Mystic Masala, the Indian restaurant at Vivanta by Taj – Blue Diamond Pune launched a new menu on 5th November 2011 that features an extensive selection of popular traditional Indian specialities including a choice of Maharashtrian preparations. The handiwork of Executive Chef Elangovan Shanmugam – popularly called Chef Elango – and his team, the menu reflects a growing appreciation of regional Indian cuisines. Brinda Gill has the details.
Just as Indians are travelling widely and enjoying different cuisines, Chef Elango says he has observed foreign guests are keen to try out Indian dishes. “No long playing it safe with light, non-spicy kebabs, foreign diners ask for local preparations and spicy food and sometimes even a green chilli to accompany the meal,” he said.
And for this reason, the `Regional Flavours of Maharashtra’ section of the menu has specialities from different regions of Maharashtra including delicacies once prepared for the Peshwa rulers and in other royal homes across the state. For guests who would like to sample and savour the most popular Maharashtrian specialities on the menu, Mystic Masala serves vegetarian, non-vegetarian and seafood thalis.
The restaurant is also promoting wines; 12 wines are placed in the wine rack near the entrance and six wines in the wine tray. “While wine connoisseurs may know wines on reading their names in the wine list, other guests can only visualize the wines. I think people get a better understanding of wines on offer if they see the actual bottles and can make a selection. So a little after the guests are seated, the wine tray is presented to guests to invite them to read the labels and enjoy a glass of wine with their meal.”
The wine list features a choice of Champagne, Indian and imported sparkling, white, red and rosé wines as well as some by the glass. Chef Elango feels aromatic white wines like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling are best suited to Indian cuisine as the preparations are so flavourful though he says with dishes like Mutton Sukkha or Seekh Kebabs a red such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot goes well.
“If the right wine is selected with Indian food, it makes for an enjoyable dining experience,” says Chef Elango, and then suggests wrapping up the meal with the unusual yet refreshing homemade paan or betel leaf ice cream.
Open for lunch and dinner, a meal for two at Mystic Masala without wine costs Rs 1800
Mystic Masala, Vivanta by Taj – Blue Diamond, Pune
11 Koregaon Road, Pune 411 001 Maharashtra
www.vivantabytaj.com. Ph: (020) 6602 1234