Deux New Place
One glance around Masha, Hauz Khas Village’s new Mediterranean restaurant and you’ll find yourself hoping you came with a date. Because this space, decked with a faded blue staircase and gold fleur de lis highlights, dim lighting and mostly tables for two, is clearly built for a couple(s) of romantics. There’s also a large balcony area with a gorgeous green vista of Hauz Khas that knocks other great view contender Boheme off the charts. If only the weather was cooler.
We visited with friends – had we known about the date setting we would have called you – and took a seat in the indoor section. Sounds of construction by the door threatened to overpower our meal, but work was stopped immediately after we pointed this out.
Started by the guys behind Out of the Box restaurant, the menu at Masha is extensive starring a long list of treats from Turkish doner kebabs to pizza, pasta and salad.
We started by ordering two dishes off the hot appetiser section: spinach fatayer and sigara boregi. We wanted a cool chicken liver pate as well, but it wasn’t available the day we visited, nor was the liquor license. Despite our carnivorous leanings, the vegetarian starters triumphed. The spinach fatayers were crisp little triangles with a crumbly shell that gave way to a tangy spinach and tomato filling, sautéed with lime. Accompanied by salsa and a garlic yogurt dip, these were delish! The sigar or phyllo baked rolls were long bits of pastry stuffed with mozzarella cheese and vegetables, although we would have preferred a feta filling. These came with a nice mayo and hummus.
Now paying more attention to meat cravings, our mains consisted of chicken tavak shish kebab and a lamb kepsa. The shish kebab featured two skewers of meat, accompanied by far too little pita, garlic mayonnaise and baba ganoush. If you have food allergies, it’s best to check directly with the chef; our fellow diner was deathly allergic to mayonnaise but was given the go-ahead by the waiter even though the dish featured it. For the non-allergic however, this makes for a perfect summer lunch - the meat is well cooked and tender and when slathered with the accompaniments on the pita it's non-spicy, but flavourful with cumin and paprika marinade.
The lamb kepsa was an intimidatingly large bowl (think a large portion of biryani) featuring nicely tangy meat and caramalised onion. Despite having no gravy, the juicy meat goes well with the accompanying rice that’s studded with pimento green olives, revealing themselves like little treasures with every bite. It was probably a good thing that they had no baklava, or we would have to roll home.
We think this new Hauz Khas entrant will make you happy. It has a casual vibe; no one will so much as blink if you decide to kick off your shoes and sit cross legged; and the food is, despite the many missing dishes, tasty. And if they still haven’t procured a liquor license when you visit, get your grub here and your post-dinner drinks elsewhere. It is after all, Hauz Khas Village. There’s a ton of drinking holes all around.
Getting there: 9A Hauz Khas Village, call 26521401, Rs 1,545 for a meal for two without alcohol.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.