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pleasant lunch surprise at Mantra

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pleasant lunch surprise at Mantra

MC Slim JB | Jun 25, 2005 12:45 PM

After a long hiatus, I got back to Mantra for a weekday lunch. I found more modest prices and a much stronger tilt toward Indian cuisine. Seems like the new chef isn't such a fusion fan: I'm told the dinner menu now leans decidedly French.

A friend and I shared a momos tasting, Tibetan steamed dumplings with a fiery orange chilli dipping sauce; murtabak, a generously sized stuffed roti with egg and beef, with a ketchup-like chutney; chicken tikka, a simple tandoori chicken dish with a nice yogurt/mint dip and lots of smoke flavor; and beans foogath, a pleasant curry of mostly chopped, crunchy haricot vert, some coconut, and dal. A heap of basmati came alongside.

The foogath was tasty, but the copious black mustard seeds were rock-hard, and felt like eating pebbles. I was afraid of getting one wedged in a molar. We also got plain nan, which came with a gratis cashew/cilantro chutney that was fantastic.

Add one soft drink, and the tab came to $40 before tip, and we over-ordered for two, easily could've done with one less dish. A big improvement in value and deliciousness over the prior regime's more French/Indian fusion lunch prix fixe for $20+. A very pleasant surprise.

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