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Masala Art, Taj Palace, New Delhi

Masala Art, Taj Palace, New Delhi
[Rated: 2/5] If you end up writing a feedback of a restaurant on a personal family visit it means either you loved the place or just hated it. This is what happened to me on my recent family outing to Masala Art at Taj Palace, Delhi.

I normally visit restaurants in an expensive Hotel only when I want to be sure about the quality and consistency of food and service on special occasions or during business visits with important clients. Consistency of food does not imply great food. To me, it means assured quality without drastic change to the overall taste on a repeat visit.

After an overdose of non-vegetarian food the preceding week, I wanted to join my vegetarian wife and kids for a complete vegetarian meal. We bagan with 3 starters; Subz Galouti Kebab; Paneer Malai Seekh, and Dahi ke Kabab (Rs 700 each). One common complaint I had was that the food was devoid of adequate salt in nearly everything – starters, mint chutney, and even the pickles. I understand that most restaurants in the category of Masala Art tend to mellow down the heat factor due to the NRI/expat crowd they attract. But in this case the salt was also kept too low and would be a letdown even for high blood pressure patients. No surprise that we had to use loads of extra salt to make the food palatable. The starters were average. The texture and preparation were good but the toned down spices did not let one fully appreciate the full flavors of the kebabs. I wonder how one can go wrong in making Mint Chutney? It is one of the easiest recipes that is found in every household and restaurant alike. It was thin and runny and any road side Dhaba would do a better job.

Service was no better. We kept looking for our server to ask for water and chutney refills which should have been done without our needing to ask. Even after informing the server, Kedar, we waited endlessly for chutney while our starters proceeded to become cold and tasteless. Finally Prateek, the restaurant manager, had to come to our rescue. Nobody cared to take the main course order though I had explicityly asked our server to please come back for the same.

Looking at the delay and attitude of the restaurant we decided to quickly wind up and go for desserts directly by skipping the main course. We ordered a Trio of Dessert (Rs 550) with Baileys Kulfi, Khubaani aur Badaam ka Halwa, and Sheer-e-Mewa. Our server informed us that Baileys Kulfi could not be ordered in the trio, though nothing suggesting this was mentioned in the menu. Having visited this restaurant earlier I knew that the menu options are almost the same except for the hike in rates and the new menu should have been rectified of the errors if they existed. Prateek again came over and informed that the Kulfi can be ordered.

BTW, the desserts were good. We picked up loads of cakes and pastries from the hotel’s coffee shop to satiate our hunger.

Prateek tried to make up by giving discount on the food bill and I wish it had helped. It ruined my 10th anniversary meal and I no more believe the myth about the food and service at star rated hotels being consistent.

Pawan Soni is the Founder and CEO of Indian Food Freak. He is a WSET Level II wine connoisseur and a foodie who loves to eat anything under the sun. Besides being a food and travel writer for various food forums and magazines, he is also the Founder of The Big F Awards. The Big F Awards are the biggest Restaurant and Food Awards started by a non commercial - Non Media entity. He also owns and manages Gurgaon Food Freak, Indian Food Bloggers Network, Gurgaon Wine Club, Mumbai Food Freak, Ranchi Food Freak, Hyderabad Food Freak, Bangalore Food Freak, Gurgaon Travel Freak, and Noida Food Freak, Chandigarh Food Freak amongst many other on Facebook.
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