Masala – Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & SPA

Masala restaurant team
Masala restaurant team
Lunch at Masala restaurant, Bab Al Shams
Lunch at Masala restaurant, Bab Al Shams

Here’s a restaurant I would visit for an experience. The long drive to the desert to reach this Indian restaurant called Masala, found inside a luxury resort located far away from the city, between the desert dunes is an experience of it’s own. Bab Al Shams as we all know is a luxury hotel in the desert but at the same time designed very simple and ring backs time of the mud house era back the old days in Dubai. Interestingly, Masala restaurant is contradicting to this Arabian style and hospitality by sticking to it’s Indian traditions and hospitality inside this arabic Resort.

Masala restaurant - Interiors @ Bab Al Shams resort
Masala restaurant – Interiors @ Bab Al Shams resort
Masala restaurant - Interiors @ Bab Al Shams resort
Masala restaurant – Interiors @ Bab Al Shams resort
In house stage @ Masala restaurant @ Bab Al Shams Resort
In house stage @ Masala restaurant @ Bab Al Shams Resort
Masala restaurant - Interiors @ Bab Al Shams resort
Masala restaurant – Interiors @ Bab Al Shams resort
Masala restaurant - exteriors @ Bab Al Shams resort
Masala restaurant – exteriors @ Bab Al Shams resort
Masala restaurant - exteriors @ Bab Al Shams resort
Masala restaurant – rooftop @ Bab Al Shams resort

The interiors of Masala restaurant starting from the wall paint is very much going to the roots of classic Indian restaurants. The restaurant wasn’t one big hall but more like a house with different rooms. In a way it was good so there was a chance your group could have your own little private dining space inside the restaurant. You could also sit outside the restaurant where the tables were facing the stage. They have a stage inside and outside the restaurant where LIVE classical Indian music is normally played during the evenings. The copper plates, cutlery, the attire of the waiters all was a hospitality showcasing traditional India.

Deep friend colocasia with spicy pineappple chutney - dhs 42
Deep friend colocasia with spicy pineappple chutney – dhs 42
complimentary pappads and pickles
complimentary pappads and pickles

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As we waited came the complimentary pappads, chutney and pickles. The homemade pickle was very well made. From the drinks, you should definitely go for their specialty Indian mocktails instead of the regular mocktails. Both Thandai(mixture of amonds, fenne seeds, rose petails, pepper, cardamom, saffron) and Tulsi punch(basil, mint, honey and yoghurt) had it’s unique flare of taste which keeps you wanting more. The Tulsi punch was new to me, I haven’t come across that drink very often and it was my favourite drink here. The Thandai taste was also very nice but I felt the drink could have been a little thicker.The deep fried colocasia reminded me of sweet potatoes, along with the pineapple chutney it was simply unstoppable. You just could go on with it. I had to remind my guests that there were many more coming and we had to make space for it as these fries were quite a filling.

Jumbo prawns marinated in a garlic yoghurt - Dhs 130
Jumbo prawns marinated in a garlic yoghurt – Dhs 130
Masala Kebab Samplers - dhs 140(Boti Kabab, Murgh Malai Kabab, Hammour Tikka)
Masala Kebab Samplers – dhs 140(Boti Kabab, Murgh Malai Kabab, Hammour Tikka)
Masala Kebab Samplers - dhs 140(Boti Kabab, Murgh Malai Kabab, Hammour Tikka)
Masala Kebab Samplers – dhs 140(Boti Kabab, Murgh Malai Kabab, Hammour Tikka)

Then came my dream starters. The giant Jumbo Prawns was just amazing. I mean the size within itself was just wow! This is something that you truly don’t want to miss when you are here at Masala. The kebab platters was a nice choice because you had a little bit of everything in it(different marination’s of fish, chicken and mutton). I specially enjoyed the spicy marination on the boti kebab.

Awadhi Ghost ki Bairyani - Dhs 82 - Spicy lamb layered with basmati rice, drizzled with saffron and cooked on Dum
Awadhi Ghost ki Bairyani – Dhs 82 – Spicy lamb layered with basmati rice, drizzled with saffron and cooked on Dum
Yoghurt with apricot and walnuts - 35
Yoghurt with apricot and walnuts – 35
Curries - Dhs 75 - From left: Lotus seed dumpling stuffed with spiced nuts in white onion gravy (Kofta Moti Taal makhana) and Murg Tikki Makhani
Curries – Dhs 75 – From left: Lotus seed dumpling stuffed with spiced nuts in white onion gravy (Kofta Moti Taal makhana) and Murg Tikki Makhani
Lotus seed dumpling from curry cut open - Dhs 75
Lotus seed dumpling from curry cut open – Dhs 75

When the biriyani came in I was surprised it didn’t come in a pot. I mean they had everything else very traditional and I just felt this one a bit out of place. The lamb pieces inside the biriyani was tender and tasty  but the biriyani was not outstanding. The butter chicken curry was really good and I had a great time along with their rotis like butter nan. Although I felt the chicken inside the butter chicken could have been cooked a little more to have it more soft. The surprise guest was the curry from Lotus seed dumpling which was very different. The dumpling felt like eating a chunk of cheese. Quite impressed with this curry, a curry that you don’t often find in other Indian restaurants.

Baby lamb leg - dhs 155 - slowly cooked in a sealed pot with saffron rice and tampered yoghurt
Baby lamb leg – dhs 155 – slowly cooked in a sealed pot with saffron rice and tampered yoghurt
Baby Lamb leg - dhs 155 - slowly cooked in a sealed pot with saffron rice and tampered yoghurt
Baby Lamb leg – dhs 155 – slowly cooked in a sealed pot with saffron rice and tampered yoghurt

I thought the grills were the best part here until I met the Chef’s Signature dish. The baby lamb leg was simply superb. It was a meat lovers dream. Chunk of baby lamb fused with Indian spices. The best mutton I’ve had in some time and you could really appreciate the quality of the meat. Well done to the chef on this. This is a must try and should not be missed in your order.

Gulab Jamun with Rasmalai - Dhs 35 - deep friend reduced milk dumpling,/poached cottage cheese dumpling in a saffron scented sugar syrup
Gulab Jamun with Rasmalai – Dhs 35 – deep friend reduced milk dumpling,/poached cottage cheese dumpling in a saffron scented sugar syrup
Kulfi Shah pasand - Dhs 40 - Homemade ice cream of saffron scented reduced milk, served with candied ash gourd
Kulfi Shah pasand – Dhs 40 – Homemade ice cream of saffron scented reduced milk, served with candied ash gourd

The homemade kulfi icecream was freshly made and irresistible. Intense, rich and creamy. I’d say the candied ash gourd on top of the kulfi ice cream was unnecessary. It was conflicting with the smooth rich texture of the ice cream. I’ve never had Gulab Jamun and rasmalai together on the same plate. They didn’t taste any different coming together though. Rasmalai in particular was adorable in taste.

After our lunch we went had a quick stroll over the resort. Where we got some free camel ride, falcon shows and also had a glimpse of their rooms which was different from what we find in the city. It really felt we were in the past. The resort was quiet and peaceful away from the busy business streets of Dubai. Click here to visit the office website. Click pictures below to see them in full screen view:

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