Masala Library Is Nothing Short Of Treasure Of Modern India

    Bandra East, Mumbai

    What Makes It Awesome?

    Masala Library is a manifestation of human imagination on how the dining experience should be enriched with every portion of food only increasing the expectation for the next one. The western countries have already worked on the molecular gastronomy and it paved the way for one in Mumbai with the opening of Masala library. Mr Jiggs Kalra, known as Czar of Indian cuisine, worked something on similar lines but with an absolute touch of Indian flavours to it. The target was far from imagination but his marksmanship was a concrete thought process. We opted for the Chef special 5-course menu which spread over 10+dishes with varied style to surprise our palates. Amuse Bouche:- A common terminology for palate cleanser served in different ways by different restaurants. The fake egg as it was here was a mixture of mango pulp and water which makes u feel bright already with many more to come. Snacks: Dahi Bhalla Semifreddo:- 2 aspects of this dish. One comprises of yoghurt foam, beetroot dust and looks like modak in shape but more squishy. Other is semi-frozen Dahi Bhalla which has the exact mix though it is blended and served in a semi-frozen state. The presentation as such I won't even talk when it comes to review of this place, for the simple reason they are outstanding. Taste-wise perfect. Deconstruction of samosa:- The concept of deconstruction is where any dish that is subject to it is served as if its a position of inside out. Here the maida part is served as the base with the 3 sets of potato mash served with a touch of tamarind. The touch of tamarind is important to make the dish more likeable. It might not look like a samosa but tastes like one. Farmers Staple:- Inspired from the Maharashtrian delicacy Thaalipeeth, this simple dish is served with chilli techa foam rather than the chill techa itself. Half a piece is served, where you get to sample the taste and is served and with the right spice to it. Soup: Mushroom tea:- The 2nd course for the evening is the soup with a remarkable concept of mushroom tea offered in the chai cup which is actually on lines with a soup preparation. The first part of it is the dehydrated black button mushrooms which substitute actual tea leaves. Truffle oil crumbs are put in 2 spoonfuls as if sugar is being used, both of which have similar textures. Thirdly the hot soup is served and looks like black tea hence taking care of all aspects of a tea. This way you sip your soup like a tea. We had 2 cups each and would have loved being served this delicacy the entire day. Well thought of. Amarnath's Crusted Poriyal, Goat cheese Raita:- Amarnath is nothing but rajgeera which is common usage in Maharashtrian delicacy. Poriyal is a is the Tamil word for a friend, or sometimes sauteed, vegetable dish. Now herein, the poriyal filled with vegetables are deep-fried, coated with Amarnath from the outside, looking like rajgeera laado and served with raita made of goat cheese. The portal is super soft and goes with thick raita rather than the usual style where it is more watery. Curry Leaf & Pepper Asparagus, Thayir Saadam:- The latter part of the description is what you call Curd rice in Tamil which is served with asparagus and cherry tomato with peppery preparation as a combination with their Saddam. Also, banana chips which are a south Indian favourite are served. More on the lines of mains but served as part of starters. Bihari Dal pitha:- Served in the shape of dumplings from the north part of the country stuffed with yellow lentils and mustard and some raw mango chutney in the base to got with the pitha. The dumpling is made of whole wheat. Very different because I have never tasted an actual Bihari dal pitha. So opinion is indifferent. Mushroom Tikki, Truffle butter cookie:- The mushroom Tikki is served with a truffle butter cookie on top and some moisturized mushrooms inside and the base of the dish is a shitake mushroom puree/sauce since its thicker on the texture part. Very different. Pesto Kebab:- Very similar to Hara bara kebab just the difference of pesto sauce as to flavour the kebab with parmesan crust on top with raw tomato chutney on the side more on lines of foamy tomato sauce. The kebab had a slight touch of sweetness to it with tomato adding to the sour flavour. Quite decent. Dal chawal arancini:- Looks more complex than rest and has more flavours to it as compared to rest of the dishes. This was something though not part of the chef menu yet suggested to us for ordering. The flavour is complex with the flavours of dal, chilli, chutney, achar mayo, papad and a garnish of tomato mixed in one place with the tomato flavour being the most significant. Have tasted something on par to this except achari mayo which is unique to even think of. Mains: Amarnath saag:- Again a preparation based on rajgeera with a crust of rajgeera to garnish the north Indian style prepared spinach saag or curry as one would like to call it. Flavours pretty straight forward and away towards normalization of preparation after a grandeur of appetizers served earlier. The laccha parathas being paratha of the day was served and was on par with expectation. Malai paneer, seasonal vegetables: To the exception to the thick coat of malai the preparation was again normalised. Malai was super thick and amazing to go with butter naan we ordered. Heavy on the stomach by now. Desserts: Sheer kurma:- Thicker texture than vermicelli pudding based sheer kurma and a very innovative way to present with cold kulfi inside it. Very different from whatever I have tasted earlier. Malai toast, berry cream:- Quite below expectation considering how things have been moving. The pace gets slowed here with the berry cream and Makhan on top of a toast. Okayish Jalebi caviar: King of the desserts with the portion size and quality and reinstating your expectation levels. The jalebi is served in shape of caviar surrounded by a sea of rabdi which is topped with pistachio and saffron. Taste-wise it was super rich till we reach the bottom of the ocean (dish). The stomach can't take it anymore. Super Lip-smacking. Dark Belgian chocolate: Working on the concept of levitation and demonstrated to us on our table by the chef, this is a work of science more than the art of presentation. The food part of it is nothing extraordinary but 85% dark chocolate is intriguing. Presentation is 5/5 no doubt. Cost for one person for tasting the chef special menu is Rs 2500 for vegetarian with GST over and above the cost.

    What Could Be Better?

    For the course part, they should add more on appetizers section.

    How Much Did It Cost?

    ₹3,000+

    Best To Go With?

    Big Group, Bae
      Bandra East, Mumbai