Dinner at the Library: Masala Library, Delhi

Dinner at the Library: Masala Library, Delhi
After winning over the critics & inspiring a whole new
community of followers in Mumbai, the multi award winning Masala Library goes
North to “Dilwalon ki Dilli”.
Masala Library has opened in the centre of Janpath
neighbouring Le Meriden Hotel, Delhi. The very well illuminated sprawling fine dine is
difficult to miss in this bright city. The ambience is amplified by soft light against
a backdrop of subtle colours. A huge crystal chandelier adorns the beautiful
ceiling of this posh restaurant where the seating area is just about decent
with interiors spacious enough to be classified under fine dining class.

We were ushered to a
table by a besuited member of the staff who was always nearby throughout but
not intrusive. Even though it was only Tuesday, every table was occupied and an
advance reservation is highly recommended.

I would love to jot down a detailed description of all the
dishes we had but I might just run out of web space and reader attention.
Our food journey began with a refreshingly ingenious palate
cleanser; Amouse Bouche. Mango pulp floating in the midst of coconut water in
egg-shaped ceramic bowls presented in a nest was something you do not see
everyday. Could it be anymore dramatic?

 

 Deconstructed Samosa:  The Punjabi Samosa is a snack which North Indians
swear by whether in Delhi or Mumbai. A deconstructed version of the Punjabi
Samosa, a long strip of puff pastry is topped with spiced potatoes, peas and
droplets of chutney. It was almost as though you are biting into a samosa albeit
a baked one. There is a touch of culinary artistry to the presentation
highlighting the appeal.

Charcoal Bhajiyaas: I know I know, these look like some kind
of alien life form but looks can be deceptive. These are definitely not eye
pleasing but once you have tasted one your palate would be singing happy
rhymes. The earthy charcoal flavours of these onion treats will make you wish
you had a hot cup of tea and pouring rains to complement it.

Nadir Churma: The Lotus stem has been going places from tiny
cafes to fine dining and everyone with a knife in hand is eager to experiment
with it. ML has concocted its own beautiful version with the stems. Wafer thin
spiced Lotus Stem air-fried and served with radish & walnut chutney was a blend
of different flavours uniting to create a rich delicious delicacy.

Mushroom Tea Soup: Even though I am largely a coffee person,
a cup of tea prepared using mushrooms sounds alluring. Mushroom soup infused with
a hint of truffle oil presented in a form of Chai was soul soothing to say the
least. One sip after another there was no stopping until I got to the bottom of
the cup. If only this were available in Mumbai, this would be my daily dose during
the winters.

Pepper Lamb with Appam shell: Delicious tender pieces of
lamb are cooked to perfection with a pepper concoction and shelled out with
Black Appam. No exaggeration intended but this one was the best lamb serving I
have tasted.

Galauti Kebab & Sheermal : Strings of Galauti kebab
blanketing the mini Sheermal roti is a more contemporary version of
the Galauti Kebabs from Kalras. One bite of this beauty and it melted almost
instantaneously in my mouth leaving me amazed. I loved the unusual texture, the
balanced flavours and the rich creamy aftertaste of this historical delicacy.

Braised mutton chop, maple and kokum glaze: Perfectly
braised mutton chop with maple syrup and kokum glaze is an amalgamation of
sweet, tangy and spicy flavours. It resonates sensational flavours with every
bite. I would visit ML as often as I can and still call for this. *TWS
recommends

Tawa Kheema with Pickled Bitter Gourd:  The bitter gourd or
more commonly known “Karela” is a food item that never features on my list of
edibles. On the chef’s insistence, I tried the spiced Kheema spiked with Karela
sliver. An unusual surprising food pairing, the obvious bitterness of the
bitter gourd was not very pleasing.

Mizo Stew with Black Rice:  Shredded chicken with black rice floating
in a coriander broth served in a rock bowl was humble in taste reminiscent of a
North East local dish.

   

Curry Bread: Orange Makhni curry, Korma Cashew White curry
and Palak Green curry showcasing the colours of the Indian Flag were rich and
homely. These were served with lachha paratha/ roti which brought back memories
of Indian comfort food from our homes.
Post Mains we were served yet another palate cleanser;
Chuski. Kala Katha flavoured chuski served as a memory pill bringing back all
those childhood memoirs before carbonated drinks ruined them.
Returning back to the present and it is just about time for
DESSERTS

Chocolate and Plum Mousse: Just one word can sum this one
up; Decadent. Irresistibly smooth and rich chocolate mousse made of Callebaut
chocolate and plum, decorated with droplets of dark chocolate was one enchanted
indulgence for my sweet tooth. It broke my heart as I began to deconstruct this
frivolous beauty

Ashen Kulfi: Displaying a soft shade of grey, Kulfi is prepared
using burnt banana leaf. This unique Kulfi flavour might make it to instagram
soon enough.
In spite of my best efforts to reduce the word count I do
not think its fair to skip all those admirable dishes which not only spell
class and drama but enhance the overall spectacular dining experience we had.
With extravagant names and even swankier presentations which
spell classic & contemporary, this place is literally a Laboratory creating
new dishes that exemplify splendour.
The tasting menu costs Rs.2300 & upwards but the fusion
of different cuisines and excellent pairing of food justifies the value.
I was welcomed to Masala Library as a guest, however my opinion is as always, my own! 
Until then,
The WickedSoul

For more details about the restaurant click here:
Masala Library Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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