Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mash Grill House. Should or shouldn't I?

"It's Friday, Friday... Fun-fun-fun-fun."

I understand that it is no longer Friday, but it's still The Weekend, Weekend. Yes, I'm inching towards the big Two-Five and yet I'm up to date on YouTube sensations and Disney Darlings. Story of my life.

You should totally trust me on my info, though. E! News is automatically clocked on my TataSky. I've been known to run back from the library or the hospital just in time for my daily fix. Even keep an alarm so I can wake up at 4 in the morning to watch Giuliana (who seems to get skinnier by the day, if such a thing could be metabolically possible) scoop out the Goss.

God, I'm totally not proud of anything I've said until now.

What I'm proud of is my knowledge of food. So I won't know if Satvic food can ever allow for legal Umami flavours, or the exact fermentation process of fromage bleu, but I do know where to get a good cheesecake and how to make kick-ass Overnight Oats.

This post is for the gourmands and the Lazies. For the fully loaded and those who've got their salary a little early. You deserve it.

Last week, W and I cruising around Khader Nawaz Khan road in search of lunch at 4 PM. If we're starving at around the time, we usually hit Sparkys for deficiencies in the availability of actual food at the time. However, we thought we should save Sparkys for another occasion (one that justifies the taco salad and the wedges) and give another place a shot.

Our quest came to an end at Mash GrillHouse. It's easy enough to find... and nothing like the Mash of yore, the one on Besant Nagar Beach. The differences start with the prices.
Two tiny blips:
1)A steak plate is priced at 450-ish. Not something you'd be willing to shell out for an impromptu mid-day meal.

2)They serve pork, something that is an ABSOLUTE contra-indication, but they offered a tour of the place to show that they used completely separate grills and spaces. The waiter also informed us that the rest of the meat comes in from Bismillah Meat Mart (and hence, 100% halal) and many of the patrons were muslims.

The place was clean and pleasant enough. Nothing exceptionally luxe, but minimalistic interiors, well-lit dining room overlooking the pristine roads-and-trees of the posh neighbourhood and glorious silence.

But mostly, hunger won out, and we stayed on.

Hunger also dictated the stuff we ordered. Safe things that are hard to screw up, with enough starch and spice to satiate the two important nuances of our collective appetites. W asked for a medium to well done steak, with the sauce that the waiter recommended. I don't remember the name, but it had mushrooms in it and was apparently the speciality.

I asked for the Jalapeno Chicken grilled plate, priced at 350-ish. I was forewarned that it was the Mexican cousin of our beloved orange chilli chicken (in not so many words), but the promise of chicken chunks in a spicy sauce sounded enticing to my food-deprived brain, so I went ahead with it anyway.

So we waited for quite a bit (which I do not blame them for, we went at totally crap timings when the kitchen wasn't even functioning and save us, there were no other diners)... during which W was mostly fantasising about his mum's Friday biryani and me over the Sub of the Day at the Subway next door.

All this changed when the food made its grand entry.

The steak (you can ask for a sizzler plate or not) came with the usual suspects; steamed veg, sublime mashed potatoes, a scoop of Mexican rice and a side of polenta fries and gravy.

It's hard for me to be objective here. I was hungry, so it'll obviously taste good. But it was expensive, which automatically reduces the taste for me. I'll try, though.

It tasted like things that dreams are made of.  Crisp, sizzling meat that was fork-tender and doused in a peppercorn-ish sauce. Mashed potatoes that were wonderfully creamy without being greasy and nausea-inducing (95% of the time, I get disappointed). Objective enough?

We asked for an accompaniment of Steak fries. Potato wedges that had a cornmeal coating to them. Loved the textures, but was a teensy bit oilier than the baked wedges I'm in love with.

The Jalapeno chicken was, yes, like your neighbourhood chilli chicken. I polished it off with gusto, though.

It reminded me of Wangs Kitchen in the '90s with a little Tex-Mex ketchup-style sauce thrown in (Mex-Indo-Chinese?) The chicken was juicy, bountiful and studded with bits of spicy jalapenos. Would I order it again? I'm not sure. It was Chilli chicken/chicken manchurian/General Tsao's chicken... nothing that qualifies for semi-fine dining prices. It was definitely yummy in a street food way, though. And the accompaniments were good.

We decided to give desserts a miss since I felt like ice cream. Mocha Temptation at Cream and Fudge factory to be precise. If you head there, don't order the fruit flavours (such as Mango) but try sticking to chocolate-peanut butter-coffee-esque flavours. You heard it here first.

The staff were extremely helpful (without being overtly helpful) and courteous, as was the chef (who gave away the secret for the mashed potatoes!). They made sure we had a fantastic lunner (lunch+dinner, duh) so a shoutout is in order.

OK. Last of the ridiculous questions I pose and answer myself for the day. Would we go back? If it's for an actual dinner, replete with dessert and mocktails, on an occasion that justifies the expenditure of cash and consumption of calories, then: heck, yes.

P.S. If the photos are good, it's because I didn't take them. The W did.

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