Saturday, 23 July 2016

MasalaBar | Carter Road Bandra West Mumbai | Food Review | Restaurant Review

When it comes to dining experience, Kalras have perfected it :) MasalaBar too provides a memorable mix of excellent food,drinks,service and ambiance. Situated at Carter Road, this geometrically pleasing and unique restaurant/lounge/bar is perfect for those date nights where we want everything to go just right :) 

All Pictures Credit : Prachi Shailendra Photography

We went in for a food bloggers tasting & review session and were mesmerized by the ambiance,like everybody is. Geometrically Patterned Mirrors and Candles create the tapestry of all the visual wizardry. Soft golden hues take that 'candle-light dinner' experience to the next level as this is THE ONLY source of light here, transporting us right back to the time when perhaps Game of Thrones happened. You can imagine Jon Snow serenading you in candlelight if that's your thing :D Suffice to say, all you lovebirds in Mumbai yearning for the perfect place to woo your significant other, make a beeline for MasalaBar. Others like me who are blessed with dim eye-bulbs might want to visit here in daytime :D 

Taking the innovation of molecular gastronomy in food a step further, MasalaBar also has a complete chemistry-lab set up at the bar to do their own hokey pokey when it comes to the drinks! Magnetic Stirrer, Centrifuge, Distiller, Dehydrator and what not to bring the most innovative and delicious cocktails some of which we were honored to taste. Go for Bollywood Bhaang (Vodka with homemade Bhaang/Thandai,an easy favorite), Filter Kafi Uska (Vodka,Orange,Cinnamon,Coffee distillation), Malabar Point (Vodka, Apple, Chamomile,Thyme) or Bandstand Songkrant (Gin, Ginger, Thyme). Or go ahead with the theatrics of Sasoon Dock (Vodka based drink served in a glass pipe and absinthe foam served alongside as palate cleanser!) or Sunset at Carter (a full representation of ocean,clouds,sun through various elements including smoke!). Every drink has a story behind its conception and science behind its taste & presentation, so choose your story and let the staff take care of the rest! 

Being a mocktail lover myself, have to give special recommendation for extremely refreshing Berry Cooler, unique Heaven on Earth (watermelon with curry leaf foam infusion,fantastic!) and citrusy fresh Sea Side that I enjoyed while the rest of our group was going ga-ga over the cocktails :D 

Now as a foodie, I know going in to a Kalra's establishment that I would get something different and delicious, something that pushes the boundaries of innovation without giving up the wow-factor when it comes to taste, so why should MasalaBar be any different. 

Started with Chana Tempura Chaat, did not have high expectations from the humble Chana but it turned out to be a crowd-pleaser with soft and spicy Chana popping on our tongues :) 

Papdi Pizzet was another crowd-pleaser, a twist on our humble Sev Puri with little Taco base, mashed sweet potatoes and a starfruit on top giving it that sweet-tangy flavor kick in each mouthful. 

Pan Tossed Mushrooms with Khari Bruschetta and Baby Cashew Idlis were flavorful as expected. Ragda Pattice Slider (mini burgers) could have done with a bit more spice, otherwise they were quite decent too. 

The star dish of the night was Carbon Pav-Bhaaji with edible carbon used beautifully with melt - in - the - mouth soft pav and flavorful dense bhaaji to create an amazing dish to look at as well as relish. 

Similarly, Kathal Burger is a must-have, where MasalaBar has taken Jackfruit,something most of the people have no idea how to use in a simple recipe even at home, and crafted a genius lip-smacking dish I could have all night long :D Every morsel full of that meaty texture of jackfruit with soft burger bun accompanied with crunchy potato chips. Enough said! 

For Biryani lovers, Asparagus and Pokchoy Biryani is a must have with flavorful, decently spiced Biryani (More like Pulao) served with the crunchy asparagus & Pokchoy bits, absolutely filling. Also try soft Butter Naan with Morsel do Pyaza, basically a mix veg with Mushrooms dominating the flavor range, this was one dish I swiped clean myself :) 

Portions for starters seem to be a bit miniscule which could be a gripe for some while the main course is good enough to be shared among 2 people :) And don't forget, the desserts are waiting to take us into foodie heaven. We had Risotto Phirni which seems to be an acquired taste as half the people on our table loved it,half just about liked it. If you love Phirni and not-too-sweet desserts, this can be your poison. Otherwise just go for Bailey's Pops presented as the forbidden fruit hanging on the great tree of wisdom in Garden of Eden :D Bailey's. Pops. That should explain it all :P 

Service as expected is top-notch, quick, efficient, staff knows the menu inside-out and will give you the best suggestions based on your preference :) They genuinely want everyone to go back home with boatload of memories which perhaps justifies the fine dine price range (including taxes). The care and craft with which the menu has been put together and the way Kalra's have perfected the system to provide not just a meal but an entire experience makes MasalaBar a must-visit at least once :)

All Pictures Credit : Prachi Shailendra Photography

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