As a trade executive, I often visit different countries and meet people from many walks of life. Quite often, my reputation as a foodie precedes me to these places and my hosts leave no stones unturned to showcase the culinary delights of their country.
Over the years, I have dined in a European castle, at a Gaucho Barbecue farm, a Chinese theater and even a meal under the starry skies in the middle of ski slopes up in the Pyrenees. This year, some of these friends planned to visit India and it was my turn to return the experience.
Had it been Delhi or Jaipur, I could have organized a meal at one of the beautiful historic monuments and given them a royal and elegant experience, but being in Mumbai, I was running short of options to conduct this elegant culinary sojourn.
I spoke to many friends and one of them directed me towards Masala Bay at the Taj Land´s end. I have previously dined and reviewed the restaurant and have been quite impressed with the quality of the food there, but was quite curious as to how they would create and showcase a journey through India on a plate.
The mantel for this mammoth task fell into the hands of the Chef-de-cuisine Amninder Sandhu who took some time to create a lineup of dishes that would showcase the Indian culinary spread and at the same time be palatable to my friends from different parts of the world. To add an extra element to this culinary journey, Masala Bay also decided to pair this experience with the house wines which have been especially curated for them by Fratelli wines.
The Private Dining Room was beautifully decorated with candles and marigolds. Soft Indian classical music played in the background, adding to the ambiance. The guests were welcomed traditionally with garlands and ushered into this room.
The service was quick to follow starting with the wines and a very flavorsome lamb and almond zafrani shorba where the lamb was in the shape of tiny meatballs which were quite tasty but didn’t overshadow the broth. The broth had subtle hints of saffron and was loaded with slivers of almonds which gave the broth an additional angle of crunch. The wholesome soup was perfect to start off our culinary sojourn.
Of the array of starters, the Galauti kebab and the Tamarind based baby corn (Chatpata Bhutta) were the stars. The mains saw a fair mix of dishes of which the ubiquitous Daal, which was mind blowing, the Garlicky spinach and the (Thank-God-not-sweet) Butter Chicken were the stars of the lot. What was really remarkable was that despite us being a 21 people strong group, the service never lagged, not even for a moment, the wine glasses were quick to be refilled, the food was served across the table at the same time, no one really had to wait a lot between courses and the silverware was at its shining best.
Post a mix of some very tastefully curated desserts that included an Angoori Rabri and a Khajur-Pethe Kahalwa, our group expressed the desire to see the way naans and tandoori dishes are made and the staff of the restaurant graciously gave us a tour of the same.
The evening ended with lots of smiles and laughter, lots of compliments to the Chef and his team and I thanked the ever almighty God secretly, for having zeroed in on Masala Bay for giving all my guests a taste of India and its majestic hospitality through this experience.
As a footnote, it is always a major dilemma for people like us to find a place to entertain our very high profile guests to experience India on a platter in an authentic ethnic surrounding. Taj Lands’ End´s Masala Bay succeeded in doing the same for my guests from across the world with panache and I am sure would do the same for you, if you were ever in need of the same.
Credit Card: Yes | Timings: | Meal for Two: : Rs. 5,000| Alcohol: Yes | Wheelchair Friendly: Yes
Address: Byramji Jeejeebhoy Road, Near Band Stand, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra – 400050| Phone: 022 6668 1234
Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgment and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind.