Address: Unit 13 & 14, Cummins India Campus, Balewadi High Street, Balewadi, Pune, Maharashtra India
Time: 12 Noon to 1 AM
Meals for two: Rs. 1,500
Cuisines: Modern Indian
Facilities: Full Bar Available, Free Parking, Nightlife, Resto Bar, Serves Cocktails
Masala Bar is now open in Balewadi High Street.
MasalaBar, Balewadi, Pune: Decor
The two-month young Masala Bar has all the trappings of a glitzy bar, sleek interiors, a stunning ceiling that replicates waves on fire, plush seating, an island bar and amber-toned lighting. The music, which might get slightly loud at times, is in sync with the vibe.
MasalaBar, Balewadi, Pune: Food
The ambience might not hint at the ‘masala’, but their signature cocktails will assure you that they haven’t toned down the spice. The Whiskey Business, their take on the classic whiskey sour, with a sole star anise floating on top has a velvety, wellmade egg-white top but is marred with the heavy use of spice syrup. It’s really difficult to get past it and taste any other elements of the drink. Much lighter and easier on the palate is the Bombay velvet. Served in a small curved-rim wine glass with a dehydrated orange slice on top, the gin-based cocktail with kevra water and basil leaves is a floral ode. However, the imli ka boota, a twist on tamarind margarita, was just insipid. Neither could we taste the tequila or the barely there tamarind pulp.
Like the drinks, the food is also a case of good, almost-there and completely-off-the mark. A modern take on Indian-fare, the focus is on small plates and easy eats to pair with the drinks. Some of the good picks included pyaaz ke challe (onion rings) coated in South Indian gunpowder masala and crisp Mahabaleshwar mirchi fry, green Bhavnagiri Mirchi filled with a creamy goat cheese mash and crumb-fried. The Lahori murgh masala, succulent pieces of well-spiced meat, is an enjoyable appetizer but is served with a very odd-tasting tasting butter cream dip. The chilli chong pork ribs is decent and so is the Calingut prawn curry served with nariyal chawal. The letdowns of the evening included the stodgy mattar samosa doused in a sweet spicy chutney and an oversalted maska mushrooms, golden onions and pepper bao. Redeeming the night was the Bailey’s lollipop, frozen liqueur pops coated with a thin layer of chocolate.
MasalaBar, Balewadi, Pune: Plus & Minus
The ambiance is ideal for a night on the town and the service is amiable. Barring the cocktails, the regular tipple and their limited chakna menu is very-affordably priced. The food and the signature drinks are nothing to write home about.