Masalaa Bar is the latest creation of Celebrity Chef Milind Sovani. With the objective to reinvent the parochial perception of Indian food, he opened the Michelin restaurant Song of India. But then he thought, why not make it more accessible to the masses? And that was how Masalaa Bar was birthed along East Coast Road; authentic Indian cuisine in a casual bar setting.

Indian Street food

Masalaa Bar’s Monstrous MB Papad (S$8) scales up the traditional Indian snack. However, it’s not just the size that’s impressive. Chef Sovani explained that not only is it a fun bar snack to share when drinking, but friends and family who are dining together can also break the papadum together after saying well wishes, which I thought added a beautiful touch to the dish.

Their pao dishes were no joke. Uses a garlic crostini pao as a vehicle to deliver the vegetable melt which includes an assortment of vegetables and spices. Rich, earthy, spicy; really just an all-round complicated flavor that dominates your palate.

Just like the Martini Pao Bahji (S$9) above, the dishes in Masalaa Bar debunked the fallacy that all Indian foods are throat-burning spicy, with a mild, warm sensation which shouldn’t be much of a problem to stereotypical Asians.

Another pao dish that won my heart over was their Kahu Galli Kheema Pao (S$21), Mumbai’s street version of Minced Lamb with Buns. Just from the appearance of the buns, I already knew I was in for a soft, pillowy treat. And I was right. However, I did find the bun excessively buttery, but that’s just how it’s supposed to be.

And the dish that all Singaporean’s know and love- let’s just call this the face of Singaporean Indian cuisine- the Butter Chicken. Masalaa Bar revamped it, turning down the spice level.

The Garlic Naan that came with it had a light texture. However, I would’ve preferred it more aromatic. Perhaps if they micro pleated the garlic instead of chopping it, the effect would be greater.

Lastly, Chef Sovani’s prized Pani Puri Shots (S$7.5), a renowned Indian street food that’s basically a crispy puff with a refreshing mint water shot.

Verdict

This was no doubt a great gateway to Indian cuisine (besides prata and chicken). It’s just a fun place to gather with friends, be it a meal or a drink at the bar.

Location: 723 E Coast Rd, Singapore 459071
Tel: +65 6282 4648
Opening hours: 11:30am- 10:15pm

*This article is written in collaboration with Masalaa Bar

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