I have been to the Masala Library a couple of times, including the invite just after the opening, and mostly with visitors.
I missed their birthday, having been hospitalised and hence when invited to try out their new menu, took the opportunity.
They have two seatings – 7.30 pm and 10 pm. I have always loved the 7.30 pm because the staff is fresh, service is always excellent and one is home also at a nice time 🙂
Whilst waiting for N to join us, we partook of the excellent cocktails – Burnt curry leaf martini – excellent and a must try. Cosmopolitan was nice too, whilst Negroni was made pretty well.
The restaurant manager Sujoy and the Chef Dhwani came over, introduced themselves asked about veg & non veg – 2 Non Veg; 1 Veg and I wanted to do a 50:50 and we began the evening.
By this time, the restaurant was full and buzzing; staff extremely polite and well versed, the kitchen and bar seemed to humming too – most importantly there were smiles around, which to me denotes an happy environment.
Amouse Bouche – Thandai spheres, made out of saffron milk and Maska Bun was begun with. The maska bun was quite good and probably would have been demolished as a bread basket by itself.
Soup – Non Veg was steamed patrani macchi, lemon coriander shorba, chukki edamame – loved it totally, even compared to the mushroom option which was a regular here.
Veg – Tomato soup, fresh bocconcini chaat, basil matthi – N loved it and I found it pretty nice.
Salad Veg – Fresh chenna bhalla chaat, dates & almond chutney, crispy okra – outstanding. Non Veg – Curry Leaf and pepper prawns, thayirsadam, banana crisp – very good.
Starters – Non Veg 1) Bacon wrapped tandoori morel, dry chardonnay carbonara – Loved the crispy and accompanied by the cocktail had me reaching the empty plate for more. 2) Pan seared scallop, peanut butter salan, nutcracker salad – Others loved it, I am not too much for scallop and peanut butter 3) Braised mutton chap, maple and kokum glaze, micro popcorn – This was outstanding in itself, the mutton was so good, could be taken off the bone with just a fork/spoon and melted in your mouth.
Veg 1) Tandoori guchchi, parmesan dust, lotus stem crisp – quite good 2) Malabari paratha quesadilla, roast vegetable khurma, milagai podi – An outstanding dish and worth seconds. 3) Besan cheela cannelloni, matar paneer bhurjee, cheese fondue – N quite liked it, but somehow did not work for me.
Took a deep breath after all this and had Sorbet – Misti doi lollipops as palate cleanser. Quite nice and then were ready for the main course.
Main Course – Non Veg 1) Pan seared Rawas, crab and spinach poriyal, mallaya curry – worked quite well, in fact the spinach tasted quite different 2) Kashmiri chilli duck, aloo bukhara quorma, veri crumbs – tried the duck after a long time and found it quite good and a change in taste – definitely worth a try.
Veg 1) Umami crumbed mushroom souffle kofta, seared oyster mushrooms, truffle saffron curry – N at most times not a mushroom lover, actually liked it very much 2) Dhokla lasagna, palak goat cheese bhurjee, corn and dill curry – This did not work for us at all. The dhokla with Palak is definitely avoidable
Accompaniments/sides Prawn balchao kulcha, chilli chicken kulcha, anda bhurji kulcha, four cheese naan, roti and Lachha paratha. AND of course the famous Papad offerings with array of dips.
Finally the Desserts – 1) Jalebi caviar, Saffron glaze, Pistachio Rabri 2) Jhajariya, rasin and goji berry ice cream, caramel popcorn 3) Pista paan, coconut ice cream, rose foam – All 3 were good and demolished quickly though my favourite is jalebi caviar and pista paan.
Suggestion: As a group of 4-8 wanting to try out just cocktails and starters this is a lovely place – Go with the starters, papad platter and the variety of kulcha, end it with Jalebi caviar.
For Dinner, more the nos of people, the better one would enjoy.
Both slots full on a Thursday, happy staff, consistent service means Zorawar Kalra has a good thing going; the consistency of food, with minor tweaks and changes by Chef Saurabh keep it humming.
Disclaimer This was on a personal invite from Mr. Jiggs Kalra Mentor and Zorawar Kalra MD of Massive Restaurants Pvt. Ltd.