When you talk about popular Indian cuisine, there’s no way you can miss out Jiggs Kalra’s previous and existing ventures—Punjab Grill, Made in Punjab, Farzi Café. And when his son Zorawar took over the reins, everyone expected more North Indian food. You’d think that the fatigue around the cuisine would have been a deterrent. But what the younger Kalra did do was not just revive North Indian fare but present it in a “distinctive, idiosyncratic, quirky and eccentric environment”. Much to the delight of our tech-savvy generation, at MasalaBar, he experimented with and made good use of some advanced and scientific equipment to create a number of cocktails (the bar menu features elaborate doodles to explain how they are made), paired with a progressive Tapas style cuisine that’s all about innovation.
Think of MasalaBar as a science lab (Zorawar calls it a #HighOctaneLab) but just leave off the white lab coats; here’s where you pair your best dress with your fanciest watch. Its wooden interiors are lit completely and only by candlelight (even the washrooms). Once your eyes adjust to the dim lighting, you begin to appreciate the 270o view of Carter Road from its windows even as the mix of 10 signature cocktails and fusion tapas play mind games. Perhaps the most cleverly presented of the “post-molecular” cocktails are the Sunset @ Carter, which is served on what I can only call a not-so-shallow saucer, placed over a bowl-full of ice, and the Malabar Point, a heady combination of apple and chamomile reduction with vodka and thyme foam, served in a skull-shaped glass.
The food menu, meanwhile, isn’t any less intriguing—and there are some items that definitely qualify as must-haves. The Carbon Bhaji, Carbon Pao, a black-hued twist on the pav bhaji, which will make you forgo the typical version of this Mumbai favourite. The Puffed Grains & Pesto Khichdi (served with a roasted papad) will have you associating khichdi with fine dining rather than a sick person’s food. And the Tandoori Chilli Cheese Toasties is likely to put local sandwich-walas and their chilly cheese toasts out of business.
PS: fashionistas, look out for #FashionWednesdays, where you can also hobnob with the who’s who of the celeb world. If you prefer Sundays, MasalaBar hosts smashing brunch and sundown events.
How to Get There:
Where: Level 1, Gagangiri Apartments, Carter Road, Bandra West
Contact: +91 8451900257
Timings: Monday Closed. Tue – Sun 12:30 PM to 4 PM, 5 PM to 1 AM
Cost: ₹2,500 for two people (approx.)