Thursday, December 29, 2011

Briyani in Bamboo @ Masala Bay

briyani rice cooked in bamboo?

there are so many, many, MANY indian restaurants all over dubai. in order to stand out from the many, a restaurant needs to have good food with great price, good location with good service – and to be unique.

‘masala bay’ in discovery gardens may look like any other indian restaurant, service pretty much the same food – but the uniqueness lies in the way they serve their briyani!


briyani rice is served in bamboo trunk. the server pushes out the rice from the wooden tube, by edging a stick through an opening.


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this branch of ‘masala bay’ is situated in discovery gardens, serving south indian food of the kerala state which – like its name suggested – rich in ‘masala’ (indian spices). the fiery symbol on its red signage can also prepare you for the hot spices of their dishes!



my favorite color is yellow, so i was immediately drawn to their ceiling which brightens up the minimal interior of the restaurant. it’s not that spacious, but comfy. a small clear window shows the chef in action.

i love the pictures on the walls – close-ups of spices, chillis and my favorite is a world map made solely from small beads of indian spice. nice.


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appetizer : the super crispy popadom which is unlike any indian popadam i’ve ever tasted. very thin and crispy, with curry leaves and sprinkled with what probably is paprika. it’s served with this green dip.



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this is ‘raitha’, a cold yoghurt dip with cut-up cucumber and onion, usually served with indian food to balance the heat and spiciness of the dishes. i love to dip my popadam in this ‘raitha’, as i eat my spicy briyani. excellent.


love this one too. is this coconut chutney? hmm.


for the boys, we ordered roti canai.

you’d be surprise to know that although there are many indian restaurants in dubai, it’s not as easy to find GOOD roti canai (parotha they call it here). really!

here, they are not too big on roti canai because they make so many, many other types of indian ‘roti’. so the best roti canai in dubai so far that i’ve tried are from ‘green city’, and ‘appa kadai’. and then i found this one at ‘masala bay’, and i liked it! not bad. soft, with a little crisp brownish spots here and there. nice.


we accompanied our roti canai (the parotha) with this thick, delicious curry chicken. yum.


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..and here’s the main dish!

we ordered mutton briyani and they’re cooked normal but later steamed in this cool, classic-looking bamboo trunk, and then served straight on our plate. the waiter pushes out the rice from the wooden tube, by edging a stick through an opening. what a presentation!


the portion can be shared by two, especially if you’re also eating parotha. hihi. i like this mutton briyani at ‘masala bay’ because they’re not too spicy and the spices – though rich in flavor but not too overwhelming like some briyani tend to be if you add too much spices. overall, a delicious treat – soft beads of rice, and the mutton easily shreded and tender.


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as usual, mr. khairul’s trip to any indian restaurants is incomplete without an order of sada chai. this indian tea is heated up on stove together with the milk, water and tea leaves which gives it a more rich milky taste that mr. khairul loves. must always ask, “tea bag? or not?” if it’s JUST tea-bag, don’t go for it. hihi. try the original!


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while you wait for your order, you can enjoy amusing yourself with reading the jokes on its placemats. funny!



‘masala bay’ has a nice, relaxed ambiance to it, and the servers are polite and prompt. i would try this place again for the chicken briyani next!

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