My kinda library – Masala Library !

My kinda library – Masala Library !
Throwback to the days when I would gather along
with my friends in the college library and spend some fun times, share notes
with besties, talk in soft tones and had no worries except of course the librarian
kicking us out for making a ruckus.

The years have flown by but old habits die hard. A few weeks ago, I encountered another type of Library, where I had some fun times with my friends again, but this library was different. Instead of columns of stacked books, this one housed Ebooks and a variety of delectable cuisines. Unlike a traditional library, food was shared over conversations and laughter and replaced silent whispers.
My kinda library – Masala Library !

You know your year is gonna be great when your first invite of the year is ML. Earlier this year, I was honoured to be hosted by the gem of Massive restaurants group ML, someone whose beliefs lie in innovation of the bygone era by converting it into a gastronomical experience for their customers.
Ambiance: The simplistic illuminations on the outside smoothly transition into the beautiful inner décor. The yellow lights gently bounce off the stone walls to compliment the customised painted ceramics. They take customisation to a whole new level, even the plates reflect the “Masala Library” signature calligraphy. Soft classic symphonies floating in the air above elevate the overall ambience. 

We set off to a mysterious beginning. An oval shaped sphere served on a soup spoon

Thandai Amuse Bouche. Similar in
appearance to a rasmalai, this was actually a molecular bubble, a deceiving
start. The molecular bubble exploded into a thandai flavour neutralizing our
palate for the upcoming masala feast. It is very rare that a palate cleanser
livens up the mood and expectation levels.

Patra ni Machi with Corainder Shorba
Steamed basa fish pieces are served in a fish-replica ceramic bowl (how suitable). The coriander shorba is then poured over the steamed fish. Served with soft cheese buns, the earthly flavours of coriander and subtle aroma of the steamed fish was one of the highlights of the evening. 
From the horse’s ear, Patra ni machhi is a dish in the Parsi cuisine, which is made from steamed fish topped with chutney and wrapped in a banana leaf.
Curry Leaf Pepper Prawns with Thayir Sadam
 Crispy Oriental prawns served on a bed of Thayir Sadam with a side of banana
chips. Thayir Sadam is a famous delicacy of Tamil Nadu also known as yogurt
rice, prepared with boiled rice, yogurt & seasoned with Black gram lentils
and mustard seeds. The phrase “Each to his own” is apt for this dish. The
Oriental prawns and Thayir Sadam tasted well individually but when combined,
the South flavours overpowered the rest of the dish. This one was far from
impressive and can be skipped.
The signature Galawat Kebab with Warqi Paratha:
Galawati kebab is one of the
jewels of the Awadhi cuisine. Believed to have originated from Lucknow after an
ageing Nawab’s love for meat showed no signs of subduing even after he barely
had any teeth left. The word “Galawat” itself means soft enough to swallow. The
kebabs are cooked using papaya which softens the meat and easy to gulp down.
The kebabs were served on a warm dish, presumably graphite, with a mini Warqi
Paratha and a side of mint chutney. The kebabs were absolutely gulp-worthy. I
had to get myself seconds (khaane mei kaisi sharam ji)
Peri Peri Chicken Tikka:
Who doesn’t like Peri Peri? My fav spices
tossed with classic chicken tikka make for a delicious treat. A slice of pink
ginger hoisted on Boneless chicken pieces marinated with peri peri sauce and
served with a side of cumin raita. The chicken was well cooked and tasted just
about right, somewhere in between bland and extra spicy.

Behold this is not just
a regular chaap but ML much talked about, much instagrammed chaap and now it is
TheWickedSoul’s fav chaap!
Chaamp or Chaap is a piece of goat or lambs
rib that has very little meat on it.Having relished authentic Mutton chops
elsewhere, an innovative version of this Mutton chops would really have to step
it up. The 4 hour long braised chops had a Western-Maharashtrian taste owing to
the kokam and maple syrup dribbled with micro popcorn.
Who thought spicy masaledar chaap would ever
have a hint of sweet & tangy. The mutton was so succulent and lipsmacking,
I ditched my table manners to dig deep and slurp the bone dropping meat right
outta the serving plate. As my friend would say “By God, Besharmi ki toh hadh
ho gayee”.

Pan seared scallop with peanut butter salan

was my first attempt at a scallop and it was not noteworthy. Let’s leave it at

You know what is so special about Kalra’s restaurants – they never miss a chance to surprise you even between the meals. 

palate cleanser

Bengali traditional sweet made into lollipops and
solidified with liquid nitrogen were presented on a sunflower bed. Khatta
meetha, I wouldn’t mind indulging into another Popsicle before moving on to the
next meal.

The mains were accompanied with a range of
assorted parathas, tadke-wali dahi and dal makhani.

Stuffed Kulchas were rolled out in three versions,Chicken, Prawns & Veg/Cheese. Soft & stuffed, even the kulchas were prepared and presented with utter focus to details. Dal makhani was yumm and oozed the flavour of North India, sticking to its origin. The Tadke wali dahi was unique and pungent yet tangy and went well with the kulchas.

I overheard someone call for Duck, well, how should I react? I was taken aback as I had never tried duck before.
Luscious looking pieces of duck, drenched in
aromatic smooth gravy prepared with aaloo Bukhara (plum sauce), so dark and
desirable, tested my resistance. Convincing my wavering mind that this would
taste similar to chicken, I nibbled on a small piece to soak in the feeling of
the unknown. I just couldn’t stop after a delectable first bite. Mysteriously smooth
and as delicious as it could taste, this dish was my fav from among the mains.
This is one of those must try dishes which just cannot be passed.

Pan-Seared Rawas with Spinach & Crab
Poriyal and Malaya curry
Trust Masala Library to be the peace keepers of the
culinary world in the years to come. Another amalgation of literal poles apart
regions – North India & South India. North Indian style fish and Crab
Poriyal (south Indian dry vegetable preparation with grated coconut & crab)
doused with Malayala curry. 

Home-style chicken curry 
Well-cooked pieces
of chicken cooked in home styled curry. Though tasty and succulent, it lacked
that distinct flavour expected from Masala Library.
Almost stuffed like a turkey on thanksgiving
from all those slurpicious mains, we saved just enough space to try their much
talked about dessert.
Ras Malai Tres Leches 
who doesn’t like Ras
malai and when paired with Tres Leches, Spanish dessert which is from another
part of the world, the result is just outstanding. Two distinct desserts from
two worlds apart, together in one plate, OMG. Much Wow! There are not
sufficient adjectives to describe this artistic definition. An island of Tres
Leches (3 milk breads) amid a pool of pistachios, almonds and saffron floating
in Ras (saffron milk). A carefully erected rose caramel net completes the look
and makes it look like a million dollars!!
Jalebi Caviar 

Presented in a shell shaped
dish, Jalebi is prepared in molecular boondi-like droplets and served next to
an airy kesar foam floating in pistachio garnished rabdi. It almost feels as
though you have taken a bite right out of a boondi laddoo though the overall
sweetness blew away the sweet-o-meter.

So are we done yet? No the final surprise is
still pending. What else can you come up with after a ravishing meal? Mouth
freshner, fortune cookie, paan etc. Well, Masala Library planned to send us
home with a sweet memory.
Pan flavoured Cotton Candy 

unlike anything you
ever had before. Flavoured clouds served on a dish to remind us of the
wonderland that is “ Masala Library”.

Service: The service here is flawless and as courteous as it can get. It is almost as though the dishes just appear magically on the table and then disappear once we are done dining. A smiling thumbsup, no second thoughts.

The overall dining experience though nearly
unmatched may burn a hole in your pocket. However, from the décor to the
service to the cuisines, ML certainly checks all the boxes to ensure a glowing
customer review.
#LipSmackingMeter 4.5/5
Until next time,

Masala Library Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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