Nothing ordinary about this Masala (Bay)...



On Friday 3rd June 2016, the OCC HK branch travelled to the depths of Clearwater Bay, Sai Kung for the first ever private dining experience of the OCC globally. This was another first achieved by the OCC HK branch, following on from the success of the first ever international meet in Macau earlier this year. Arriving at Masala Bay in two taxis proved something of a challenge for the HK curry enthusiasts as the team in the second Uber transport were signinicantly late after some issues finding the venue which really is hidden away in the delightful Clearwater Bay (Lateness could also be attributed to ordering an extra pint at the Pawn in Wanchai). Once arrived, the atmosphere was glorious as the location is significantly out of the city deep into Kowloon and as such it is very remote and away from the hustle and bustle. You can even hear the crickets! The lady responsible for Masala Bay is the wonderful Vandana. When fabric paint artist Vandana Anand moved to Hong Kong with her engineer husband a decade ago, she had to learn to how to cook. "Back home in Delhi, we had helpers who cooked for us. But here, I couldn't find Indian help as most helpers are from the Philippines and Indonesia," she says. With recipes from her mother and aunt, Anand worked on her cooking skills through trial and error. She eventually got so good, friends suggested she open a private kitchen. And so Masala Bay, serving north Indian and Afghan food, was born four years ago. With a spacious front yard and a large dining room, Anand's house has become a hotspot during Diwali, the Hindu autumn festival. In itself, Vandana’s home is truly beautiful and includes a number of classic Ferraris on the drive which are the hobby of her husband. Speaking of whom, he is a lovely chap and welcomed us onto the lawn when we first arrived for some drinks (BYO) along with some truly delicious starters which were served to us on a platter by Vandana – this included an array of homemade Samosa’s which were truly delicious and piping hot, as well as some delicious sauces for dipping. Following the pleasantries, we were lead into Vandana’s home where she had set the table immaculately for the 8 of us. The kitchenware was very special with huge steel plates and large goblets for our drinks. The table was filled with delicious mains including an array of curries, rice, poppadums, Naan and many many delicious sauces. The food was absolutely spectacular and some of the best the OCC HK has experienced to date, there was far too much to go around but every member certainly ate as very much as they could. Special mention would go to the Keemah Gosh and the Aubergines, which are reported to be the house speciality! As well as the extraordinary food, Vandana was so welcoming to us all and made us feel so at home with her emasculate hospitality. Even when one or two members of the group possibly spoke out of turn, after having one too many drinks during the evening, she was more than understanding. The experience at Masala Bay was truly a delight and something out of the norm, so much so in fact that the OCC has plans to return there again very soon. The scores were as follows: Quality = 8.3 Service = 9.0 Customer Care = 8.3 Atmosphere = 7.3 Total Score = 8.00 (Very impressive and moves Masala Bay into Silver place for the 2015 – 2016 CHOTY)


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