Thursday, 13 November 2014

Masala Library- Expensive yet not Quite There!!!

Food is a rather subjective matter. Being a recipe developer and small level manufacturer in the industry, I have learnt it through experience. Some like it hot, while some like it sour. Basics might remain the same, but generalising something in today’s fast paced food industry is very difficult and pretty impossible. So what remains for a restaurant of this era to keep afloat, is to either add drama in food or add exquisite ingredients in it. I understand and follow both these principles well. But, my question remains, is it enough?
Galwati Kabab- quite yum to taste
I am not a reviewer/food critic. But I like to eat good food. I have liked home style food served in a business hotel, as much as I have liked a simple grilled fresh pomfret at the shores of a touristy beach. Innovation adds a flare, but not always so necessary. Recently I have had quite a few misses while dining out. And I just want to write and let the world know that it isn’t ok to serve bad food or chipped crockery or wrong information about food. 

I have craved to step into Masala Library for long. Their cuisine is different, and involves a lot of innovative thinking and drama on the table. Jigs kalra and his recipes have always been an inspiration to me, since when I was in school. And then u add the blitzy new words like molecular gastronomy and innovative Indian food, you ought to end up craving. It’s a busy restaurant and reservations are pre-booked for almost a week. On 2 occasions I couldn’t get a table, so on my birthday, hubby booked one in advance for 10.30pm service. 

Thandai Shots and Bun Maska
We walked in early at 10.15, and obviously the table wasn’t clear yet. What do we do in the middle of a business park, in a restaurant which has no waiting area? How difficult is it to add a few high chairs on the mahagony bar to create some seating area for guests who arrive early? 

Anyways, it was still an important day and we laughed it off with maĆ®tre D. The chef’s tasting menu looked tempting, and we decided to order 2 portions of it, paired with wines along various courses. Molecular gastronomy greeted us the first, in the form of an amuse bouche portion of Thandai shots. The thandai was accompanied with a bready stuff, that the server was not quite sure what it was. After inquiring, we got to know it was an interpretation of bun maska, butter being inside the bun. So far OK. 
Mishti Doi Pops- Molecular Gastronomy
The starters started coming in, and they all were quite a thing of delight. Pork with bhut jholokia, the hottest chilly from Assam was my favourite till then. The sommelier paired it well with the wines, but as soon as the main course arrived, she left from the service, and no one followed up from where she left. We had to literally ask the server for the following wines during our main course. Such callous service in a fine dining setting is so unacceptable.  As we neared the end of our main course, chaos increased and we could hear things heating up in the kitchen. 
The Main Course with the yum Duck!
Big loud screams echoed through the dining area, and servers got more nervous than before. And then they committed the biggest miss of the evening, served the dessert in a chipped plate, from all sides. After paying 10 k for the evening, the arrogance of the staff towards not even owning up to the problem was a bit hard to digest. It being a birthday celebratory dinner, the booking was confirmed with the promise of a surprise called chocolate cage. That too never reached our table. How much so ever I wanted to like the dinner, it left a very sour taste in our mouths. Such careless mistakes are not accepted from the management of a fine dining restaurant. 
The famous Jalebi in the chipped plate.
After reaching out to them through social media, I did get a call back to inform that the plates are changed and to extend an invitation for a revisit. I do not know whether I would like to visit a restaurant to check if the chipped plates have been changed. But more importantly, i want this 'chalta hai ' attitude of these expensiive restaurants to be gone. I am not ready to take up the excuse of it being a bad day up there. I eneded up paying quite some moolah for the bad day, and thats unacceptable on many counts. 
Another view of the same plate. It was chipped on all sides!

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