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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: