MASTI: INDIAN DONE RIGHT, DIFFERENTLY!
I got the perfect opportunity to review Masti at La Mer when a friend chose it as our lunch destination over the weekend. One thing I must get out of the way, before I review it – location. On the La Mer strip – it’s at the end – closer to the Dubai Zoo side than the Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa.
In terms of ambience, Masti has it right. I loved the quirky-ness of the décor, the colours, the creeper walls bringing nature indoors. It was modern but there was still a subtle Indian vibe to the place when it came to the small details – cushion covers, the matted chair backs… Once the temporary construction barricade is removed, the view from the beachfront lounge and terrace will be lovely.
The restaurant is split into two levels with the upper level having the licensed bar (NOTE: alcohol served from 5PM onwards). We went at lunchtime and the downstairs dining area was beautifully bathed in natural light. I did go upstairs (yup – that’s where the toilets are) and found it a bit dark and dull – but that might just be because it wasn’t being used in the afternoon (will have to revisit it to see it in all its evening glory).
The menu is simple enough to navigate and the recommended specials are definitely what you should try to stick to. Our server, Viktor, was exceptionally knowledgeable about the ingredients in the dishes as well as the taste that each dish would serve up. All the dishes we ordered, we shared – and I think that’s the whole idea of the sizes of the dishes… and I am glad we did, we got to try a whole lot more. If I had to describe the food at Masti, it would be Indian fusion – and I liked the fact that the dishes were served simply (without gimmickries like the nitrogen smoke, ingredients that take on a different avatar).
From the Moksha-Tails (mocktails) menu:
Peared Vision: Conconut water, pear, mint, cucumber and tonka.
From the Appetizer menu:
Pulled Tandoori Chicken Bao: The bao was gently grilled with flavourful shredded tandoori chicken. A pippet filled with tamarind glaze just added the right amount of zing to it. Superb.
Quail Eggs Kofta: spiced lamb minced with quail eggs sat on a kunafa like pastry which in turn sat on a delicious sauce made of red peppers and mayo.
Slow cooked Lamb Croquettes: These tiny balls of lamb mixed with Kashmiri spices sat on a bed of creamed English peas and wasabi. Superb
From Of the Earth section of the Mains menu
Sweet Chilli Glazed Lamb Chops: The lamb was perfectly cooked the ohs and ahs at the table after the first bite was self explanatory. Superb
From Of the Sea section of the Mains menu
Banana Leaf Branzino: As you pull back the banana leaf, the branzino with its jalapeño garlic rub is a mouthful of delight. Superb
Gunpowder Scallops: When you hear the word ‘gunpowder’ in Indian cuisine, you expect it to be spicy. But this was quite a mild interpretation with a lemongrass sauce.
From The Poultry Mix section of the Mains menu
The BC Pizza: This dish would be perfect for Indo-Italia relations – butter chicken, burrata and basil served on a thin base (but was it too thin to hold the toppings? I think it was). Taste wise – Superb.
From the Sides menu:
Indie Veggie Mix: This came to our table as we were nearly on our last main, so we basically had it on its own. At first, I thought it was a cold side, only to be pleasantly be surprised once it popped into my mouth.
From the Sweet Talk menu:
Chocolate Delice: Chocolate haven to put it simply.
I would go back in a heart beat, but perhaps in the evening the next time. I loved the food, the brightness and the colourfulness of the ambience but the one touch point that made a difference was our server (Viktor/Victor) – knowledgeable, had a sense of humour and just let us take our time over our meal.
Location: Masti, La Mer – South (closer to the Dubai Zoo side. If you approach La Mer from Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa you will need to drive across and park closer to the central part) Open from 10 AM – 12 AM (alcohol served only after 5 PM) Telephone: 800 62784
NOTE: I ate at Masti on my OWN time and money! The views and opinions expressed on this blog are truly my OWN.