Refined Modern Indian dining in Sundernagar
Up a rather steep flight of stairs, Masala House is situated on the first, second and third floors, but if you are taking elderly family members with you, the first floor is probably where you will end up. Beautifully appointed and with an international décor, set off by dark walls and flooring, all the colour is in the food and the plate decorations. The company that owns this outlet runs a couple of restaurants in New York. Service is a trifle slow at the moment and it is difficult to get details of a preparation from the staff, but that should ease out in a month or so. The food is not so much modern Indian, as traditional Indian with modern presentations. One spoonful of their butter chicken (called Moge wali tamateri kukkad on the menu) (Rs 495) and you will know what I mean: none of the latter day innovations like cream and khoya in the gravy, and none of that unpleasant sweetness: just a simple tang. The owners are always around, hovering in the background. Just the way it should be.
Silbatta ki Shami (Rs 445) consist of five of the most perfect shamis that I have seen in Delhi, made in the traditional way. Not overdosed with spice, the chunks of mutton were cooked and ground on a grinding stone so that the fibres of the meat were intact. Then they were formed into patties and not deep-fried as they usually are out of ignorance, but grilled gently on a tawa. Outstanding is not the word. It was the same for the egg appam (Rs 145 each) and the butter chicken naan (Rs 95). While the former was snow white in colour, even with the presence of an egg in the centre, the naan was stuffed with what can be described as pulled chicken. A stroke of brilliance that. Usually tea and coffee service in such restaurants can be described in one word: dismal, but my espresso was the best I have had in months and my companion’s green tea was just as good.
Plus and minus: A few things did not quite work out. The kurkuri matara chaat was spiced just right but the dried peas (mattra) had been pressured cooked into oblivion. The Chettinad chicken gravy just did not make the cut.
Must try: kadi patta jheenga, nalli ka Rampuri korma, rava meen moiley.
Food: 3.50, Service: 3.50, Décor: 3.50
4, Sundar Nagar,
Tel: 43583654, 46921049
Open from 12 to 3.30 and 7 pm to 11.30
Alcohol, credit cards,
Meal for two: Rs 2,000