Offering up a refreshing twist on Indian cuisine, Masti in La Mer Dubai delivers a dining experience that’s truly unique in the region.
Masti is located in La Mer Dubai and serves up an exciting mix of dishes from all over the world infused with traditional Indian flavours
Head over to La Mer of an evening, and there are plenty of options when it comes to dining out. But no matter how many times we go to explore the beachside area – and regardless of whether we’re seeking exquisite drinks or flavourful food – there’s always one establishment that pulls us in; Masti.
Having first opened in December 2017, the eatery has quickly become a go-to for brilliant off-beat Indian food. Headed up by chef Hari Nayak – who was a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America before spending 20 years working in New York restaurants, becoming known as an expert in and advocate for South Indian cuisine – the menu is something to marvel.
But before we consider the menu, it’s the alluring decor that draws us through the door. Walls range between deep forest green and distressed teal-blue, while more vibrant colours come from plush yellow upholstery and pink patterned cushions scattered across the seating.
The walls are lined with stunning art, but the stand out feature is that stain-glassed elephant head mounted above the bar. Not to mention the equally colourful terrace area with open views of the city’s skyline.
Yes despite the attention to detail that’s clearly gone into the beautiful interior design, that’s not the reason why we keep coming back for more.
On concept alone, Masti is causing diners to double-take. It takes age-old flavours, spices and sauces that have been used in India for centuries and blends them with dishes borrowed from all over the world; think a new take on Peruvian ceviche with the black bass ceviche or the bhatti merguez that uses lamb to recreate a classic North African dish with Indian flavours such as garlic masala.
When it comes to vegetarian (and even vegan) options, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more flavour-packed menu and accommodating eatery.
Not overly hungry and on a limited time, we keep our overall order short and sweet, making the sharing starters the main focus.
As for salads and bites, the two of us work through a balsamic strawberry and arugula salad which contains toasted hazelnuts and avocado drizzled with a citrus and herb vinaigrette, dynamite prawns koliwada with a red pepper aioli, spiced beetroot croquettes served with crispy kale and eggplant bharta that comes in two variants and is served with flatbread.
Everything is explosive for the tastebuds and looks just as pleasing upon arrival. The beetroot croquettes in particular pull us in; the humble root vegetable translates into a mouthful that is both crispy and creamy while bursting with flavour.
For the main course, we work our way together through smoked lentil and quinoa tikki with a side of smashed chaat roast potatoes.
The former is a beautiful mix of textures. The base of the shallow bowl is lined with the smoked lentils in a rich sauce, with the crispy battered mushrooms and vegetable tikki protruding out. This way, the crunch is preserved as the two meet when we take a bite.
Although we can’t stay for dessert, we find it incredibly difficult to wave goodbye to the Lotus snap, crackle and pop option that’s in the kitchen rather than our bellies. Yes, that’s a Lotus biscuit and white chocolate sandwich with hints of coffee and saffron basundi, an Indian sweet treat made with condensed milk.
The only comfort is we know it won’t be long until we’re back once again.
Find out more at mastidubai.com.