Saturday, February 11, 2017

A Tale of Four Cocktails



I have a big thing for molecular gastronomy. Foams, spheres, gels and anywhere else you use science to create unique food experiences remains a big plus in my book. But as the trend took off, there came a wave of subpar molecular restaurants in Mumbai. Only one group of restaurants have consistently managed to combine good flavours with all the fancy footwork that goes in creating the magical molecular experience and that's the Kalras. I'm a big fan of Masala Library, I adore Papaya and after my experience at Masala Bar a few days back, I'm adding it to my favourites in the city.

Masala Bar opened about a year ago but I only made it over there this week as part of a whole group of bloggers who were there to witness the launch of big bang nights - their new menu and offers like 2-for-1 on all drinks on tuesdays. But we'd get to food and drink in a minute. Let's talk about the place first.

Masala Bar sits on the first floor on a corner of carter road. And they have plenty of window seating to maximise the sea view the place offers. Inside, the bar is gorgeously romantic, the whole place lit only by candlelight. Set in sconces by the walls, put up in holders on each table and sometimes bunched together, the candles give Masala Bar an ambience like no other.

For such a beautiful setting, both the food and drink menus are an apt match. The bar counter looks like a science set, with even a mini distillery on the side. My first drink of the evening was Berry Cooler, a non alcoholic drink made with watermelon and passion fruit. It looked pretty but turned out to be too sweet, leading me onto the special cocktails they had for the night.

First came malabar point with notes of apple and camomile. The drink gets topped with a thyme foam and I was particularly intrigued by this gizmo that was constantly churning out more foam as the bartenders made the drinks. After these smooth caramel notes, my next point of call was Bandstand Songkran, with a refreshing jolt of lemongrass.

The final drink of the night was Bollywood Bhang. No, there is no actual bhang in this one but the concoction has mascarpone cheese and enough basil to make the herb stand out. Super texture on this one!

The appetizers were no less a match with a selection of baked potatoes, sushi and paneer topped khari. For someone who doesn't like spicy food, my surprising favourite at Masalabar turned out to be cheesy deep fried jalepenos.

Now if that doesn't make you plan out an evening at Masala Bar, a final note on the bartenders. They all seem to know what they are doing, and the service, even in the crazy group setting was fantastic. Overall, a great, great place to catch the sunset.

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