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Masala Palace:

A Culinary Trip during Confinement?

RESTAURANT INDIAN C.D.N. <$20

The Pitch

With confinement measures discouraging travel outside of Quebec still in place, the only "responsible" way of experiencing exotic places is to order their regional cuisine for a meal at home.  For my first review of 2021 – after a week-long "detox" following the holidays – I decided to treat my family for Indian takeout on a Sunday night.

Going through my list of places to try, I randomly chose Côte-des-Neiges' Masala Palace.  While I cannot recall where this recommendation came from, a quick glance across the web revealed this inconspicuous eatery has been around over three decades now!

tagged:  SUNDAY NIGHT

The Food

Masala Palace's offering runs the gamut of quintessential Indian dishes, covering several of the subcontinent's regional specialties.  While the menu provides more than enough options, it is not interminable like that of many Indian restaurants.  À-la-carte items include soups, fritters, tandoori, biryani, curries and vegetables.  Alternatively, one can go with thali platters or combo menus for something preset.

Personally, I would have gone adventurous tonight; but since I had to share with my kids, we instead stuck to safe crowd-pleasers.  We kicked off right with a flavorful mulligatawny soup which would make Seinfeld's Soup Nazi proud.  Next up, we got our greens in with mellow saag paneer – creamed spinach with Indian cottage cheese.

Finally, our main dishes – lamb biryani, butter chicken and lamb vindaloo – all featured tender cubes of meat and were beautifully fragrant with the right level of spice.  Naturally, some naan bread came in handy to soak up all those rich, sleep-inducing sauces.

Mulligatawny thumbnail (click to enlarge)

$5.55

$5.55

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Mulligatawny

Saag Paneer thumbnail (click to enlarge)

$9.95

$9.95

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Saag Paneer

Lamb Biryani thumbnail (click to enlarge)

$13.95

$13.95

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Lamb Biryani

Butter Chicken thumbnail (click to enlarge)

$13.95

$13.95

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Butter Chicken

Lamb Vindaloo thumbnail (click to enlarge)

$13.95

$13.95

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Lamb Vindaloo

Garlic Naan thumbnail (click to enlarge)

$5.90

$5.90

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Garlic Naan

tagged:  GOOD FOR SHARING

The Verdict

While my review of Masala's food sounds glowing, the pre-meal process was not without its hiccups.  To begin with, I initially wanted to order lunch, but was told there would only be a couple dishes to choose from – no thanks!  When I called back in the evening, placing my order took an eternity; for some reason, punching in the dishes literally took half a minute each.

Later, upon parking in front to pick up my food, I noticed signage for two restaurants outside: Masala Palace and Flavors of Kerala.  Perhaps a name/concept/ownership change is in the works?  While none of these remarks is a bad sign per se, they did put me on guard initially.

However, Masala Palace's authentic, fragrant and spicy flavours successfully sent us on a culinary journey abroad during these restricted times.  And at $75 for my family of four, that is one affordable trip!  Having said that, I am not ready to give my final word; I may have to wait until the revamp is complete, if and when that happens.

tagged:  DESERVES A RETRY

Price per person:  $18.50

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514eats

Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys who like to eat and drink.  We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.

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