What do we do when an award-winning Delhi restaurant opens up in our hood? We book ourselves a table way before the official launch because really, nothing should come between us and our undying love for chur chur naans dipped indulgently in bowls of butter chicken and daal makhani. Here’s welcoming Masala House Goa in Porvorim with open hearts and ever-hungry stomachs.
We love that unlike a lot of Indian restaurants, this one doesn’t give into the temptation of kitschy interiors and instead sticks to a clean, minimal aesthetic. The plants set against bare white walls, statement chandeliers and a dash of yellow from the seating sets the tone for a gourmet experience and Masala House doesn’t miss a beat.
The menu isn’t overreaching either. It’s pruned to perfection to accommodate Masala House’s star dishes along with some local additions. While they call their food ‘contemporary Indian’ you can rest assured that at the heart of it are flavours you so fiercely love but the plating and presentation is beautifully avant-garde. We’re in fact just going to put this out here: They’re probably doing the best Dum Ki Dal and Tamateri Kukad in Goa. So, if you’re hungry for a proper Indian meal, this one is worth its weight in gold (and ghee).
While we’re yet to try a whole bunch of things from the menu (we’re obviously going to keep going back), we can tell you that the Anarkali Tikki (a perfectly pan-fried beetroot tikki, crusty on the outside and gooey on the inside) and Khumb Luqmi (a modern-day mushroom patty) are our favourite vegetarian starters. Not to forget the papad basket that we shamelessly devoured with four different types of dips. The carnivore’s pick from the evening is the Dora Kebab; succulent, smoky minced lamb kebab that’ll have you in food heaven. After all this, do we even have to say more about the Tamateri Kukad and Dum Ki Dal?! These slow-cooked, evenly tempered dishes have our whole North Indian heart.
If you’re in Goa and wondering if Masala House does seafood, the answer is yes. And they’ve got a pretty interesting spin on classics; you’ll find Calamari 65 , Rawa Meen Moiley, Dill Salmon Tikka and Kadi Patta Jheenga. Vegetarians, don’t fret. Get yourself Palak Moti (a version of palak paneer with mascarpone and ricotta cheese) and Anjeer Chenna Kofta. Get these with a dollop of Masala House’s famous Burani Raita and you’re in for a feast fit for a king. Oh, and don’t forget to wash all this down with their signature cocktails, all crafted using the freshest ingredients.
If you still have space left (even if you don’t, better make it), end with their Baked Yoghurt and Gulukand Phirni. These are utter bliss.