to be as enjoyable as the other dishes. The noodles were crispy as promised, but the rest of the flavors were masked by the saltiness of the sauce.

Overall, the strong flavors of Tiger Mama are absolutely worth a go— fresh mint, cilantro, and flavorful curries make frequent appearances in their dishes. Expect to pay between $20 to $30 per person, but know that it’s a fun place to try a variety of southeast Asian cuisines. 8.5/10