Masala Library finally comes to Delhi and it couldn’t have had a better location than Janpath. Its centrally located and helps you to avoid the traffic of CP. The Ambiance of the Restaurant is done in a classic way and the staff is also dressed in a similar fashion to complement the interiors.
There is a staircase which do not lead to anyplace and a huge metallic shiny bar which hides the Restaurant from the outside world. They are known for their Progressive Food or Modern Food. Massive Restaurants who owns Masala Library seems to be involved deeply in Progressive cuisine along with Farzi and PaPaya doing the same in Café and Oriental style respectively.
Techniques for cooking food have evolved from the day Ape mistakenly dropped a piece of Meat in Fire. As the food evolved differently so did the cooking style worldwide. Modern science is helping us understand those techniques with chefs. It involves using of techniques such as Airing, spherification , controlled temperature cooking and so on. But most importantly it also about Food paring.
We were in for a long meal with 19 courses from the chef’s tasting menu. It cost nearly Rs 2300++ which is below $35. It’s quite economical if we compare to Michelin star restaurants Or Gaggan who charge $123 and is no 1 Restaurant in Asia.
Let’s Talk About Food
Sphered Mango juice in coconut water which was emulsified in broken Egg crockery was served as Amuse bouche. Madur Vada with clear rasam :- It was a tiny piece cut from a Vada with clear Rasam which is made from filtering a Rasam using a cheese cloth we suppose.
Mango Pirada which they called Goan cheese :- This actually is very close to Aam Papad and in Goa they make something called guava cheese in festival. They have substituted guava with mango served along with cheese poee. Deconstruction of samosa :- This was a nicely done dish with seasoned mashed potatoes drops. Charcoal Bhajjia :- It is a Black Bhajjia or Pakoda which has dry coconut burned shell. According to Ayurveda it has very good medicinal benefits.
Next on the menu was Nadir Chruma which is a very thin crisp chips made from Nadru, commonly known as Lotus stem. Interesting fact is that Lotus stem has been present in Indian food since 5000 years. Farmer’s staple which was Stuffed millet parantha served with white butter.
Let’s call it a tea break or a Mushroom Chai break. Mushroom soup executed as a tea. When it comes to Kebabs and Tikkas, they can’t go wrong. Loved the flavors in Galouti Kebab Sheermal. The Galouti were dropped on a Sheermal which was baked. The chicken tikka which they serve comes in 3 forms the Tikka , Pappad and Pate. It tasted really nice in all the three different textures and it take this dish to another level. Till now you might have had an idea that the tasting menu is hopping from one state to another.
Next thing on the menu is from a region whose cuisine is not that popular or commercially available, Naga pork Braised Black Beans. The pork which they have used is from Belgium and you have to taste it with the fermented black bean. This dish was Good. Next on the tasting menu was Tawa Keema with pickled Bitter Gourd. An unusual food pairing, I liked the Gourd though.
The main courses were all good. Mizo stew with black rice was brilliant. The Radhuni Sea Bass served with Sui Bass was nicely seared and seasoned. Pepper lamb comes covered with appam shell which looks like a black rock. In the end of the main course they serve 3 curries, Spinach, Korma and Makhni gravy. They are only gravies only with no vegetable or protein coming along.
It’s time for desserts. Bhappa doi , Chenna Payes :- It was too sweet and I was not able to take another Bite. I like desserts with subtle sweetness. They should reduce sweetness as such level of sweetness does not goes with the whole concept.
Ashen Kulfi :- This time the ash color came from bananas. This dessert was the best among all. The texture and taste was outstanding. Jalebi Caviar :- I am a big fan of Jalebi but these looked like small Boondi. They should have liquefied the jalebi and made small sphere that would looked like a caviar.
Overview – Masala Library takes you to different regions in Indian. Some of them would be popular and some unknown to Delhi’s foodies. The service is of highest standards and with a smile. Few of the dishes are good and few of them are fine. Food paring in few dishes were a little odd or cliché.
Must try – Mizo stew , Ashen Kulfi, Naga pork Braised black beans.
Masala Library –