In a nutshell:
A brilliant, memorable, warm experience that led to a lovely evening – our tastebuds were on top of the world……. & thanked us for taking them here…
Address & other details: Masque
Meal for 2: 4200 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.
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.
Short description- in case u r in a hurry:
The restaurant is situated in the erstwhile Lakshmi mills compound in the parel area where all the cloth mills are getting converted to malls, offices & commercial centers. Unlike the bustling Raghuvanshi mills, Kamala mills & of course phoenix mills area, this area is still under reconstruction.
As one drives thru the lane off the main road, the high walls of the mill compounds, the dimly lit road & the occasional trees give a spooky feeling.
Inside the restaurant is a completely different experience. The ceiling is high & the original factory shed structure has been retained.
The name Masque comes from ‘Mask’ as in theater. The huge curtains in the high ceiling hall give that feeling. Behind the curtain is the kitchen, which for sure is where the show is happening.
First course is served in the kitchen. Guests are taken there & the chef explains the first dish in detail & also the concept of the restaurant.
The owners, the Chef & their team travel the country to find sources of good ingredients, nothing imported. They have been identifying farms while travelling around the country who grow almost organic stuff, including some unusual ones. The restaurant uses chocolate made in Pondicherry, Indian cocoa from Kerala, cheese from a place in Andhra Pradesh run by an European, seabuckthorn berries from Ladakh, olives from deserts of Rajasthan. The menu is constantly changing based on newer interesting, seasonal ingredients that are found. They also have their own farm outside Pune where they grow organic vegetables.
They do not have imported ingredients.Most of the saucs are made from scratch & so are the ingredients needed for making cocktails (except alchohol).
There was no menu card. One could choose from a 10 course menu or a six course menu.
Each & every dish was brought by members of the chef’s team or the Chef himself. Each dish was thoroughly explained. Same for the bar as well – the bar chef discussed the drink & presented it back himself. Waiting staff just cleared the dishes. Super warm & just amazing experience.
Must say that the choice of cutlery was unique & very interesting.
Food was outstanding…..
Detailed description- in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
We started with tolma – Swiss chard leaf wrap, with a filling of raw veggies cut in tiny cubes,Pistachios, almond, strawberry& raw mango. Almond and turmeric oil did the magic. The tolmas were a multitude of textures, flavors & layers of taste – the freshness of the leaves, the crunchy veggies & the sauce made every bite a revelation, with juices from all flowing in from all directions. Wow. Rate it 4.75/5
The next dish that came to our table was Wafer thin banana chips with white sauce (cashew and coconut) and orange sauce (smoked tomato). These were unreal. The chips were inserted in slots on a cylindrical piece of wood. The red sauce was Smokey and utterly delicious. The white sauce was intense & very enjoyable. Both cashew & coconut made their presence felt. Rate it 4.95/5
Next dish was fresh Oysters from Kerala with Ginger and lemon dressing, Japanese kikkoman sauce with radish on top. I loved the oysters, loved the dressing – felt that the texture & flavor of radish reduced the intensity of the oysters. I would have avoided it. Rate the dish 4.5/5
Then came Romaine, kale & buttermilk organic salad. Leafy, crunchy & a memorable buttermilk sauce. Loved it and rate it 4.25/5. A word of caution for those not much into leafy salads – u might find this bitter
Ricotta cheese with Arugula leaves, pesto, basil was the next dish. Super soft & nice cheese with the right accompaniments. Loved this subtle dish as it is. Rate it 4.5/5
Then came Savoury churros with Goan sausages – it had smokiness at its peak. There was a strong flavor of cloves. The savoury churros were placed atop the crunchy on top, sogginess (intended) was just setting in at the bottom. Again, a great play of textures. Rate it 4.25/5
Then came Vegetable broth with curry leaf and celery oil. It was a Medium Thick soup with two distinct layers wonderfully aromatic very interesting how these two different flavours mingles. Rate it 4.75/5
Sour dough bread was made without any yeast, it was fermented naturally for 6 days, said the Chef. 4 different kinds of butter were served – black garlic, cocoa butter, white fresh churned butter, carrot butter. Super loved the black garlic butter and rate it 4.95/5. Fresh churned butter was just too good. Rate it 4.75/5. The rest two were also great in terms of flavour. Rate them 4.5/5 each.
Loved the fermented flavour of the bread – crisp on the outside and super soft in the center. Enjoyed quite a few bites of the bread as it is – without anything on it. Rate it 4.75/5
Drink 1 was Dehydrated citrus fruit on top of pineapple juice which had an element of yoghurt in it. The yoghurt gave it a lovely twist rate & so did the citrus. Rate it 4.5/5
Drink 2 was strawberry drink with an awesome twist & flavor to it. It was tangy due to strawberries & a unique flavored sweetness due to a secret ingredient. Super loved it & rate it 4.75/5
Drink 3 was alchoholic, with egg whites in it. Loved it. Rate it 4.5/5
Next dish was lobster tail with Pomery mustard dressing on top, anethesian leaves – it was made with water cooking process (slow cooking) – marinated lobster was put in vacuum pack cooked in water for 45 minutes at 65 degrees, resulting in meat being very soft and tasty. Rate it 4.75/5
We were told that Duck and Chicken comes from an organic farm in the outskirts of Gurgaon. The duck dish was just awesome – super soft, juicy, melt on the mouth and full of flavours. One of best duck dishes we have had in a while. Rate it 4.75/5
Lamb chops were from meat sourced from Rajasthan. They were served with salsa negro, peppery leaves , sumac & mole (chocolate based sauce), topped with yoghurt sumac. Again excellent meat, super soft, bursting with meat flavors and outstanding to taste. Rate it 4.75/5
Fresh smoked pork belly did not have excessive fat in it. Perfect proportion of meat and fat I Wud say. Topped with apples, skin crackers. I did not like the skin crackers much. The meat was excellent. Full of flavors , soft & juicy. Rate it 4.5/5
For dessert we had Black pepper panacotta with rhubarb granita. Superb again. One of the best panacottas we have had in months. Rhubarb granita added a beautiful twist to the texture. Rate it 4.5/5
We also enjoyed Pondicherry chocolate with roasted almond sorbet topped with fresh pine salt. Pine leaves from Himalayas, dried and crushed with salt grassy flavor. The chocolate was dark & very nice. Loved the roasted almond sorbet. Rate it 4.5/5
Last dish had 3 different things in it – one was Sweet potato fudge with toasted buck wheat, sea salt & fresh pepper was superb. Loved the play of sweet & salt. Rate it 4.75/5
Macadamia nuts and onion cookies was a revelation – onions were making their presence felt while not taking out the cookiness from the cookies…..wow. Rate it 4.5/5
Chocolate ganache with toasted sesame seeds was very nice as well. Loved the crisp sesame seeds. Rate it 4.25/5
Overall rating of food & beverages at Masque averages out to 4.6/5. This is very unique coz seldom does one come across a dinner where consistently everything is par excellence & there are no misses. Respect & admiration for the team….
Hope after reading this u hv no doubts that we will revisit …. Maybe several times & get our guests here too.