We are a gourmand couple who love to discover new places and eat our hearts out. Follow us for a guilt trip along the food road.
Nowadays Happiness isn’t enough for most of us. We need Euphoria. With time we’ve reached that stage where even mere satisfaction needs an upgrade. We seek that in almost everything. Be it things from our daily use like phones, cars etc. to the type of people we surround ourselves with. This same factor goes with food too. And with food it has reached to a level where the typical Run-of-the-mill types are scorned upon. There are many factors with food that may please or displease one. Starting from the very first look, plating & presentation, style, taste, combinations etc. to the overall look and feel of the place, staff hospitality, seating and of course the value for money factor.
We have visited many restaurants, big and small. Though they strive to their commitment and try to provide the best, somehow manage to lack in a factor or two. It is very difficult to find a place where each and everything is just about right, to more than perfect. This was our conception till we visited ‘Masala Library’.
Euphoria – A feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness. That’s exactly what Masala Library strive to provide with each and every aspect, to make your fine dining experience – The Best.
We visited Masala Library with a few fellow bloggers to experience their ‘Progressive Indian Fare’ a Concept Cuisine, tweaking traditional Indian recipes with modern culinary techniques and molecular gastronomy.
Hold on to your seats while you continue reading about our experience. A place that left us awestruck and overwhelmed.
To sweet beginnings: Our elaborate chow down began on a very sweet and surprising note. We were served the ‘Thandai Spheres’. These pop in the mouth amuse bouche servings made using molecular gastronomy had thandai spheres with a Saffron milk base. We were asked to place these in the mouth and ‘POP’ went the thandai spheres. Perfectly paired with ‘Maska Buns’ our appetites were whet for what was in store for us in this phenomenal meal.
A phenomenal meal needs to be paired with some exceptional drinks, we had the option of Star Anise Martini and the Curry Leaf Martini. Choosing one of these marvellous creations would’ve been difficult, right? So we went ahead and had them both. On a scale of one to the Best Martini we’ve had, both of them were extraordinary. The taste and the potency of the divine mixture was just loved by everyone.
Well, we were off to a great start. Or did we?
Still wanna read more? Make sure you have your seatbelts on. Cause this is one hellouva ride.
The Chef’s menu started with Soup. Every cuisines kindest course starts with the good ol’ soup. But trust us when we say that this was an epic start to our meal. The presentation obviously drawing attention literally compelled us to plunge into the ‘Steamed Patrani Machi, with Lemon Coriander Soup’. Served in a bowl that will just keep you awed for a while (not disclosing this for people who haven’t been there)
Next up was ‘Chukki Edamame’ more like a diversion to what was coming up next. To be honest, who would’ve thought about making something from immature soybeans right in their pods! Sounds interesting? So this is what it looked like. Quite a welcome diversion!
Next up was something that could even fool the Vegetarians and make them drool all over. A true delicacy amongst all Non-Vegetarians, ‘Galawati Kabab’ was served. The delicacy originally created for an aging Nawab of Lucknow, is the most sought after kababs for its melt-in-the-mouth preparation. The one served here was no less than what we consider to be the best Kababs ever. Served on a soft saffron flavoured sweet flat bread. The spices, the texture and the taste of the soft and succulent Kebabs won everyone’s hearts. Given a chance, we could eat this all day long.
Our palates were taken to a different level with the marvellous Kababs, we were quite strongly contemplating if the line-up after these would ever suffice the level of taste we were now introduced to.
We were soon proved wrong with the entry of ‘Bacon Wrapped Tandoori Morels’ little did we know that Masala Library had heaps of surprises in store for us. Pieces of Morels (mushroom) marinated with Saffron, filled with cream cheese grilled slowly to keep the flavours intact, wrapped in thin, crispy and juicy strips of Bacon. And as the infamous quote goes; you either like Bacon, or you’re wrong. What could go wrong with the good ol’ Bacon? The earthy flavour mixed with the creamy combination and juicy bacon was simply out of this world.
‘Braised Mutton Chop’ was served next. The whole experience felt like we were rediscovering Indian cuisine in a whole new way. These fall off the bone Mutton Chop glazed with Kokum and Maple was something that simply cannot be forgotten. The riot of flavours with the sweet and juicy meat was too good to be true. The micro corns gave this a beautiful texture. Meat lovers should try this for sure!
Mishti Doi, Typically identified with Bengali cuisine made it mark with this Chefs special Progressive Indian fare. ‘Mishti Doi Lollipops’ were served as a palate cleanser. How could anyone tweak something that’s already perfect and make it far more presentable and delectable. Well, that’s what Masala Library is all about.
With our Palates cleansed, we were ready for the next round of surprises. ‘Pan Seared Rawas with Spinach Poriyal’ was next on our plates. Indian Salmon served with a South Indian twist. Now this tweak was something we loved. Poriyal means to Sauté. Spinach was sautéed and served with this beautifully plated fish with a south Indian curry. The flavours of the fish, the spinach Poriyal and the gravy blended so well that our south Indian roots were activated and taken to the next level, simply loved it.
The feeling at Masala Library was like we were sitting in one place and travelling the whole of India. Every dish that was served had some or the other link or lineage with different parts of our country. Next served was the ‘Kashmiri Chilli Duck’. Though not much of a Duck fan, this dish was well appreciated around the table. Tender pieces of Duck in a mildly thick Bukhara gravy was finished in a jiffy. The gravy had a perfect creamy flavour with a slight pungency to it.
The unparalleled fare was coming to an end, but not before the last few surprises Masala Library had in store for us. We were presented with the ‘Home Style Chicken Curry’. A perfectly balanced tangy and spicy gravy with pieces of tender chicken. Though others felt the tanginess of the tomato based gravy was over powering, we simply loved the variation. These were served with Prawns and Chicken Kulchas. The best amongst the lot was the Melt-in-your-mouth Prawn’s Balchao Kulcha. Probably the best we’ve had in this lifetime.
It was time for desserts. And Masala Library left no stone unturned to take us through a journey that will never be forgotten. One by one we were served ‘Ras Malai Tres Leches’ and the ‘Jalebi Caviar with Rabdi’. Boy, the avidity in everyone’s face was clearly visible. The moment these desserts were placed in our table, all hell broke loose, and all decorum was forgotten and people just started digging into these marvels that are simply called desserts. There can be no words to further describe these. The only possible was is to book yourselves a table and experience these by yourself.
Last but not the least, came a surprise that just kept every single person on the table spell bound. ‘Paan Flavoured Cotton Candy’. Just as the name suggests these were an innovation that you won’t find everywhere. These can be had as desserts, or preferably as after mints.
We have seen others write or talk about the price factor at this place. Some write this as an upscale experience, or some just point out that this place is priced enough to burn a hole in your pocket. But according to us it’s what you pay for an experience. And experiences like these are priceless. !
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