Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Malaka Spice – Dependable for great food, as always!

I picked up a dear friend, my namesake Kainaz, and her darling daughter Kloee for lunch on a Thursday afternoon. In known circles my friend Kainaz is a ‘rock star’ who creates the most awesome Chocolate Brownies, Quiches, Cookies and Cup-cakes. Our friendship is merely six months old but sometimes souls are simply destined to connect beautifully (touch wood) and so it was for us. This was going to be our last meeting before she heads out to UK, to settle with her husband, Rolan. Our pre-planned destination for lunch was Malaka Spice. 

As usual, having skipped breakfast I was hungry enough to eat a horse. When we reached the restaurant we quickly ordered drinks and starters. For drinks we ordered an Orange Juice, Virgin Mojito and Cold Coffee. Our starters were Chicken Frittura, Firecracker Prawns and Murtabak.

Chicken Frittura was batter fried chicken pieces served with a tangy Mango Sambal dip. The chicken was fried just right where it remained juicy and tender and that Mango Sambal was tangy, spicy and delicious! 

The Firecracker Prawns, marinated in Thai spice paste and coriander, encased in a thin wrapper (with crisp noodles peeping out from one end) were fried to crisp perfection and were delectable! They were a delight to the eyes because of the way it was presented on the platter and were even more pleasurable when bit into. 

The Murtabak (we chose mutton mince instead of chicken mince), was well spiced mutton mince wrapped in thin crepes and pan fried. They were absolutely yummy! I could not find the slightest fault with any of the starters. Without a doubt, I give each and every starter a well deserved 10/10.

For the mains we wanted to order Indian Crayfish in Black Bean Sauce and Singapore Chilli Prawns. Disappointingly, the Indian Crayfish was not available, so we opted for Prawns in Coconut Cream instead. We ordered Jhala Rotis as accompaniment to the curries.

When set at our table, at first glance, both curries were very similar in appearance but when we tasted them, they both had their own distinct flavour and were not alike at all.  The Singapore Chilli Prawns were mind-blowing and they weren’t kidding when they named it Singapore ‘Chilli’ Prawns. I absolutely love spicy food and these prawns tossed in spicy Singapore Sambal made my taste buds do a lively jig. 

The Prawns in Coconut Cream, were just as delicious but, comparatively, more delicate in flavor. The prawns for both dishes were cooked ‘exactly right’ and the Bawi in me rejoiced at each and every bite.

As for that extraordinary Jhala Roti, it partnered both the curries to perfection! Jhala means net, netted or web. I will not say any more about the Jhala Roti as I would like you to feast your eyes on this beautiful creation and experience its taste (and uniqueness) for yourself. Each and every dish served was beautiful in terms of flavour and texture. It’s only right, then, that I give them full marks. :)

Our choices for dessert were Royal Chocolate Mousse and Banana Toffee with Ice cream. The Royal Chocolate Mousse was the only disappointment of the day. I ate a spoonful and took another one to confirm what I felt on my palate. The mousse was grainy, instead of being smooth. My friend, Kainaz, is a chef and she concurred. The mousse was rich, decadent and, taste-wise, I could find no fault with it but that grainy texture took away the smooth pleasure that my tongue was waiting to experience when I took that first spoonful. 

I don’t like fruits; except mangoes and bananas, which I love. (Those who follow my work know that well!) Hence, the choice of Banana Toffee with Ice cream which was sweet ripe bananas fritters tossed in caramel and served with ice cream. It is a classic dessert and the hot-cold combination blew me away. It was an incredible finale to a fabulous luncheon!

At the cost of sounding repetitive, we were, truly, very disappointed to have missed out on Indian Crayfish in Black Bean sauce. :( I hope, with all my heart, that Malaka Spice has Indian Crayfish in stock when I visit next.

As for the rest of the experience through the entire afternoon:
Team Malaka Spice, kudos! The service, the ambiance and the food were excellent! I look forward to visiting you guys next month; to bid another friend good-bye as she is moving away after getting married and then again, to celebrate mum’s birthday as she and dad plan to come into town next month. Amen to that! ;)

Ambiance: 4/5 (had to battle a fly or two)
Food: 4.5/5
Service: 5/5

Address: Lane 5, Opp Oxford Properties, North-Main road, Koregaon Park, Pune
Tel: 020 26151088

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