“That perfect tranquillity of life, which is nowhere to be found but in retreat, a faithful friend and a good library.” – Aphra Behn
Libraries are meant to be a treasure-house of knowledge with the deep ocean of knowledge flowing all around you giving you immense pleasure. The Masala library by Jiggs Kalra located at BKC, is no exception to that either! This one is a treasure-house of really amazing flavours and spices being presented to you on a platter which are sure to mesmerize you and tickle your taste buds!
The restaurant is spread across a wide area with neat and spacious interiors and adequate lighting. Though the decor is simplistic and minimalistic with shades of white and brown all around and nothing flashy, this places still exudes charm and warmth.
Burnt Curry Leaf Martini
An absolutely refreshing sweet and sour concoction made from freshly muddled curry leaves with some sugar,limeand vodka, shaken in ice and served in a chilled martini glass garnished with a burnt curry leaf on top. Brilliant!
A double layered whisky based concoction comprising of a liquid below made of freshly muddled cardamom and black pepper with orange juice, honey, bitters and whisky shaken in ice topped by a creamy layer above consisting of whisky and orange fluffy cream sprinkled with black pepper served in an old fashioned glass. WOW!
A refreshingly sweet concoction containing lychee juice shaken in ice with vodka and vanilla syrup and served in a cooled main glass garnished with a slice of lime. Superb!
A soothing innovation of the tropical favourite drink containing freshly muddled ginger shaken in ice with white rum, pineapple juice and coconut syrup (replacing the good old coconut cream that traditionally goes into the making of this one) was served in a cocktail glass garnished with julienned fresh ginger on top. Well done!
These were served to us as little munchies before our food journey began. The maska buns served here sure looked plain from the outside but were not just so soft, fresh and fluffy but were also incorporated with cheddar cheese within making them taste sodeliciously cheesy!
Thandai Bubble – Amuse Bouche
The palate cleanser that we had right before we started with our soup; this one contained Spheres of Thandai floating on a pool of saffron milk served in soup spoons. As we popped in all of the contents at once, just as suggested, the Thandai bubble simply burst out releasing a refreshing array of flavours into our mouths.
Mishti Doi Strawberry Lollipop
Before beginning with our main course, we were served this yet another palate cleanser. The traditional Bengali sweet Mishti Doi was solified with liquid nitrogen in the form of lollipops garnished with a little bit of Strawberry jello on top. The sweetness of the curd followed by the sharpness of the flavour imparted by the tiny drop of strawberryjello was an amazing rollercoaster ride for our taste buds.
Steamed Patra Ni Macchi
Stream cooked Basa fish coated with the delicious Parsi Patra Ni Chutney was served with a lemon and coriander broth in a beautiful fish-shaped ceramic soup bowl with some chukki edamame beans (I.e. Immature soya beans in a pod) by the side to be deshelled and enjoyed along with the soup. What an amazing start to the meal!
Prawns & Asparagus Thayir Sadam
Such a uniquely done salad this was comprising of curry leaf and pepper flavoured prawns and asparagus served on a bed of Thayir Sadam, I.e. a south indian preparation of curd rice tempered with cucumber, curry leaves, etc along with crispy long banana chips by the side. We had the salad using the banana crisps as spoons just as the chef suggested. Superb! Never had I imagined this combination to taste so delicious!
Soft and melting in the mouth minced lamb meat kebab coated in indian spices, topped up with moderately spiced tawa Boti tikki served along with saffron based warqi paratha by the side. We ended up ordering another round of this one before we began with main course. This one was simply the epitome of deliciousness!
Pan Seared Scallops
Norwegian queen scalloppan seared to perfection, served along with some peanut butter gravy and topped up with some crunchy nut cracker salad made of cucumber, curry leaves, tomatoes and onions. Not only was this a visual delight, but also so delish to taste!
Braised Mutton Chaap
These were succulently cooked lamb chops glazed with kokam juice and maple syrup and garnished with micro popcorn beads. The taste was a little more on the sweeter side, yet delicious!
Tandoori Chicken San Marzano Makhani
This was so not the regular Indian butter chicken. I would call this the butter chicken with an Italian twist. Hand pulled chicken cooked in San Marzano makhani gravy made from a puree of San Marzano tomatoes which are thinner, longer and more pointed variety of tomatoes with fewer seeds and sweeter taste (most frequently used in cooking Italian food), sprinkled with some butter crumbs and dry fenugreek leaves. The rest of the gravy was served separately allowing us to add the gravy to the chicken right before we began to savour it. The resultant dish was creamy and so delicious! Yummmm!
Kashmiri Chilli Duck
Shredded duck meat cooked to perfection in Kashmiri chillies sprinkled with Veri crumbs, I.e. crumbs of the exotic spice mix called Veri prepared in the Kashmiri valleys and a deliciously done plum sauce served by the side to be added to the duck right before we dig in! Brilliant!
Pan Seared Rawas
Two pan seared fillets of Rawas topped with Malagai Podi ( i.e, the famous Madras gun powder) was served along with some crab and spinach poriyal and yummilicious Malaya curry (a very well known coconut and pineapple based curry) by the side. The combination was simply kickass!
An absolutely unaltered buttery delicious and blissful preparation of black lentils that totally blew our minds! This was undoubtedly one of the best Dal Makhani that I have ever tasted in my lifetime!
Tadke Wali Dahi
A simple yet delicious dahi raita garnished with a few beads of boondi on top; this humble dish didn’t fail to win our taste buds either. Well done!
Mini, piping hot Kulcha pockets were then served to us stuffed with Prawns, Chicken kheema and egg bhurji mixtures respectively along with plenty of cheese. Though they all tasted amazing, the one with stuffed with Prawns was undoubtedly the best amongst the lot!
Tandoori Roti and Lachcha Paratha
They were both perfectly done!
The famous Indian dessert Jalebi was deconstructed and served in the form of numerous micro beads, I.e. caviar, on a bed of thick and flavourful Rabdi (condensed milk) garnished with plenty of pistachios and topped with a saffron foam on the side. WOW! Sinful deliciousness at it’s best indeed!
Ras Malai Tres Leches
As the name suggests, this one comprised of three soft, melting in the mouth layers of Rasmalai stuffed with Apple cream served along with saffron milk with almond and pistachio shavings, rose petals and garnished with a beautifully done caramel glaze on top. Though this one didn’t give us a sugar high, it was mind bogglingly delicious!
Paan Cotton Candy
Our elaborate meal here ended with this paan flavoured cotton candy; uniquely done!
Yet another restaurant by the Kalra’s where the service simply wins you over! The kind hospitality and warmth, cheerfulness and attentiveness is just inimitable and so is the patience seen amongst the attendants while they take time to explain you the various elements of the dishes and also their willingness to take suggestions and feedback.
Though we were invited by the restaurant to taste their menu and the meal was complimentary, I must say that the pricing is slightly upscale. But, a dining experience like this one is absolutely priceless, making this place a MUST visit one!
Food quality – 4.5/5
Food quantity – 4/5
Ambiance – 4/5
Service – 4.5/5
VFM – 4/5