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This was the second of Chef Hemant Oberoi's Masala restaurants to open (after Delhi's Masala Art) and the idea was to draw on traditional recipes, eliminate some of their unhealthier elements and to cook them in glamorous surroundings, vaguely reminiscent of an Indian restaurant in London. There are the usual Masala touches: live counters for cooking, olive oil in many dishes and flour that is freshly milled every day. If you are entertaining a foreign visitor to Bombay, then this is the place to take him.
It may seem like Indian food may have undiscovered all they were entitled to but somehow chefs manage to evoke something unexpected from their traditional recipe trunk. It has become sort of an obsession with the chefs to recreate traditional Indian dishes or discover recipes lost in time to entice their patrons. It was with this precise reason that ‘Masala’ restaurants were conjured. Brainchild of Chef Hemant Oberoi of Taj Hotels, Masala restaurants were a way to bring back traditional Indian recipes with a bit more healthier bang and present them in glamourous surroundings. After the success of Masala Art restaurant in New Delhi, the arrival of ‘Masala Kraft’ in Mumbai was much anticipated. Soon the restaurant became an iconic dining destination for North Indian food and gourmets flocked to Taj Mahal Palace at Apollo Bunder, where the restaurant is located, for a taste.
The menu is a perfect reflection of Chef Oberoi’s Punjabi roots and his personal Amritsari favorites simply shines through. The chef has been ingenious enough to take account of some Pakistani Punjabi dishes as well, which you will find to be authentically prepared. Masala Kraft is busy all year round, do book in advance. Be aware, this is one expensive place. Go with a substantial wallet. Chances are you will find your favorite celebrity dining next to your table. Enjoy a glass of wine to go with your meal or stick to some traditional aperitif. Open the menu with starters like, tandoori pink salmon, kurkure aloo, lucknavi seekh, doodhiya murgh tikka or kakori kebab. For a more extensive fare sample their delectable curries. A bowl of fragrant biryani or a basket of fresh phulkas will complement your main course perfectly.
Relish a cup of specialty tea or Taj’s own coffee blends with your dessert course. How about indulging in, Amritsari kulfa falooda or baked gulab jamun yoghurt or balai ka tukda or khubani ki phirni to round off your meal? As you step inside Masala Kraft, you will notice an elegant intense interior. Heavy wooden influence marks the place with thick low chiseled wooden rafters working well against black carved pillars. Sheer wooden screens are used to divide the space. Lighting is dim and intimate. While the menu is purely North Indian, the interiors bear a distinct South Indian impression. If you are entertaining a foreign guest, this is the place to bring him.