In the amazingly calm & serene resort of Bab Al Shams, the name Masala is expected to fire up the appetite. A specialty Indian cuisine restaurant offers a much needed break from the usual Buffet fare especially when you are staying there for 3 days.
Ambiance: It is set up like a traditional courtyard of an Indian haveli, in the middle of a house with live ghazals & also a terrace area to lounge & have a drink while you wait for your tables to be available.
The lighting is very dim, so much so that they give you reading lights to read the menu. But where are the lights when you want to eat your food? More so, no fans and that means a little bit of sweat in the warm weather. They do have a dining area inside with all the amenities that are missing in the courtyard.
Service: Professional & that means no smiles, just a stern look on their face. Very to the point. The server on the terrace went back n forth every time we asked a doubt regarding the dish.
While our table was prepared downstairs, we had a few cocktails & starters.
The Papdi chaat was like a decent sevpuri,with crispy flat puris topped up with sweet & spicy chutneys & garnished with some sev.
The Samosas were crispy outside & a very moderate spiced filling inside
But the scene stealer ( even for my Arab friends) were Onion bhajjis which were batter fried crisp onions which acts as a perfect complement to your drinks.
Ordered a Chicken chaat & boti kebab which were passable again. So far so good.
Talking about drinks, we ordered the Mumtaz cocktail which had vodka, lime, green chillies & Rooh afza. The green chilly gave it a kick but the offsetting Rooh afza was too less making it a bitter spicy cocktail.
Butter Chicken: Way way too sweet. This is how you get Butter chicken in the UK, modified for European palates.
Kasturi Fish Tikka: Moderately spiced. perfectly cooked fish.
Dal Masala: Dal Makhani which wasn’t spectacular but passable. This was the better dish of the main course & should have ordered another serving instead of the other dishes.
Stuffed Kulcha: Chewy greasy Kulchas stuffed with paneer.
Kofta Moti Taal Makhana: This dish promised a lot in description with koftas of lotus seed & spiced nuts in an onion gravy. The actual product was a crumly paneer kofta in again a very sweet gravy. Put off again!
Mutton Biryani: I didn’t try it as I was full by then but others took a spoonful & nobody went for repeats. Speaks the Tale.
Pricing: 435 Dhs for the starters & drinks. Around 450 for the main course. Total close to 900 for 6 pax is very very expensive.
Final Verdict: The food is altered more to suit non spicy palates. Plus at that price, I would give it a miss.