My mum and sister are in town, and last night we frantically looked for a good buffet lunch option in town. My sister, for someone whose second visit to Bangalore is happening only now (the first one was when she was 2 and remembers only caramel popcorn at Kids Kemp – yes, our collective memory consists mainly of food and yes, it runs in the family!), knows enough about Bangalore to scare me a little. She mumbled Cafe Masala and we all agreed because I had read about it some time back and the name had stuck with me.
The 4 of us reached Cafe Masala 20 minutes later than the time we had made our reservations for, but we promptly got a table of four after we gave a few dirty looks to the slightly rude manager who almost rebuked us for being late (defence mechanism I guess, because he assumed that there were no free tables) and hence paid more attention to a customer (or someone else, for all I know) on the phone than he did to us. Unfortunately the tables in the sit out area were all taken and we had to make do with one in the airconditioned part of the restaurant. What followed was sheer pleasure, to put it mildly!
As a family, some of our biggest kicks come from good food and today was no different. We decided to go for the huge Sunday lunch buffet spread, but of course, and our starters were served on our table. I must mention here that I have had terrible luck with seafood, especially prawns, here in Bangalore. But the golden fried prawns served as one of the starters at Cafe Masala was mindblowing. Succulent, well cooked, and delicious. The chicken too was absolutely brilliant. The wide variety of salads and main course was to die for. I generally don’t get anything above mediocre biryani at most North Indian buffet spreads and I was not expecting much from the mutton dum biryani here too. But I was wrong. Let me just put it this way – the food was really, really good.
The desserts were to die for. Chocolate was actually chocolatey and not just loaded with sugar, the pastries were very well made. I can’t name a lot of the desserts I ate at Cafe Masala today, but for someone for whom dessert is the real main course, I can tell you I was “extremely satisfied”. The jalebi could have been better, but I am not complaining. There was gajar halwa too, but sometimes, just sometimes, I get too full to not want to look at food too. Unfortunately, this happens only at buffet outings :-)
At Rs 375, the lunch outing today was worth every penny. Let me warn you that they charge both service tax and VAT, so please don’t come running after me if you find the place a tad bit too expensive when the bill finally arrives. Happens. The feel good factor in this place was enough to leave me very happy with my Sunday! Perfect 10 for me!
By the way, has it ever happened to you that you spend years reminiscing about a certain sinful chocolatey delight but when you finally get to eat it, it leaves you wondering why you liked it so much in the first place? It happened to me yesterday. After 4 years of fantasizing about Mocha’s Chocolate Avalanche, when I ate it again yesterday, I found it just plain brown, gooey sugar, no chocolate! Either Mocha at Koramangala didn’t know how to make those brownies or I have grown up beyond Mocha’s target group. I hated the place – tacky, dirty, and extremely pretensious. It left me very, very queasy!