Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Dum-a-Dum Mast Kalandar !

Yet another CFG Showcase, this time at Mast Kalandar, Besant Nagar. I've been to Mast Kalandar in Velachery a million times; R and I love this place. So when CFG decided to do a showcase here, I couldn't say no ! (Ever since Nishanth said Mast Kalandar, I'd been humming this Runa Laila number - Dum-a-dum mast kalandar, ali dum dum de andar)

It was the usual gang - Aswin, Sathish, Bharani, Ganesh, Roshan and Karthi. (Kamalika I hope you are alright girl. You were missed.)

MastK (on twitter) is an authentic North Indian restaurant serving combo meals. They have 4 branches and intend to open 15 more in Chennai. There are 34 branches all over India. 

Steve is the manager in charge of all Chennai branches and we discussed everything under the sun related to restaurants - why home deliveries are getting affected, staffing, salary for the staff, why unions aren't possible here. We'd already planned in advance as to what needs to be served. We decided, since the menu is exhaustive, the CFGians would be given a little of everything.  And Steve also had a brilliant brainwave. He said he'd set up a separate table for the photo shoot. So we could eat first and then shoot later. Knowing this gang, I said we'd better shoot first and eat later ;-) (Aswin - stealing your caption on my photo here).  This went well with all of us because usually the table is a chaos with cameras flashing around, while some of them would want to eat. 

As people slowly trickled in, Steve explained what we were going to eat, and the dishes were brought to the table. There was a little bit of every item on the menu, and yet, the tummy was delighted. The food here not only tingles your taste buds, but is easy on the stomach and wallet. 

The combo meals and free home delivery (around a radius of 3 km) is the highlight. Also, the USP of this place is that there are no additives, preservatives, artificial coloring, soda or any such thing that'll upset the stomach. The masala comes from specific places

Lassi, and Chaas (Aswin - note - there's nothing called Chassi :P) made way to the table. This was followed by hara bhara kebab, veg sheekh kebab and paneer tikka. The hara bhara kebab was luscious, and truly delicious. Surprisingly the mint chutney was super spicy.

On the chaat platter (All - please note - it's not chat it's chaat) was dahi papdi chaat and hot and spicy tikki platter. I wonder why it was called hot and spicy because at some point, I did taste a bit of sweetness. 

That done, the main course - and this was huge - paraded on the table. Aloo paranthas, Aloo do pyaza, lachcha paranthas, Missi roti, jowari roti, palak matar, mix veg sabzi, raita, salad, pulao and biriyani. (Whew, I'm full just by reciting what was on the customized menu for us). In general, I thought the dishes were a little too salty (perhaps the kala namak?). BTW, the pulao was perfect, it doesn't need to be cooked more - Steve & Aswin - that's how it's served :)

Everything went through a few rounds on our taste buds, and we were ready for dessert.

Ganesh ordered the masala cola, and I was all too curious to look at the fizz. It's a childish fascination to watch the cola fizz up when the chaat masala gets added. And when I tried to take a sip, I started sneezing badly, for I had inhaled the masala ! DUH !

Ever since I knew it was Mast kalandar, my taste buds were screaming malpua. And MastK didn't fail on that score. It was as perfect as it should be. The rabdi was absolutely delicious, not too sweet , and the malpua just melted in the mouth. The gulab jamun was slightly on the sweeter side but the carrot halwa (off the menu) was just perfect.

As we wound up for the usual group photograph, there was a total sense of contentment among the group. They were purring like well fed kittens. (and that reminds me - Aswin - did you buy whiskas and feed the kittens?)

As the class dispersed with cheer claps, Cycle Jackson (aka Bharani) was explaining all his biking expeditions and home work was assigned to everyone.

Boys, I am done with my homework. Please don't copy, else I will tell to Nishanth and Ali ! :P 


  1. I miss India, where whenever I craved for something strongly, all I had to do was drive to a good restaurant, most of which were in a good radius around work/home! Now, I am staring at my screen salivating like a rabid dog :| Dipsy don't do this to me :((

    1. Rums, come off no? We'll go ! :D

  2. Hey... Really nice review. I earlier used to visit Mast Kalandar a lot, while I was staying at Besant Nagar. After shifting to Kilpauk, I stopped going. I think it's high time I pay a visit to it. And you have a nice blog as well :)

    1. Thanks Priya. Yes it's a good place for some home-style healthy food :-)


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