Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Return To Masala Library for the Tasting Menu

Rest : Masala Library
Loc : BKC
Meal : Lunch 

My good friend Pat was in town from HKG and despite having dined at Delhi's famed Indian Accent (where i should be next week) he insisted on checking out Masala Library. My previous visit to Masala Library is here

I was told they did not have tables but i decided to chance it anyway which is just as well, the place was packed by 2-2.30 but i dont think all present had prior bookings.

Feeling adventurous we went in for the tasting menu and it began with the little cheesy, dough bread and the amuse bouche, the deconstructed papdi chat. 

The papad platter is what Pat was most keen on and it was gone pretty quick. 

The first course was the mushroom chai, which was served with dry mushrooms, freeze dry truffles. A piping hot mushroom broth is poured to complete the tea framing. As gimmicks go this one is not bad and not intrusive nor a waste of time. I do wish they threw in some fresh muhsrooms in there, it would enhance the flavour. Not a distinctly Indian flavour this but good for mushroom lovers. 

The salad course was interesting, i am not usually a fan of watermelon in my food, the odd time i have enjoyed it has been with feta. This one worked well, with its chaat type savoury topping on the sweetish, moist slice of water melon. All about contrasts, nice but not something i would order myself.

the pesto Kebab was our first starter and i enjoyed it very much. the hint of pesto was stronger this time and it tasted even better than the last time. Serving it with a little, sweet cherry tomato was inspired. 

The vada with the pav inside is interesting conceptually and its only fair to have this on the menu but . The game here being that the pav is inside the vada. Flavour wise it was okay i preferred the previous bite sized version which came with cheddar

the Dahi kebab was petty good. i have had a few versions of this but unlike the Dum Pukth or Punjab Grill versions, it does not coat your mouth with sweet yogurt. good stuff. 

the palate cleanser is delicious, dulce de leche esque 

the bread service was comprehensive, the gucchi naan and pretty much everything else they could muster up from the menu was plated. 

the papdi sabzi with i think bhindi, not a dish i wanted, it was certainly not bad and i was surprised by the flavours. i still wouldnt have ordered it because i am not a papad sabzi kinda guy. the other main was their paneer lababdar which too was a no complaints dish. 

the cold raita served with little rose beads was terrific. would go really, really well with a spicy biryani or you could eat it by itself like i did. 

the dal was on the money, thick, buttery, with that flavour your mouth looks for. no complaints. 

the ghevar cheesecake again, oddly enough, i liked it. i am not a big dessert person but i have a special love for these traditional milky tastes and 

which is why i especially loved the jalebi caviar in rabdi with i think some saffron foam. Rabdi to me is one of the greatest things in the world. My grandmom makes it once in a while and i really look forward to it. So when on offer i never say no and this one too was just brilliant. 

All in all, post my second visit,  i feel that the food is good and well executed. The menu is trading on its imagination so they do need to figure out some more ideas when it comes to the amuse bouche and palate cleansers as well as any of the little knick knack they sometimes dole out.

The plating concept is deeply flawed i believe. Since it was two of us for dinner, we were served plates and then each pair of items was brought out and served on the plate. by the time the salad was gone, the plates were quite soiled and unattractive to look at (The plate change happens when the mains come)

I think it would be way quicker, aesthetically more pleasing if each course is brought out on a little plate of its own which can be placed onto the table. Therefore no soiled plates and no need for someone to struggle to serve the dish without destroying the plating.

Another error they made was, despite us sharing the choices from the three main's we were given only one, the other came in of their own accord. 

Additionally, i think the portions are huge. The portions of the mains for the tasting menu are the same as the portions ordered a la carte.  With multiple courses, they can certainly reduce the mains to a smaller serving because one is genuinely full by the time they arrive and its impossible to do it any justice. The food is good and one can appreciate it better if the plating for the mains is re-imagined. For now, they are fairly traditional and certainly don't work in the 9 course concept.

Either that, or have smaller appetizers or just drop off one appetizer.

I do hope the fix these aspects because it will certainly better the offering.

Food : 8/10
Service : 7/10
Damage : 5200 for 2 without drinks

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am Pat and i approve this message

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