“Creating deluxe cuisine is like playing a sport. Always competitive. Always challenging. And if you slow down a bit, you can no longer return to the top level.” – Joel Robuchon
The rich and royal Mughlai cuisine comprising of dishes crafted with an amazingly aromatic and flavourful blend of freshly ground exotic spices and condiments and liberal use of cream, has it’s origins back in the Mughal era. This cuisine has left an ever lasting influence on India ever since. Ma (Mashallah) Cuisine in Mohd. Ali road, Byculla attempts to bring the best of the Mughlai dishes to Mumbai along with a few of the local favourite Indo-Chinese food preparations.
This is clearly one of those places that focus predominantly on food than the decor. The decor is minimalistic yet neat and tidy with space management adequately done.The restaurant is divided into lower and upper sections; the upper one being the air conditioned one. The dining area is adequately lit and clean with comfortable seating arrangements.
Pan Fried Chicken In Red Sauce
Succulent and tender, pan fried chunks of boneless chicken meat were tossed in a spicy and tangy tomato based sauce with red chilli paste dominating the spices, making it an absolutely hot and spicy affair!
Cream Chicken Barra
Succulent and juicy chicken meat marinated with a fiery blend of fresh ground spices was roasted and charred in tandoor to give it a spicy and smoky flavour that was well balanced and mellowed down by the plenty of fresh cream that the chicken was bathed in. The plenty of oil that went into the making of this dish and the greasy pool of oil settled down on the plate eventually, was a disappointment though.
Bakra Barra Chaap
Tender, juicy and succulent lamb ribs preparation with meat so easily separating off the bone and literally melting in the mouth was dressed in a lip smacking blend of a variety of spices and chillies in curd, imparting it a peppery and spicy flavour with subtle smoky notes.The oodles of fresh cream that it was covered in, made it an absolutely creamy delicacy and had a wonderful additive effect on the tenderness of the meat.
Lemon Flavoured Chicken
Relatively smaller and tender pieces of boneless chicken meat were cooked in a creamy and citrusy gravy with a subtle flavour of garlic. The lemon-y flavour was very delicate yet vivid in the preparation; appropriate enough to impart the required refreshing goodness that the dish called for, but not overpowering it.
Their version of this dish was very much different from the traditional Murg Mussallam preparation, as instead of stuffing the spicy marinated chicken with boiled eggs, dry fruits and Indian spices, these elements were added to the gravy right away along with the spicy marinated chicken. The preparation was still a delish treat though, comprising of succulent and spicy chicken in a thick, spicy and sweet, mildly tangy and an absolutely creamy gravy.
Chicken Salli Changezi
While i was expecting this one to be a spicier preparation, it was a little bit of a let down as it lacked a distinctive flavour and tasted very similar to Murg Mussallam with it’s tangy and mildly spicy notes. The meat was tender and juicy though and the gravy also contained a few allumette-cut french fries.
Butter Garlic Naan
The naan was perfectly soft yet not too elastic, chewy or doughy and the generously added grossly chopped and slightly crushed garlic cloves gave it a very well mellowed down and delicate spicy flavour.
The custard had a cushiony soft yet sturdy, luscious, smooth and uniform consistency with a layer of soft caramel very well merged on the top. It had the right amount of sweetness and was undoubtedly a delight to taste!
The service is very fast and the owner is a very warm, welcoming and kind host. Though the sit-eat-leave culture predominates the hospitality culture in and around the locality, it is advisable that the attendants be well trained in terms of hospitality, service, communication skills and confidence to stand out as a class apart amongst the plethora of eateries, cafes and restaurants that Mohd. Ali road has to offer!
Food quality – 4/5
Food quantity – 4/5
Ambience – 3/5
Service – 3/5
VFM – NA (This meal was complimentary, courtesy an invitation by the restaurant to sample their menu.)