Masemari on Tilak Road is owned by renowned Marathi actress Lalan Sarang; and apart from being a very talented actress, she is also renowned for her sea-food recipes. Infact, although I was a vegetarian for the longest time, I used to keep reading her recipes in a Marathi periodical while growing up and they always fascinated me. Needless to say, ever since my conversion to non-vegetarian food, Masemari has been on my wishlist for a long time. Incidentally, this also happens to be my brother’s favourite sea-food restaurant; and thus we decided to celebrate Bhau-beej in a slightly different way by having dinner at Masemari together.
The restaurant is located slightly off Tilak Road, in the lane that has Girija Pav-Bhaji at the corner. This is a small restaurant with 4-5 tables on the lower level and a few more on the upper level. The décor is quite nice, with the cream colored walls, artefacts of fish, prawns, crabs and lobsters and paintings depicting life in a fishing village.
The menu has a huge variety of all things sea-food, both in terms of starters and curries as also the availability of a huge variety of fish. There are also a few poultry, mutton and Vegetarian options for those who do not want sea-food, but we gave those a skip.
We were welcomed into the restaurant with a refreshing Kokum drink, not a sweet Kokam Sharbat, but a savoury one called Tival with mild spices. Tival is often consumed as an appetizer and has great digestive properties, so nice touch there.
We ordered Pomfret Rawa fry and Surmai Ulta Pulta along with Sol Kadhi at Masemari.
The Pomfret Rawa fry had one fairly large sized whole Pomfret with a really thin and crisp coating of Rawa on the outside. The spices used to marinate the fish were perfectly balanced; not too strong to overpower the delicateness of the Pomfret yet not bland too. The fish was cooked to perfection and simply the melt in the mouth kinds.
Surmai Ulta Pulta was unlike anything I have ever tasted, absolutely delicious. The dish had 6 fillets of Surmai, coated with the typical Maharashtrian Kala masala and cooked in a pan. It was then finished with some crispy curry leaves. It is very easy to go off balance with the Kala Masala and make a dish too Pungent, but this one was again just perfect.
Sol Kadhi was decent too, but nothing spectacular to talk about, good enough to wash down the fish.
The staff knows the food well, and knows what spices and techniques are involved with each preparation. Service was very polite and quick too.
Prices are also quite reasonable, if compared with other speciality sea-food restaurants serving similar cuisine.
I absolutely see why this place is a favourite with my brother and other sea-food loving friends and will certainly dine here again.