MELBOURNE | Masti is a modern Indian restaurant in Fitzroy, by owner and head chef Manpreet Sekhon. Manpreet opened Masti after successfully running her Geelong venue, Eastern Spice, for many years, and invited me in to see what her Fitzroy restaurant is all about.
‘Masti’ means to have fun without any bad intentions in Hindi, and the food, drinks, and general atmosphere at the restaurant reflects this. An exposed brick interior with a web of pendant lights, and large, colourful mural greets you as you walk inside, past the glowing red neon sign.
When you turn your eyes to the menu, it’s an assortment of dishes drawing upon India’s various diverse regions, with particular influence coming from Manpreet’s Punjabi heritage and mother’s cooking. The menu is split into sections – appetisers, curries, tandoor, biryani and rice, salads and sides, and sweet talk. Plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are available.
Two of my favourite things from the appetiser section of the menu are vegetarian dishes. The Honey Chilli Cauliflower features crisp cauliflower coated with sesame seed, honey, chilli, spring onion and very moreish. Same for the Bhatti Ka Paneer – paneer marinated with home ground spices cooked over charcoal.
There are a lot of curries on the menu, including the ubiquitous butter chicken. The butter chicken at Masti is cooked in a Punjabi makhani sauce. It’s aromatic, not sweet at all and has a bit of a kick to it. The Scallop Coconut Curry, featuring Australian sea scallops, turmeric, mustard seed, and a coconut milk based sauce, is a must try. You’ll be licking the sauce off your plate once the scallops are done. Order a few curries, paired with some saffron rice and naan. I highly recommend the green chilli naan, which is filled with a fiery chilli mix.
For dessert, it’s hard to go past Manpreet’s favourite, Dakhe Wali Kulfi. It’s a traditional Indian ice-cream style dessert with a much denser texture. At Masti you can choose from mango or pistachio.
For drinks, there’s cocktails, beer, and wine, along with several non-alcoholic options like soda and mocktails. The cocktails are as creative as the food, with creations like the ‘Tea-groni’, featuring orange peel tea infused gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari, and the ‘Green City’, a mix of bourbon, lime, lemongrass, coriander, and mint.
The Indian offering in Melbourne continues to go from strength to strength, and Masti is a great addition to the scene, for those looking to explore beyond what they already know about Indian food.
354-356 Brunswick Street
Mon – Wed: 5:30pm to 9:30pm
Thu – Sat: 5:30pm to 10:00pm