Masala library (Ground Floor, First International Financial Centre, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai)


In a nutshell:

A very creative culinary experience of Indian fusion food with plating done the continental way.

the facade
the facade

Address & other details:  Masala library

Meal for 2: 3000 onwards

Cuisine type :  vegetarian & nonvegetarian

Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.

receipt - proof of payment
receipt – proof of payment

I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.

receipt - proof of payment
receipt – proof of payment

Short description- in case u r in a hurry:

We usually try to have a la carte in all places and usually r put off by most fixed menus as they r usually chicken heavy. The fixed menu here was extremely well balanced and the variety was truely enjoyable.

fixed menu
fixed menu

All food was Paired with different Indian wines. Am not a connoisseur but liked the wines and the pairing.

inside the restaurant
inside the restaurant

A seat here needs to b booked well in advance (sometimes even s week). We had no booking and decided to take a chance. Zomato told us that restaurant opens at 12 noon. We reached (after driving 25 km), at 11.45 and walked in.

inside the restaurant
inside the restaurant

We requested for a table and were very politely told that all seats are sold out. We said, pls give us the tables where people will turn up st 1.30. We will finish fast and go. They stuck to their norms and said ‘ we are calling up all people who reserved. If there is a cancellation we will let u know’.

inside the restaurant
inside the restaurant

We decided to wait at the nearby Starbucks and were overjoyed to get a call back , our expression being one of a kid who just got her fabulous exam marks in hand.

The interior was nice but nothing much to talk about.

Can’t help by narrate this incident l. As we were having lunch we saw an Expensive car with a govt of india logo stop in front of the restaurant. A portly man, probably his wife and parents got out of the car. An assistant ( not driver) opened the door, got them seated inside the restaurant and all the while they were dining, waited outside. I was shocked. A Govt servant doing this on a Sunday noon, wants a favourable transfer maybe. Shameless boss I wud say …..

Menu card had detailed description of every food.

IMG_6241

Service was warm and very  nice.

PAN seared scallop, peanut butter salan and nutcracker salad
PAN seared scallop, peanut butter salan and nutcracker salad

Loved the food

piri piri chicken tikka, black olive and cumin raita and pink ginger
piri piri chicken tikka, black olive and cumin raita and pink ginger

Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
Amuse bouche (literally means amusement for the mouth – a bite size special offering from the chef offered complimentary in the beginning ) was a thandai shot. Really enjoyed it. Rate it 4.25/5

thandai shot
thandai shot

Maska bun seemed to freshly baked, was served warm, had kalonji in it that gave it an interesting twist. Maska ( butter) flavor was enjoyable. 4.5/5

Maska bun
Maska bun

We started with steamed patrani macchi, lemon coriander shorba, Chukki edamame. The Fish appeared super exciting, the way it was served. The steamed fish came in a white bowl that looked like a fish. The shorba was then poured atop.

patrani macchi
patrani macchi

Taste and flavor was exactly like patrani macchi but the texture of the shorba was obviously liquid and hot. Outstanding. The fish itself was lovely – soft, flaky and nice. Rate it 4.75/5

 steamed patrani macchi, lemon coriander shorba
steamed patrani macchi, lemon coriander shorba

Spiced edamame (Japanese bean) was served inside the pod. So the spice and salt was all on the outside. One had to lick the pod and then eat the seeds to get a spicy taste. People do eat it with the pod as well but some find it bitter. Loved this bit.

Spiced edamame
Spiced edamame

The next snack was curry leaf and pepper prawns thayir sadam (curd rice) along with banana crisps.

curry leaf and pepper prawns thayir sadam (curd rice) along with banana crisps.
curry leaf and pepper prawns thayir sadam (curd rice) along with banana crisps.

The Curd rice was outstanding – the curd was thick and creamy, the tadka of mustard and curry leaves wAs felt along with very finely chopped ginger. Rate this 4.75/5

curry leaf and pepper prawns thayir sadam (curd rice) along with banana crisps
curry leaf and pepper prawns thayir sadam (curd rice) along with banana crisps

The prawns were outstanding as well. They were full of flavours and super soft within. YUMM to taste. The outer layer was a tad crisp. Rate this 4.5/5

curry leaf and pepper prawns thayir sadam (curd rice) along with banana crisps.
curry leaf and pepper prawns thayir sadam (curd rice) along with banana crisps.

Overall rating of the dish averages out to 4.6/5

We moved on to Galawati and tawa boti tikka with varqi paratha. Both the kababs were very good.

Galawati and tawa boti tikka with varqi paratha
Galawati and tawa boti tikka with varqi paratha

The Galawati was among the best I have had in months. It was a Galawati with a twist, not made in true blue Awadhi style ( like u get at places like dum pukht). Rate it 4.5/5

Galawati and tawa boti tikka with coin sized varqi paratha
Galawati and tawa boti tikka with coin sized varqi paratha

The tawa boti tikka was super soft, had full flavours of spices and also  that of the meat. Taste was very balanced and good. Rate it 4.5/5

Varqi paratha was a tiny one ( taster only) – it was the size of a large coin. It was paratha made with maida and milk. Super soft and nice. Rate it 4.25/5

Overall rating of the dish averages out to 4.4/5

Next dish we had was piri piri chicken tikka, black olive and cumin raita and pink ginger. It turned out to b a Very good tandoori chicken with a chilly that has ‘some’ character. Rate the tikka 4.5/5

piri piri chicken tikka, black olive and cumin raita and pink ginger
piri piri chicken tikka, black olive and cumin raita and pink ginger

We moved on to Morel wrapped in bacon. Morel is a Kashmiri mushroom and it was just awesome.

peep inside Morel wrapped in bacon
peep inside Morel wrapped in bacon

Perfectly cooked bacon that maintained its taste and flavor while being smoky but not hard / crisp. Full bodied flavor if I might say. Rate the dish 4.5/5

Morel wrapped in bacon
Morel wrapped in bacon

The next dish was PAN seared scallop, peanut butter salan and nutcracker salad. The scallop itself was excellent – great to taste and full of flavours. The salan was super interesting with the peanut. Liked this unexpected combination a lot. Rate it 4.5/5

PAN seared scallop, peanut butter salan and nutcracker salad
PAN seared scallop, peanut butter salan and nutcracker salad

Braised mutton chaamp, maple and kokum glaze, micro popcorn was very interesting. The meat was very soft and nice and was easily falling off the bones. Maple gave it sweetness and kokum gave it a flavor and sourness.

Braised mutton chaamp, maple and kokum glaze, micro popcorn
Braised mutton chaamp, maple and kokum glaze, micro popcorn

At places the maple kokum balance was a bit more than the proportion of meat. Liked it a lot and rate it 4/5.

Braised mutton chaamp, maple and kokum glaze, micro popcorn
Braised mutton chaamp, maple and kokum glaze, micro popcorn

That was what we had for starters.

We were served a palate cleanser sorbet in the form of what we used to call a lolly pop:). It was placed in a small unit with leaves and flowers. The sorbet did its job pretty well.

palate cleanser sorbet
palate cleanser sorbet

For main course we had Kashmiri chilly Duck, aloobukhara korma and veri crumbs. Duck was chewy fibrous but enjoyable. The aloobukhara korma was tangy thick and nice. Rate the dish 4.25/5

Kashmiri chilly Duck, aloobukhara korma and veri crumbs
Kashmiri chilly Duck, aloobukhara korma and veri crumbs

We also had PAN seared rawas, crab and spinach poriyal, malay curry. The fish was lovely – flaky, flavourful, YUMM. There was a thin crumb coating on the top that gave a twist to the expected texture.

PAN seared rawas, crab and spinach poriyal, malay curry
PAN seared rawas, crab and spinach poriyal, malay curry

The Malay curry was very nice but quite different than the Bengali version of ‘Malay curry’.

PAN seared rawas, crab and spinach poriyal, malay curry
PAN seared rawas, crab and spinach poriyal, malay curry

Super loved the spinach poriyal. The crab went missing and cud not express itself well but surely contributed to the overall taste and flavor.

 spinach poriyal,
spinach poriyal,

Rate the dish 4.5/5

We also had assorted kulchas – egg kulchas and chicken kulchas.

The egg kulcha was over stuffed till the brim and was very ‘egg’y to taste. Loved it a lot. Rate it 4.5/5

egg kulcha on top & chicken kulcha in the bottom
egg kulcha on top & chicken kulcha in the bottom

Chicken kulcha was curried chicken filling inside a kulcha with pieces of meat (not just mince). Rate it 4.25/5

We also had kaali dal. It was very good but not the best I had ever had. RAte it 4/5

kaali daal
kaali daal
jalebi caviar with rabri & saffron foam, presented in a beautiful vessel.
jalebi caviar with rabri & saffron foam, presented in a beautiful vessel.

For dessert we had Ras malai with mango cream and jalebi caviar with Rabri and saffron foam. The portions were extremely huge after having so many items already served. It was difficult to appreciate because of the huge portion. However, both were good conceptually and to taste.

Jalebi caviar had the crisp texture like a jalebi while it was made of boondi. The Rabri was very enjoyable but a tad on the sweeter side. Sweet lovers wud immensely enjoy this dish. Rate 4.25/5

jalebi caviar with rabri & saffron foam, presented in a beautiful vessel
jalebi caviar with rabri & saffron foam, presented in a beautiful vessel

Ras malai was layered with real mango piece studded cream in between the chamcham layers. The thickened milk was full of nuts and had rose petals as well. Very good dish but did not stand out from the ordinary, like most of the starters and main course did. Rate it 4/5.

Ras malai
Ras malai

Overall rating if food at masala library averages out to 4.4/5

Wud surely revisit to try the veg menu.

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