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Home/mumbai/Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra

Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra

Bandra EastWestern Suburbs  

  • 02266424142, 08452900900
  • Ground Floor, First International Financial Centre, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai
  • Indian
  • Meal for 2 - 3000
3.1

26 Reviews / 30 Ratings

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Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra Reviews

1.0

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Never Again!

Extremely disappointed by the food, ambience and service! Ruined my birthday dinner! I had heard so much about this place, that I just had to try it. Unfortunately, I decided to celebrate my birthday there! Didn't want to spoil my mood that night so we didn't leave a negative feedback after dinner, however, here it is:

1. Pesto Kabab. What is so 'Pesto' about it? Isn't pesto generally made from basil (unless otherwise specified)? I was served a regular, cold, insipid Hara bharra kabab with a small piece of parmesan cheese on top.

2. Portobello Mushrooms with Truffle oil. The ONLY dish that kind of saved the night. However, the steward did not serve it to us properly and was kind of chucking them into the plate instead of carefully serving it like any other fine dining restaurant would. After that we just asked him to keep everything on the table and let us serve ourselves.

3. Galawat Kabab. The chillies in this dish overpowered everything else. The kabab itself was soft like it should be, however, each piece had a piece of lamb over it and many of these pieces were not cooked properly and were chewy and cold. Also, the steward forgot to order this and I had to remind him, after which Mr. Pankaj (who was very courteous) apologised and brought us the dish.

4. Pulled chicken with San Marzano sauce. I have eaten pulled chicken (and made it myself too) and pulled Pork, but this chicken was NOT Pulled! Just cut into long sections. The sauce was too creamy and lacked flavour. Again, it was served pretty cold.

5. Paneer with Garlic crisps ( can't remember the full description) The dish was average at best. I could not find the garlic crisps in the dish anywhere. Again, this was not served hot.

6. Rotis. Sheer Maal was delicious! Naan, Tandoori Roti and Lacchedar Roti were pretty cold.

7. Jalebi Caviar. I had heard so much about this dish that I had to try it. I could not have been more disappointed with this dish. I understand the concept of jalebi being served as caviar, but not as a cake! The little bits of jalebi were too dense and lacked the 'hollowness' that each piece should have (just like caviar). It was served with rabri which was too dense and a foam that had no flavour or fragrance whatsoever. To make matters worse, it was served in an ugly starfish shaped dish which was chipped from all corners.

8. Trio of Rasmalai. The description of this dish mentions that it contains some sort of mango ice cream. Im not sure if the ice cream was absent or if it completely melted by the time it reached my table. Again, very disappointing.

Lastly, the ambience of the restaurant is anything but 'fine dining'. I was seated at the table in the corner next to a large glass door that has some sort of water flowing over it constantly. This 'fountain' is very shoddy and damaged (or undergoing repairs), and is an extreme eyesore in a restaurant that claims itself to be 'fine dining' Also, the chairs don't have armrests which makes it very uncomfortable (especially for elder people, such as my father) I saw a couple of guests at the restaurant in shorts and lastly, to access the restroom, you need to leave the restaurant and walk through a passage that is filled with random goods/debris of sorts! Also, we ordered drinks first and then the starters, but were served the starters before the drinks arrived. I have already mentioned that the person who was serving us was literally 'chucking' the mushrooms onto our plate, and finally, the ambient music. It was some gibberish that sounded like 60 seconds of music played on a constant loop!

I have eaten in MANY Michelin Starred restaurants around the world and I'm not new to the concept of modern food or molecular gastronomy. However, I think Masala Library just doesn't make the mark and I will definitely never go there or recommend it to anyone!

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Miss this at your own peril!

Had been to this place for my birthday lunch and trust me it dint let me down.. Enough has already been said abt the food, the experience already, so wont repeat it here.. for the 1st timers, the 9 course chef menu is a MUST!!!

we need such more restaurants in mumbai and we wud be the food capital of the country, if we already not...

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Not worth visiting

They don't even take reservation if you haven't taken a prior reservation. The restaurant being almost empty but did not take the walk in customer. Very disgusting place to plan evening for dinner. Ridiculously snooty restaurant unnecessary trying to create hype for itself by claiming no place for walking at 19:45hrs on monday evening 3/4th of the restaurant being empty.

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Class Apart

Ratings:
Ambiance: 4
Service: 5
Food: 4.5
Overall experience: 4.5

Having heard a lot about this mind blowing restaurant, we decided to give it a try. After trying for two weeks in vain we were third time lucky yesterday. Had to book the table a week and a half in advance. But trust me when they say they are full they really mean it.
We were very courteously escorted to the table. The tables are very spaced out, and the movement is very free rather than having it cramped by accommodating more tables.
First we ordered papad sampler and pesto kebabs.
As we ordered the starters we were served with khandvi spheres. Amazing innovation. It just burst into our mouths as we had it.
Papad sampler, containing some fried papads, some roasted papads and some banana wafers served with variety of dips were very nice. The pesto kebabs were mouth watering. One of the best we ever had. Along with the starters we were also served maska buns. Superb.!!
Than we ordered the main course. We ordered mix vegetable, paneer and dal makhani accompanied with margherita cheese nan.
While waiting for the main course we were served with mishti doi lollipop, a curd based kulfi topped with rose syrup.
The vegetables were awesome., and dal makhani fabulous. The nans were simply out of the world. Amazing to say the least. The portions were good enough and one of it could serve 4-5 of us.
(we had called for the paneer vegetable to be spicier than usual, but due to their mistake they gave a less spicier one. But promptly and without we questioning it, they apologized for the goof up and we were served with a more spicier version of the paneer vegetable. Where else do you get such hospitality, i wonder??)
Than we ordered gujarati kadhi risotto, one of their specialty and recommended by all. It was indeed a new twist to the traditional kadhi rice or risotto for that matter. Class apart.
By this time we were all down with heavy stomachs but who could miss the amazing line up of desserts. So for the desserts we ordered mango ras malai and jalebi cavaliers. Both of them were just lip smacking. They were truly wonders in their own right.
Than we called for the bill and this time we were served with pan flavored candy floss. Took us back in time when we used to have it in school. Amazingly tasty.
A special mention for our server, mr. Sagar. He was extremely courteous and very helpful. Every 15 mins we were either attended by him or the manager to check on our food experience. Thumbs up..!!
The total bill (without alcohol) was rs. 9,600/- between 8 of us, which was expected.
On the whole a must try place for all. We had a lot but still crave for more and we are certainly getting there at the earliest to try out other things from their vast menu.

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Better than ever

Eight months and 9 awards later, Masala Library has revamped its menu. By now probably half of Mumbai’s “foodie” crowd has tried their Jaipuri bhindi, Tandoori champ and Ghewar cheesecake. But don’t fret if you haven’t. The bestsellers at the restaurant stay intact while there’s a range of new vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes added to the menu.

After the complimentary amuse bouche of Khandvi sphere – a balloon made of khandvi puree which bursts in your mouth, we were served Asparagus thayar satham (Rs 325) – curry leaf flavoured asparagus served on a bed of south Indian curd rice, garnished with banana crisps. This dish is a vegetarian version of the Prawns thayar satham which has been a favourite at the restaurant. While we still prefer the prawn version, the asparagus one is a must try for the vegetarians. Served in a handmade shell on a piece of real wood, the dish is as appealing to the eyes as it is to the palate. The Hottest spare ribs in the world, bhoot jolokia (Rs 645) didn’t make us want to call the fire brigade, thankfully. The Chilian pork spare ribs are cooked for eight hours and are tossed in a bhoot jolokia, garlic and garam masala glaze.

The most interesting addition to the menu is Dal chawal arancini (Rs 450) – panko-coated, deep fried rice and dal balls served with pickle coulis, papad roll and onion tomato salsa. An Italian take on a regular Indian meal of dal, chawal, achar, papad and chutney, the dish did complete justice to our favourite stay-at-home summer food. Chutney wali machchi, coriander rassa doesn’t feature on the a la carte menu but is served in the chef’s tasting menu. It’s a steamed John Dory marinated with mint and green chilli chutney is served with coriander and lemon broth. We found the broth a bit salty but were promptly given lemon slices which toned down the salt and accentuated the flavour further.

The Kashmiri chilli duck, aloo bukhara qorma (Rs 695) takes inspiration from a similar Kashmiri dish with lamb. Here, the red meat is replaced by Peking-style roast duck tossed in chilli and Hoisin sauce and served with a sweet and sour plum sauce. We ate this with the Tandoori margherita kulcha (Rs 225) – stuffed with mozzarella, dehydrated tomato skin and basil. It was our guilty pleasure for the afternoon.

Our pick from the dessert section was Jhajharia (Rs 425); a dessert from the Mewar region of Rajasthan. The warm corn and milk fudge was served with goji berry-raisin ice-cream and crunchy caramel popcorn. The mildly sweetened dessert with bits of caramel in it was a perfectly sweet ending to the meal.

Apart from a very creative menu it’s the theatrics at Masala Library which add to the experience. The frozen mishti doi on a stick served as a palate cleanser or paan-flavoured candy floss that arrives right at the end keep the fun going even as you wait for the next course or the cheque.

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Out of the world

My wife and I went for lunch at this restaurant. I have critiqued many restaurants globally but i found this place really marvelous. We are strict vegetarians and we had a fantastic experience here.
Pros: Excellent selection, Well trained & courteous staff, Well presented Indian Food with international twist, Surprises in each dish you order.
Cons: Transportation- get your own car or cab, Heavy on pockets, ambiance is mediocre.
Remember to pre-book your table before you go. I am surely visiting this place again very soon.

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5.0

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Whew!

If you're not planning to work or go dancing and are willing to sit around in a happy stupor afterwards, I suggest you order the Chef's Meal. It's Rs 2100 a head for non-veg and Rs 1800 for veg. The non-veg meal is 100% non-veg. We were a group of 5 non-vegetarians, but we wanted to try the best of the veg offering too and they obliged. The Chef's meal has all the signature dishes Masala Library is famous for, including the Sadam Salad, Mushroom Soup, Lamb Chop, Lal Maas, Dal Makhani, Prawn Kulcha, Anar & Min Raita, Chevar Cheesecake, Mishti Doi Lolipops, Jalebi Caviar and of course, the Paan-flavoured candy floss. And that's just half of it. It's a massive, wonderful meal. The flavors are all very recognisably Indian, but with a twist.
Chef Himanshu Saini, who we called to complement, says the menu will change from next month. But whatever changes they make, I'm sure it'll still be very good.

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Not as great as expected

I heard a lot abt Masala Library and was really looking forward to visit this place. After a long wait got a table. Ambiance is pretty decent. We ordered our drinks n starters. Were really disappointed by the portion size. It's barely enough for 2 ppl. Main course was not as great as expected to be. Prices are quite steep. The worst thing that bothered us was a mosquito that kept flying around our table. We complained abt it to the manager, he apologised but did nothing to help us get rid of the annoying mosquito. Visit wasn't as pleasant as expected it to be.

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Truly International

This place seems to have created a wave among food enthusiasts in the city to the extent that whenever you call for a reservation, more often than not you won't get a table at your desired time / day. I had to call thrice on different occasions to finally manage a table here and I'm glad that I didn't let my lack of patience get the better of me.

When you walk in you're greeted with an earthy ambiance with no show-sha and giving it a very upmarket fine dining joint. At the beginning the lady at the desk confirms the reservation and takes you to the pre-assisgned table and help you seat. Soon after a smart young guy comes, introduces himself, gives you the menu's to glance through and asks for water preference. We're not too fussy about water, so go with the regular one, which is served instantaneously. During the process, we ask him to give us an idea on what are the specialities and help us with our order. He suggests that we try the Mushroom soup, the rasam if we'd like to have soups, thayir sadam salad to begin our meal. We go with the rasam and the thayir sadam - the rasam was prepared and presented in a truly different manner as compared to my experience of the same in various other South Indian restaurants. It had this portion of basa fish (which is a bland fish) in the middle of a deep dish and the rasam soup was poured in front of you, adding to the whole experience. The salad - thayir sadam is a mix of cold curd rice as the base which is topped with hot pepper prawns; a unique mix of crunchyness and softness in each bite. Loved it

In starters we ordered the sarson saag quesadilla - a rather innovative concept, combining a classic Indian dish with a Mexican delicacy; the mutton chop - an amazing amazing dish, brilliantly cooked with the flesh coming off the bone with the use of just a fork, with a burst of multiple flavours in each bite and the soft shell crab 65, which as the name suggests is crispy fried soft shell crabs on a platter served with an amazing dip.

The maincourse largely comprised of traditional dishes, where we ordered for the chicken dhansak, meen moilee and bhindi jaipuri (suggested by the server). I've had the Dhansak at a few places in the city but always had an issue with the lack of authenticity in the dish and most of them getting the combination of the meat and dal all wrong. The dhansak here was just perfect, the way it needs to be, perfect consistency, great balance between the dal and meat and absolutely superlative. The meen moilee is yet another authentic dish presented in a unique way. They have the fish cooked to perfection, plated in a deep dish and presented to you on the table. Upon placement, the server uses a tureen to pour the moilee sauce / curry made of coconut and curry leaves onto the plate and then picks up the entire dish to serve each one of us portions of the dish. Outstanding is what I have to say about the dish, flavour and the way it's presented. Then comes in the Bhindi Jaipuri; although the dish sounds a bit Gujarati, we're informed that it's a combination of three dishes from Rajasthan. The presentation of the dish is much the same as that of the meen moilee, but this dish has a riot of flavours happening in it, the softness of the curry, the crunchiness of the bhindi and churma. Another great dish.

The also have some breads which I've not had in a while (Bakarhani, Taftan & Sheermal) and sadly had to give it a miss this time around as well since we were already too full by the time we reached the maincourse. Something to look forward to on my next visit.

Then came in the time for desserts and the group just went ballistic. Each had their own favourites and wanted to order those, but our server advised us against it and said that one dessert can easily be shared by 4 people so we shouldn't order too much else they will get left at the end. So we eventually went for the thandai creme brulee and the the jalebi caviar. The creme brulee, although not Indian, is made with so much of innovation and thought behind it that it tasted everybit Indian as can be. The jalebi caviar was my favourite as it is something you don't see in restaurants at all, let alone in this manner - tiny balls of jalebi decorated in the middle of the dish, surrounded by a sea of rabdi and in one corner decorated with Saffron foam....amazing; mindblowing; superlative (and I'm falling short on adjectives to describe the experience at this place).

Unlike popular belief and something I learnt during my visit here, this place is not completely molecular at all. There are dishes like the mushroom soup, the jalebi caviar, their signature cocktail - Anise martini and few others where they have used elements of molecular, while mostly serving authentic Indian fare.

Did I mention that they do a lot of free stuff during the course of the dining? Well, as mentioned in many reviews before mine, they do....right from the word Go. With the water there is a small platter of maska bun which gets served, delectable. Then comes their amuse bouche of khandvi (done using molecular technique) presented in a small conical shot glass for you to gulp down the sphere. Then there is the Bengali mishti doi served as a palate cleanser before the main course in the form of a lollipop and towards the end of it all they do the paan flavoured candy floss / buddhi ke baal and a churan chest which is a great culmination to a 'fine' dining experience.

All in all, dining here is quite an affair and can take anywhere between 1.5 - 2 hours (we took about 2 hours) for you to enjoy the complete experience. The food is absolutely superlative. The service commendable. The staff very warn, informative and quick.

There is so much more to try out, that one dining session here is not enough. I will be back for more and more. Great going Mr. Kalra, this is for sure the finest Indian food I have ever had & experienced till date.

PS: if its your first visit, then I highly recommend you to try the Chef's menu (you need to give them a head's up while booking, if you want to have this)

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4.0

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Indian Food for the new age

What an exceptionally brilliant experience this has been. I never knew that Indian food could be done so creatively. Went here with family and mom returned saying that she "won't ever be able to feel the same about her cooking an Indian meal at home". That in itself speaks volumes about the experience we had here. The staff is courteous and very well trained (great job Mr. Kalra). When we had called for reservations, the lady on the other side of the line informed us that the restaurant is completely reserved however they keep a few tables for walk in guests which is on 1st come 1st serve basis and we could try our luck. Since this place came highly recommended by 4 dear friends who's inputs I always take on dining out and movies, I convinced my family to travel all the way from Andheri to this place (without a reservation, just to try our luck). We reached around 7:30pm and as luck would have it, we instantly got a table from their walk in quota. I was as ecstatic as a child, that everyone in the family started to feel embarrassed. As soon as we sat down the hostess gave us the menu's and left and we were shortly joined by a gentleman in a suit to take our order. I highly recommend going for their Chef Tasting menu, if it's your 1st time to this place; which is what we went for. What followed were a series of free stuff (all of which we loved), and then poured in our food. I have to mention here that the guys serving the food know everything possible about each dish being ordered and served as they keep telling you about how the dish is made, what goes in it and what you should expect.

There is so much of the experience and food to write about, but I would rather let the readers visit this place and experience it on their own than spoil the fun for them. Having said that, can't stop myself from mentioning the Candyfloss tree and the digestive chest they offer (free again) at the end of the meal. After dining here, I've become a huge fan of not just this restaurant but also of having Indian food outside.

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4.0

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all style

This place offers contemporary indian food, making new and different combinations. The pesto kabab starter and the watermelon salad are very nice. Apart from this the food is average. Presentation is outstanding. Quite expensive !! As we started, we were given "Chaat Shots" (on the house) with a great fanfare and were promised "a burst of flavours" once we downed these.The Indian bread basket had an assortment of Nans and Kulchas.Between courses, we were offered Mishti Doi lollys to cleanse our palates.

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4.0

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Too much waiting

After hearing so many praises about this place i one day called to make a reservation. I was shocked to hear that they were booked for the whole weekend. Once again i called to make a reservation, this time on Monday and was again shocked to hear they were booked that day and for the next 10 days. ThoughI was told that said some tables were available for walk in. I took my chance and went there. They made me wait for an entire hour before giving me a table. I was too off by then but once i started ordering and eating it made up for everything. We were given a complimentary deconstructed dahi balle which is basically like a yogurt papdi chat in a shot glass. The presentation was just amazing. We ordered vada pav, pav bhaji and papad plate in starters. All these items were exceptional. The papad presentation with different dips was too good. The main course was ok and deserts were not that exclusive but the starters blew my mind. At the end they gave us paan flavoured candy floss which again was something different and awesome.

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Culinary Adventure

I first came across the buzz about this place on Twitter, and there was an unbelievable amount of raving over the food and its presentation. Eager to try out, I made reservations on my Mother's birthday.

And did I come away impressed! Very impressed infact. Its rare that an establishment would continue to impress even after 3/4 months of opening, but Masala Library continues to do so with flair.

I ordered a few items that caught my eye, and also a few that were runaway hits. Pesto Kebabs, Water Melon Chaat, Mishti Doi Sorbet, Meen Moile, Papad Churma Sabzi, Soya Rara, Ghewar Cheesecake and the Curry Patta Martini. The level of research and experimentation gone into the innovative dishes shows through. Each dish had a distinctive flavor. If I had to choose my favorites, that would be the Meen Moile and the Curry Patta Martini (so very refreshing). Also, the Mishti Doi Sorbet is served as palate cleanser, and I was so hooked to it because they have actually been able to get the flavor right (being a Bengali myself, I an totally vouch for that).

This definitely makes it to my best meals list and I can't wait to go back to try the rest of the fare.

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Amazing food excellent ambience

As you enter masala library u are amidst wooden furniture and moderate yellow lighting which enhances the look and feel of the place but advance bookings to this place is a must as the place is usually packed to capacity

As for the food upon being seated u r first served with a chef special chaat n many more small surprises follow during the course of ur meal we ordered chicken and the pieces just melted in the mouth one of best I have eaten in a long time the next was paneer which was cooked just perfectly the only thing I felt a little disappointed is that the menu items are very limited but each of them leaves the taste buds craving for more n more.

The special thing is the presentation of dishes each dish is served in a special crockery which blends with the dish ordered

All in all a tasty experience a must visit for some great food n pleasing ambience

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2.0

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Old Wine in New Bottle

ML is basically Old wine in New bottle. Basic fare that you get all restaurants just with a twist in the dishes names. Starters were just ok. So was the main course. Way too pricey. Mosquitoes in herds.

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Deepika786 - Burrp User

Deepika786

10 Reviews

December 26,2013

3.0

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Reviews of this new restaurant

After hearing rave reviews of this new restaurant in the business district of Bombay, I finally managed to get there one evening. Located in Bandra Kurla Complex, Masala Library was bathed in soft yellow lights with warm wooden panelling , nothing over the top or garish absolutely avant-garde and minimal modern. Spoke of class and style. And that's what this place is all about CLASS, STYLE and UNDERSTATED OPULENCE. Felt like a upmarket Indian restaurant in South Kensington or Mayfair in London.

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DO NOT GO HERE

THEY DO NOT CATER TO NORMAL PEOPLE. THEY ONLY CATER TO "VIP" CROWDS. IF YOU WANT TO GET A DOSE OF HISTORY AND KNOW HOW THE BRITISH TREATED INDIANS BEFORE INDEPENDENCE, THIS IS THE BEST EXPERIENCE !!

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3.0

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Average

Even after so many years its taste is there on my tongue. With such amazing memories i went this place Interior was excellent, good service, but we were there for "punjabi taste" which seems to be missing completely, regret to spent time there instead with one tenth of its cost we can have better time at Kebab Corner!

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Preeti9_9 - Burrp User

Preeti9_9

5 Reviews

December 05,2013

4.0

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Nice place

After reading so much about this restaurant..we visited it last week..if you are planning to go here on weekends make your reservations as early as possible..it happens to be a current favourite with everyone..
The ambience is nice..the staff friendly,helpful and attentive..they suggest the best in the menu they have..explain very patiently how the dish is prepared..the mushroom chai was nice and unique..the starters were decent but the quantity served is small..the muska buns were delicious..
The gravies of vegetables were yummy..black dal awesum..assorted roti basket a very welcome idea and were all delicious..the dessert jalebi sum thing was ok ok..must try the others next time..
Dent per person is 1000-1500 per person without drinks..must try once experience..

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4.0

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CULINARY EXPLOSION @ MASALA LIBRARY

RESTAURANT REVIEW - MASALA LIBRARY

After hearing rave reviews of this new restaurant in the business district of Bombay, I finally managed to get there one evening. Located in Bandra Kurla Complex, Masala Library was bathed in soft yellow lights with warm wooden panelling , nothing over the top or garish absolutely avant-garde and minimal modern. Spoke of class and style. And thats what this place is all about CLASS, STYLE and UNDERSTATED OPULENCE. Felt like a upmarket Indian restaurant in South Kensington or Mayfair in London. And a fabulous culinary journey was about to commence which would wow me off my feet and take me to gastronomical heaven and back!

The tableware was simple smart and very up-market minimalistic bone china clean and simple as was the stem ware red, white wine glasses and water glasses pre arranged as followed internationally. The Bay Leaf martini was astonishing and someone really creative must have conjured this one up. The ginger-colada was a tad too sweet and synthetic. The menu was extensive and very elaborate with loads of fusion food, experimenting with Indian flavours and western palettes. The very concept of experimenting with two such varied cuisines and palettes was enough to get my curiosity on a high and the pulse racing. The meal started with an ‘amuse bouche’ now this course is a rarity in most stand alone restaurants in India, but as more and more chefs break off from five star hotels we should hope to see this concept more often. Basically an amuse bouche is a pre-appetizer served to give you an insight into the chefs style and culinary process, a preview of his cooking and food. What was presented to us was a fabulous de constructed dhai bhalla modernized and de constructed - a yoghurt sphere - once again introducing the concept of molecular gastronomy by solidifying yoghurt into a ball with the liquid still intact inside and and as you break the thin film the yoghurt oozes out mingling with a dash of tamarind chutney and sev and a strip of puri to dip and eat. What a brilliant way to impress the hats off you at the very beginning !!! The appetizers we ordered were a fusion too.... mexico meets Punjab... a quesadilla with paneer and saag stuffing ... I found this a bit too sharp and salty. Then came a delicious mishti doi lolly similar to a sorbet to cleanse the palette and prepare you for the main course.

The mains we ordered were just fabulous. Taking us on a journey to the markets of Delhi where chaap tikkas are sold on every nook and corner. Chef Saurabh who explained that chaap is a soya bean chunk available as chaap tikkas in every market in Delhi,not to be mistaken by the commercially available soy chunks, here the chaap came in a thick spicy gravy.. spicy chunky crunchy what an amalgamation of textures and flavours. Next was the Dum Aloo with Jhall Muri the chefs deconstruction of the famous Kashmiri Dum Aloo and peppered with a sprinkling of Kolkata famous Jhal Muri. A bit sweet but smooth and delicious. All this to be eaten with a Anda Bhurjee Kulcha - now this is what blew me away... what creativity !!! Boiled egg in a succulent onion gravy stuffed in baby kulchas- I could have had a dozen of these! As was the Gucchi Naan.... earthy morels filled in a naan, wow exotic and rustic.
Just as we finished the soul satisfying and heart warming mains the Chef surprised us once again with an absolute decadent dessert made up of moti choor boondi or moti choor caviar drenched in pistachio glaze and foam... this is what I call HIGH END gourmet dessert. Pure indulgence. And then just when we thought things couldn't get better, our waiter put down a small shrub with clouds of mint flavoured cotton candy to complete the fabulous meal. WOW weren't we taken aback.

Jiggs Kalra’s - The Punjab Grill was a disaster for me personally, too much spice, too much masala, on the contrary Masala Library was a culinary adventure in pure gastronomic proportions. Sending us to gourmet heaven and back. Though they could improve on the staff making them more warm, friendly and courteous rather than stiff and snobbish.

This meal for two with an alcoholic cocktail , a mocktail, two starters, two mains and dessert set us back by about 3800, but trust me EVERY PENNY spent was worth every morsel eaten. Looking forward to more modern fusion surprises and being delighted at every course.

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sunnyindigo - Burrp User

sunnyindigo

3 Reviews

November 23,2013

1.0

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Don't Bother!

We went with such high expectations of a restaurant started by the legendary Jiggs Kalra and left totally disappointed.

Its such a shame that a restaurant which has just started has such a crappy attitude. First they insist on two sittings, 8pm and 10.30pm. We reached at 8.15pm and only 50% of the restaurant was full. When we called to make a reservation at 11.15am, we were told that the restaurant is full and they would call us at 6.30pm to confirm whether there was a cancellation.

We ordered drinks from the menu but barely anything was available. The manager and serving staff had no idea what was / was not available and we waited for half an hour on the table until the service staff could figure out availability of beverages. We finally settled for a beer and a gin tonic. The manager then came back to say that tonic was not available!

That was the last straw.

We left and had a yummy meal at Yauatcha instead.

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3.0

Food

Service

Ambiance

Price

Interesting experience. A few stellar dishes.

I'd been meaning to go to Masala Library after reading rave reviews and hearing wonderful reports about the food. The opportunity finally came up when the Pet Pujari grp selected that location for Sunday lunch and I latched onto it.

Unfortunately, 30+ people turned up when only 20 odd had RSVPed. That made the grp super large and threw a spanner in the works of the planned menu. The kitchen was unable to serve some of the mains they had on our chef's menu and that was bit of a turn off.

Were all the dishes great? No. Was every last bit incredible? No. Is it a genuine molecular gastronomy experience? No. But there are a few dishes that just totally score. A few, I feel like I can taste them in my dreams, and that makes the experience very satisfying and definitely worthwhile. VFM? Different question.

We had a 9 course meal. Amuse bouche was a shot of dahi sev puri in a conical shot glass. Interesting concept but the serving size was so tiny I can barely tell you how it tasted.

Then they got us a small tray of muska bun. The buns were delightfully light and delicious. And buttery (without being greasy). We begged them to get us more and virtually fought for individual buns. I'd like a dozen of those, please!

They didn't get us the mushroom chai with truffle oil crumbs and dehydrated mushrooms. What I shame! I've heard it's an interesting experience.

They got us a watermelon salad with orange, blood orange, mint, and a tamarind sauce (I think!). Nice, but not great.

Of the starters, the galawati kabab was OK (even Kakori House does it better!), but the absolute standouts were the Prawn 65 and the chicken tikka. It was so moist and succulent that I'd be happy to down a large plate of those with beer. Both of em!

Until now, we had run through 4-5 super small courses over almost 90 mins, and I was still really hungry. At one point we even discussed heading out to get a burger after a 9 course meal.

They broke the break with a small misthi doi sorbet done up like a frozen lolipop. Interesting concept, but not amazing by any stretch.

We got three mains - a meen moilee, lamb chops, and butter chicken. The butter chicken was utterly butterly forgettable. I mean, having eaten it once, I'd never order it off the menu. It's not like the chicken's not succulent or that the dish tastes bad, but it's just very ordinary. Also, I ended up feeling that we had to fill up our bellies more with the naan and parathas rather than with the actual mains. That's bit of a shame.

But the other two hit the bull's eye, score a goal, hit a six (whatever your sporting preferences). The meen moilee was the hands-down winner for me. I've tried OK to bad meen moilee many times and I was disappointed when I heard it was one of the mains, but boy, was I happy after the first bite of paratha dunked in the coconutty goodness of the creamy curry. And the fish (sole) had been pan-fried just right so it was tender and layers fell apart with the touch of a fork. It was wonderful.

And the lamb chops. For a meat lover like me, the maple glazed lamb chops had a riot of flavors starting in my mouth - the tender pinkish meat, the sweet tang of the maple glaze, the slight nutty crunch of the white sesame, and the bitterness of the micro-greens used as garnish. All in all - seriously satisfying!

The meen moilee and the chops + the prawns 65 and chicken kabab were my stand outs for the day.
I don't care much for desserts so I can't say many good (or bad) things about them. They all looked very pretty. Well thought out, and plated. The jalebi caviar is an innovative idea. Would love to see them do spherification with the jalebi so that the intense flavor pops out of each tiny sphere. And it won't be fried. That could be a mind bending dish.

We ended up with the paan flavored buddhi ke baal 'plated' in a very interesting way...like snow covering garden shrubs. Very interesting. Much better than the paan shots at Punjab Grill.

Total tab - 2200 (including tax + service charge/tip).

Will I be back? Yes, after some time and after they have some new dishes.

A suggestion to the ML team - An increase in the portion size may be a great idea.

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4.0

Food

Service

Ambiance

Price

Zodiac Grill of Indian food

Jiggs Karla's new restaurant in BKC
It was a real good experience .
I would call it the zodiac grill of Indian food. They have excellent fusion food like pesto kebab. Sarson Ka saag quesadillas. Totally diff items their Gucchi kebabs& Nans were out if this world . Their deserts like jelabi caviar was something unique . Then in the end they served pan flavour candy floss .over all a must visit place

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iyerdeepa1 - Burrp User

iyerdeepa1

2 Reviews

November 12,2013

4.0

Food

Service

Ambiance

Price

The best Indian food I have ever had

I have visited masala library twice in 10 days so that says a lot about how much I enjoyed the food.
The ambience is amazing. The staff is very courteous and knowledgeable. I am aware of the concept of molecular gastronomy but the place is a lot more than that.
The papdi chat and masala buns which are complimentary completely blow ur mind. The flavours are the best I have ever had. I have tried the papad sampler, kurkuri and the vada pav... All very equally amazing and filling.
Try the curry leaf drink.. It has really amazing flavours.
Main course: The naan breads are soo unique and u can actually eat them as is.. They are very lightly flavored and they compliment the curries well. Try the alor dom.. it’s amazing.
Deserts... The deserts are served in a unique manner. Loved the gajar halwa and the jalebi caviar.
They serve candy floss at the end of the meal :) you feel like a child and all your childhood memories come back :)
I believe that the restaurant is amazing. It is an experience and I am definitely going to visit the place again

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Sensory pleasure

Shirin Mehrotra finds out that the molecular gastronomy is more than just a gimmick at Masala Library.

A few days before Masala Library opened to the public, we visited the fine dining restaurant for lunch. Zoravar Kalra, son of Jiggs Kalra, accompanied us and guided us through the tasting menu crafted by the young Chef Himanshu Saini and Saurabh Udinia.

100_3557Set opposite the Sofitel Mumbai BKC in Bandra East, this close to 100-seater restaurant is brightly lit with beige seating and stone textured walls – nothing that really stands out or that will leave you awestruck. However, this changes quickly when look through the menu. The restaurant attempts to focus on Indian regional cuisine and enhance it using scientific techniques.

100_3525After a round of hand sanitizer, brought to the table, the meal began with the amuse-bouche or small complimentary appetisers. We were first served Yoghurt spheres and papdi chaat where the yogurt was converted into a soft ball, topped with chutney, sev and micro greens and accompanied with a flat papdi or cracker. The yogurt ball quite literally burst in our mouths releasing flavourful yogurt and green chutney. Next, the Sev puri on the go was prepared with wild rice puffs served on a miniature cycle rickshaw handmade by craftsmen in Delhi.

It’s not just the menu at Masala Library which takes inspiration from scientific cooking, their bar menu includes molecular mixology inspired cocktails too. We tried the Star anise martini (Rs 500) – a gin-based cocktail topped with a star anise foam. Surprisingly, despite its strong flavour of star anise, it was subtle and didn’t overpower the drink.

100_3528Our next surprise appeared courtesy a server bringing over what looked like a tea set. We were clearly not expecting tea in the middle of our meal, so you can understand our apprehension when we found out that it wasn’t tea at all. Wild mushroom chai (Rs 325) involves dehydrated mushrooms – as the tea leaves, deconstructed truffle oil as milk powder and mushroom consommé (clear soup) as hot water. Poured over the deconstructed truffle oil and dehydrated mushrooms, the consommé brings the flavours to life and makes this comforting dish, just our cup of chai.

100_3531The chefs here have play around with plenty of the flavours to create a dish that truly represents the essence of a particular cuisine. We loved their version of curd rice - Curry leaf and peppered prawns, thayir sadam, banana crisp (Rs 375). Served as a salad topped with peppered prawns, it was presented in a handmade shell placed on a log from a real tree. Everyone who just gasped at how bold it is to serve something in a piece of wood, calm down. The wood isn’t discarded after every serving, but, cleaned and reused instead. The curd rice topped with roasted split Bengal gram and curry leaves cut through the spiciness of prawns nicely and was served with a side of banana chips.

We moved up North to try the Gilawat kebab, tawa tikka, varqi paratha (Rs 525) prepared by the cook Chef Aas Muhammed from the famous Tunday Kebabi in Lucknow. The kebabs were flavourful with a very fine paste-like texture and topped with tender bite sized pieces of mutton boti and parathas. Our next indulgence was a meet lover’s delight, Tandoori champ (Rs 595) – a perfectly braised lamb chop with Maple syrup and kokum glaze. The meat came off the bone beautifully, had a crispy outer layer and was flavoured with the sweetness of maple and tang from the kokum. The surprise element came through a sweet mango pickle, which is a regular in any North Indian household. Our second drink, a Curry leaf martini (Rs 500) was an interesting take on the vodka-based martini flavoured with burnt curry leaves. Don’t worry about tasting burnt leaves, though. The leaves aren’t actually burnt, just lightly roasted to bring out the flavour into the drink.

100_3541The main course includes a number of dishes from different regions around the country presented differently. We were served Meen moilee (Rs 610)– a Kerela style fish curry made with river sole, Prawn balchao kulcha (Rs 375) – North Indian flat bread stuffed with a Goan-style prawn preparation and Dal makhani (Rs 395).

The Anar and mint raita garnished with rose spheres (Rs 210) – yogurt mixed with crushed mint leaves, pomegranate seeds and topped with rose flavoured spheres which looked like caviar, but failed to add too much to the overall taste.

The Bhindi Jaipuri (Rs 410) – crispy fried okra on a base of choorma (coarsely ground wheat crushed and cooked with ghee and sugar) with papad ki sabzi or a lentil papad cooked in a yogurt curry poured over the top to finish. It sounds as complex as it tasted and was surprisingly light with an interesting play of sweet and savoury flavours and textures.

All of this was served with a bread basket which had traditional flat breads like the Lucknowi sheermal (Rs 125), Persian taftan (Rs 125) and Kashmiri bakarkhani (Rs 125).

The dessert course also brought out the chef’s molecular gastronomy skills with The Chocolate (Rs 1,000) – brownies with chocolate mousse, which added a little drama to the meal with its presentation. Here, the Chef converted mousse into an instant ice cream by pouring liquid nitrogen over it. Next the frozen ice- cream is cracked into smaller pieces and served with hot chocolate. Even the usually uninspiring Gajar halwa (Rs 375) was a beautiful three-way presentation of carrot with an addition of gajar halwa flavoured ice cream topped with a carrot foam. But, none of this impressed us as much as the Indian version of cheesecake, the Ghewar cheesecake (Rs 375). 100_3548This absolutely sinful dessert had a base of ghewar – a honey comb-like Rajasthani sweet forms the base, followed by the body of the cheesecake, which is then garnished with grainy textured rabdi and a pistachio and almond chikki or brittle and finally a thick rabdi poured over it. The combination of various flavours and textures makes it one of the most innovative desserts, we’ve tasted in the city.

Even cotton candy seems grown up and sophisticated with the Pan flavoured candyfloss. Don’t miss the crisp Nasik orange sorbet with kafir lime frozen air and Frozen Mishti doi popsicles as palate cleansers. The Chefs at Masala Library try their best to engage and elevate their guest’s sensory experience and take Indian cuisine into a new era. From what we’ve seen, there is plenty to merit accolades from both the Indian and international food community.

Must try: Curry leaf and pepper prawns, thayir sadam, banana crisp, Tandoori champ, Ghewar cheesecake

Meal for two: Rs 3,000 +taxes (without alcohol)

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5.0

Food

Service

Ambiance

Price

Awefreakinsome

Submit yourselves to the choices of the brilliant staff there and indulge in the journey of having the best Indian VEG. food you could probably have.
Right from the starters you would wonder if there was anything better to come and you will be surprised as each passing dish will have surpassed your expectations. A perfect place nestled in a sprawling area.

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October 17, 2013response from the masalalibrary:

Dear Sir,

Thank you so much for sharing your experience and your words of appreciation.

We surely look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Culinary regards,
Team Masala Library by Jiggs Kalra