Masala Library – A Magnum Opus By Team Kalra
Masala Library has been brought to you by Massive restaurants (yes them again). Massive restaurants is a very apt name for a brand that has been growing in all aspects in the F & B industry and is becoming a force to reckon with. Masala Library is like a Stronghold for Massive restaurants. It’s a stronghold because of the amount of brand value and acclaim that this specific restaurant has garnered for massive since the time it has opened. It is one of the most special restaurants for Massive. It is not easy to continuously win awards for one of the best Progressive Indian Fine dining restaurant in the city. It’s the hard work, dedication and commitment towards providing the best in progressive Indian cuisine to its patrons that has helped them.
Indian food has progressed a great deal since the dawn of time. From the traditional stalwart indian meals to fusion indian and now progressive indian and who knows what is in store for us in the future. After a brief session by Zameer Head of marketing Massive restaurants I finally understood the difference between Traditional, Fusion and progressive indian food. Many people have often looked down upon indian food because of its fat content, it being heavy on spices and being very rich in specific contents. Masala Library has a vision to change these preconceived notions and create and present that version of Indian food that not only keeps it up against other contemporary cuisines but also at the same time retains its roots of being the best in class in terms of flavour and texture.
I am so happy the Masala Library hasn’t opted for Rustic & Industrial setup options for its interiors because I don’t find a tyre hanging on my head as Style. If I had to use 1 word to describe the style of its interiors I would call it modern. Each thing inside the joint from its lighting, roof, décor, Walls, way the tables have been setup to the cutlery is oozing out contemporary styling which is great. Small things like having plates on the table which have Masala Library inscribed on it in a calligraphic way looks pretty cool.
These plates get replaced when the food actually comes to your table. Branding At its best if you ask me.
The Service I received here was top notch. It could have been due to the fact that it was a bloggers table with the head of marketing sitting with us but you can’t give away the fact it was very top notch. The staff there was making sure they do the smallest of things correct to give you that great feel. Things like arranging the chair every time you got up and tucking it back when you sit, explaining the contents of each and every dish being served on the table in great detail, always smiling and ensuring they are always around when you need them, giving us the background of the dishes being served makes a big big difference. Well as said earlier it could be due to the bloggers table but you have to give it to them that they worked hard to make sure we were all happy and full.
For the very first time in my life I have eaten Indian food with a fork and knife minus the heavy duty naans, roti’s and rice. I had never thought in my life that such a thing was even possible but yup that was the magic of masala library and the way they serve Indian food. They make it and present it in such a way that you would eat in a way similar to how you would eat a sizzler or any other continental dish. Before our meal we had chef dhwani come to our table with a brief round of introductions to each one of us. She took our food preferences in terms of what we eat and if we are allergic to anything. I gave mine and she said she would happily factor that in the flood of food that was upon us. We opted for the chefs tasting menu. This menu is specifically crafted for people who want to enjoy a plethora of dishes that ML has to offer but in limited portions. So let’s get onto the food now
Maskabun – A ML style bread offering that you usually see in café these days like Indigo and SHD. Consisted of pieces of bread stuffed with Cheddar Cheese. Soft and cheesy it oozed out cheese in every bite
Steamed Pattrani Macchi – ML believes that presentation is key for each and every dish. They make sure to do everything to make that happen. The Pattrani macchi Soup that was served to us was actually served in a fish bowl. Consisting of soft chunks of basa topped with patrani chutney. A super tasting broth was poured on top of it and the soup was ready to be devoured. It was simply spectacular for an Indian soup. Everything was so well balanced that you would love to have few more helpings of the soup itself
Curry Leaf and Pepper Prawns – Fresh, tender, juicy and medium spiced Prawns accompanied by cherry tomatoes, chips and thayir sadam (a south Indian preparation of tampered curd rice). This combination of thayir sadam with prawns would make you fall In love with south indian cuisine again.
The veggies were served a chenna bhalla chaat consisting of dates and almond chutney topped with crispy okra. Fellow veggies loved it especially the chutney
Galawati Kabab – Then comes the legendary Galawati kababs. Legends say the Nawab of Awadh who in his old age had trouble in chewing his food because of his teeth and he wouldn’t eat veg food in his wildest dreams. So in order to allow the nawab to eat meat without further suffering tooth pain the Chefs then came up with these legendary Galawati Kababs. They are these soft melt in your mouth kababs. You would hardly know you’re having meat on this one. Topped with some top notch masala and served with a sweet varqi paratha it definitely tasted like a starter meant for a king
Bacon Wrapped Tandoori Morels – Didn’t have this one as I don’t have bacon. It was loved by the bacon lovers on the table though
Braised Mutton Chop – Another one of those must eat dishes at masala library. Braised lamb Chops coated with maple syrup and kokum and some micro popcorn. If you like your stuff sweet and spicy then this is the go to dish for you. Meat was so soft that a fork was more than enough to rip the dish apart.
Peri peri Chicken Tikka – Another one of those good starters for chicken lovers. Chicken tikka marinated and done well with peri per sauce served with a cheesy sauce.
Mishti Doi Lollipops – Another one of those innovative palate cleansers u get here. Mishti doi popsicles. Lick em up and get ready for the next course
Pan Seared Rawas – The show stealer dish for me in the mains section in ML. 2 fillets of pan seared rawas plated with some crab and spinach poriyal. This poriyal was super yum which was then mixed in Malaya curry. The south indian dishes that I was served in ML were absolutely superb. It would make you feel as the chef is actually a south indian but she wasn’t. That’s the best thing about ML. They want to captivate all of those special indian flavours and get you to experience them in 1 meal. I ate this with a fork & Knife period. No rice or roti needed
Kashmiri Chilli Duck – Another one of those show stealer dishes here. It was a shredded duck in plum sauce made in Kashmiri spices served with some aloo Bukhara korma. Duck was so well done and the myriad of sweet and spicy flavours hitting you in each bite with that korma made you fall hungry to eat more of this all over again.
Home Style Chicken Curry – No menu can be complete without a good serving of chicken and the home style chicken curry was just that dish. Soul food for the chicken eater. Goan styled curry and some well-done boneless chicken pieces. It’s like Rajnikant was cooking these south Indian dishes in the kitchen. Each dish after the other was a super hit
Dal Makhani & Raita – There was a cup of dal makhani and raita that was served in each table. The dal makhani In ML and MIP are almost similar. Great consistency here and the raita served was pretty refreshing
Stuffed Kulchas – I wanted to write a special note for the stuffed kulchas that were served here. They were some really well done kulchas and were pretty innovative as well. The ones I absolutely recommend here are the prawn’s balchao and the tandoori chicken one. Soft kulchas with a decent amount of stuffing that are melt in your mouth soft.
We were served with 3 desserts. They were the Legendary Jalebi Caviar, The Ras malai tres leches and the pan flavoured cotton candy. As soon as it was served a war broke out between bloggers where you could the savage and uncivilised versions of them. The Ras Malal Tres leches was under blatant attacks by the Author of the Dessert Hoggers Blog LOL. He wiped it clean in seconds. All I can say is that this one of the must have desserts here.
The second dessert was the jalebi caviar. In this dish the Jalebi is broken down into small pieces which makes it look like boondi that you would eat in a laddoo. It is floating on a sea of pistachio rabri that has the right amount of sweetness with a touch of saffron. So jalebi rabri lovers this special dish is made just for you. My personal favourite was the Ras Malai though
The Paan flavoured cotton candy was served in a flower pot. Other than the presentation I didn’t find anything special in this dessert to rave about as I was still duking it out to get my hands on some of that amazing ras malai
Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra, a magnum-opus of The Czar of Indian Cuisine aims at showcasing the epicurean lineage of Ancient India, representing culinary excellence from across the geographical landscape of the count and it very successful in doing that in all aspects. It is extremely pricy and the portions can be miniscule for some but it’s the quality that counts here. It’s a special restaurant for those special occasions in life that you want to spend with special people having some really special Indian food. A Meal for 2 can set you back by Rs 5k. The place is pretty much booked most of the time so try booking for some weeks in advance for getting a booking. It’s the only place which has taught me to have Indian food with a fork and knife without any rice and rotis and I thank it for that.