Friday, December 13, 2013
MASALA LIBRARY BY JIGGS KALRA
The simplicity of original and delicate menus inspired by traditional Indian recipes is married with imagination in pursuit of the exaltation of every flavour and creative presentations. Gastronomic stop to be absolutely experienced….
The talk of the town since it opened its doors; this space has become a hot-spot for fine dining. It is none too traditional in its décor and has a very upbeat contemporary feel to it. Subdued clean lines and wooden flooring add a touch of elegance and compliment the unique fabric lighting installation on one of the walls. With welcoming seating, the décor is balanced between luxuriously chic and comfortable. Counted amongst one of the young successful restaurateurs in India today, Zorawar Kalra founder and MD of the company at the age of 35 is amalgamating his natural business acumen with a rich heritage spanning over four decades in the Indian hospitality industry. With Masala Library Zorawar has successfully established a new benchmark in the Indian fine dining restaurant sector.
WHAT’S ON OFFER?
The menu is extremely creative with the right balance for both non-vegetarians and vegetarians and a refreshing treat for all those who crave for good food with a difference. The faux ‘yogurt sphere’ served as an amuse bouche (a small appetite tickler) was one of my favourites, delicate and wobbly and it popped like a balloon in my mouth to reveal a juicy Matha like centre – intense and tasty papdi chaat. Another amuse ‘Wild rice sev puri on the go’ is I think the highly Instagramed dish in India…it’s served in a pretty rickshaw and happily it tastes absolutely delicious too. The ‘Wild mushroom chai’ and deconstructed ‘Pav Bhaji’ stokes your appetite for more. I guess it’s all about applying science to cooking in order to enhance the dining experience. Mains rarely disappointed either. The crowning glory was the ‘Laal Maas’ the flesh was cooked sous-vide style, and fairly melted in waves on the tongue and the khasta kachori grits with the special Mathani Mirch just enhanced the taste.
I’d suggest share your desserts as all are gratifying running the gamut from ‘Jalebi Caviar’ served with rabri (I’d say the tastiest molecules ever) or the liquid nitrogen chilled ‘Chocolate’. However my vote goes all and all out for the ‘Ghevar Cheese cake’, it is melt in the mouth tender and decadent to the core. And yes the molecular inspired cocktails like the ‘curry patta’ and ‘star anise’ martinis are a must try.All in all, the food is excellent and everything is executed with panache and wonderful flavours. All this with a service that is so warm and attentive, that it can be described as nothing short of remarkable.
CHECK IT OUT
Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra,
Ground Floor, First International Financial Centre (CITI BANK Building),
G Block, Opp. Sofitel Hotel,
Bandra-Kurla Complex, Bandra (E), Mumbai – 400051
Operating Hours: Open for lunch and dinner
Meal for two: INR 2,500 Without Alcohol
ZORAWAR KALRA RECCOMENDS
STARTERS: ‘Wild mushroom chai, truffle oil crumbs, dehydrated Mushrooms’, ‘Thalassery rasam, steamed basa dumpling, dosai tuile’, ‘Pesto kebab, tandoori tomato, parmesan papad’, ‘Braised mutton chaamp, maple and kokum glaze’.
MAIN COURSE: ‘Bhindi jaipuri, papad ki subzi, hand pounded churma’, ‘Laal maas, khasta kachori grits, mathani mirch’, ‘Meen moilee, baked river sole, coconut flakes’, ‘Anda bhurji kulcha, chilli glaze ‘, ‘Sheermal, saffron milk’ , ‘Bakarkhani, tangerine glaze’, ‘Taftan’.
DESSERT: ‘Jalebi caviar, saffron glaze, pistachio rabri’, ‘Ghewar cheesecake, pistachio dust, almond chikki’, ‘Chocolate’.
ZORAWAR KALRA SAYS
‘I take offence to India being portrayed as just the land of cricket and snake charmers. There’s another gorgeous, modern India too, we are comfortable with the international world, why shouldn’t our food reflect the same’?
published in tlf