Monday, December 7, 2009
Mantra: Tandoor Tuesday
The entrance at Mantra, Boston.
We were recently invited to Mantra in Boston for their Tandoor Tuesday event. Mantra specializes in an Indian-French fusion cuisine and is located in the Downtown Crossing area. If you have always wanted to sit at a Chef's Table in a fine restaurant but could not afford the hefty price tag then this is an excellent alternative. You will get a hands-on cooking demonstration by an executive chef, an up close view of techniques, lots of tasting of delicious naan bread (several varieties), chicken and halibut and even a cocktail thrown in for fun. The cost is a mere $20.00 per person.
Corporate Chef Ranveer Brar, host of Tandoor Tuesdays at Mantra.
The sleek contemporary design at Mantra in Boston.
The design of the restaurant is crisp, clean but exotic with soaring ceilings and comfortable, intimate spaces perfect for a romantic dinner.
Mixing the naan bread dough.
The naan bread dough is surprisingly very soft.
Naan bread cooking in the tandoor oven.
The naan bread is the star of the show tonight. Prepared in a tandoor oven, which we learn is actually of Turkish origin, it cooks in just minutes against the walls of the 425 degree oven. Mantra has a Naan Bar with an amazing assortment of savory and sweet naan breads. The coconut date naan, which was light on the coconut, was the perfect touch of dessert. There is also smoked salmon, roasted garlic and spinach, bleu cheese and even a chocolate and marshmallow variety.
Pulling the fresh naan bread from the tandoor oven.
Fresh naan bread warm from the tandoor oven.
Dipping sauces: sweet, savory and spicy.
Plenty of dipping sauces are provided, adding a depth to the fresh bread. We had mint, sweet apricot, tamarind and a spicy onion chutney.
Fellow foodies Lauretta and Richard.
Overall, it was informative and a different, fun way to go out for dinner. Questions are encouraged and we had lots of them. We learned that yogurt is used to tenderize the meat in a 10% ratio. The chicken we tried was perfectly tender and succulent. We also learned about Indian spices used in cooking. It's a great night for couples and groups of friends and a very cool surprise for that first date.
52 Temple Place
Boston, MA 02111-1332