Review: Indian food gets a playful twist at Masti

Review: Indian food gets a playful twist at Masti
A 'kheema popsicle' at the restaurant

It's all fun and games at this La Mer restaurant



by

Janice Rodrigues

Published: Thu 21 Mar 2019, 11:45 PM

Last updated: Fri 22 Mar 2019, 1:45 AM

As many of our Indian audiences already know, 'masti' in Hindi roughly translates to 'fun and mischief' - something the restaurant of the same name at La Mer will not let you forget. We stepped in one busy Friday night to find ourselves in a wonderland of brightly-coloured walls, clashing prints and trinkets. But what might have seemed kitschy turns quirky because of the finer details - the dim lighting, lively music, stained glass decoration and marble tabletops. The seating options are also impressive - set across two floors, with an outside lounge overlooking the sea - you'll truly be spoiled for choice.

Speaking of being spoiled for choice, let's get to the menu. Now, there's no doubt that there are a lot of Indian restaurants in Dubai - some very interesting ones at that - but Masti's menu isn't really Indian. It's as international as it gets, while playfully incorporating a touch of India in its dishes (think Butter Chicken Pizza, Pulled Tandoori Chicken Bao and Saag Paneer Lasagne). One could expect nothing less from renowned chef, restaurateur and author Hari Nayak, who is based in North America.

Standouts from the starters section are the Jerk BBQ Beef Chaat (quite unlike any chaat you've eaten before, but the meat is so tender you won't mind) and the Yellow Pepper Roasted Fish. My plus one raved about his order of Seriously Good Lamb Chops (that's the name of the dish, aptly put), but what stole the show for me was their 'Mastified Paella' - a triumph of Spanish rice with biryani spices and raita. A perfect marriage of the east and west.
TASTE
Just like its name, everything about the food is playful and fun. The dishes are clearly meant for an international audience and manage to fuse contrasting flavours very well. Who would've thought garam masala could be added to paella? Or tamarind to BBQ beef ribs?
AMBIENCE
Just like its name, everything about the food is playful and fun. The dishes are clearly meant for an international audience and manage to fuse contrasting flavours very well. Who would've thought garam masala could be added to paella? Or tamarind to BBQ beef ribs?
SERVICE
Our servers - very fashionably dressed in white shirts and green harem pants - were as multicultural as they come. They were also thoughtful and attentive, asking if we have any allergies and making sure that we were always tended to.
PRESENTATION
Indian food is usually shared, but each main that came to our table was like a meal in itself - the Lamb Chops, for instance, came with crispy baby potatoes. Dishes are well-presented and our dessert of Crackling Lotus was assembled at the table, complete with liquid nitrogen.
VALUE FOR MONEY
As a licensed establishment, the prices are higher than you'd find in a La Mer property (the lamb chops, for instance, cost Dh210 for three pieces). But keep in mind that this swanky international concept isn't your usual roti-and-sabzi place. It's the experience you savour.
janice@khaleejtimes.com


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