Little India - that slope of Bloomfield Ave. in Montclair between Glenridge and North Willow Avenues - is sporting a new Indian restaurant.
Sankalp & Trusha Trivedi, owners of Mausam restaurant, bar and banquet facility in Secaucus, as well as the Curry N Bites food truck, have brought their successful brand of Indian cuisine to Montclair.
Mausam is located in the space formerly occupied by Aroma Palace. A thoughtful, thorough renovation has transformed the space into a contemporary Indian restaurant with blue uplighting, earth tones and an eye appealing mural that illuminates the room.
Sankalp and Trusha recently invited the Kettles for dinner at Mausam Montclair. We started with a few mango lassies, and our server brought over traditional crisp papadums, rich with fenugreek accompanied by a dipping duo of bright mint-cilantro sauce and sweet tamarind sauce.
We kicked off our evening with Live Chaat Bhel Puri. Bhel Puri is a savoury Indian snack (chaat) mixed with puffed rice, a mild spice mixture and tamarind sauce. Traditionally a seaside street food in India, Live Chaat Bhel Puri is mixed table side and makes a plentiful and appealing starter.
After the Bhel Puri we had Shrimp 65, a preparation similar to Gobi 65, that was balanced and bit smoky.
Before our entrees arrived, we ripped apart a few delicious garlic and butter naan, both soft, warm and charred from the tandoor oven.
My litmus test for Indian restaurants is always Chicken Tikka Masala (C.T.M), and Mausam's was consistent with the C.T.M I had last year when I dined at the Mausam in Secaucus with Jason Perlow. But the Chicken Mughlai with it's thick, creamy gravy, really wow'd me, and was my favorite entree of the evening, while Mr. Hot enjoyed the Lamb Bhuna.
We ended with a black and white puff dessert, with flavors reminiscent of a Boston Creme donut, and a cleansing and refreshing mango sorbet.
Be sure to visit the Mausam website for coupons.