Mela – Contemporary Indian Cuisine
I recently had the pleasure of being invited to Mela for a meal. Mela is a restaurant situated in Aston Clinton in Aylesbury and serves contemporary Indian Cuisine. Now I normally don’t pick Indian food when dining out as we’ve been disappointment too many times with sweet curries and inconsistent flavours. But when Mela invited us, we went through their menu and spotted a lot of new and unique dishes and figured we’d give it a try and we were not disappointed to say the least.
FIA’GE BORA – This first dish with a fancy name is more commonly known to us as Onion Bhaji. But don’t let that put you off because this was far from any others I’ve ever tried. Soft and well cooked on the inside and crispy on the outside while being fluffy and not dense, this starter was absolutely delicious paired with two sauces that were a burst of flavour in your mouth. There were 4 pieces in a portion.
We also tried the Chicken tikka and Chingri Biran ( Spiced prawns). These are ideal for one person with four pieces per portion and are served with salad and some chutney to enhance the already well seasoned meat. And of course there was poppadum!
We ordered a selection of veg and non-veg dishes. Because the portions were not huge and we were 4 of us- we were able to order a few dishes to try and share.
Badshahi Zinga Morich: Which was jumbo king prawns with diced vegetables in a tomato and garlic sauce. The dish not only looked and smelled beautiful – it tasted amazing and was definately the highlight of the meal.
Garlic Chilli Social Lamb: This dish was somewhat similar to the above in a different sauce. More stronger in flavour but didn’t have that well rounded taste that the prawn dish above did. If we didn’t have the comparison, we might have loved it as much. Well cooked and flavoured.
Both the above dishes are good for one person as a main course with accompaniments or for two to share.
Paneer Butter Masala: Another delightful well seasoned dish that was a riot of flavour. We chose to eat our meals without any rice or naan to truly enjoy the taste ( and also because we are trying to get rid of the lock down weight) and didn’t miss it one bit.
Tarka Dal: A light and mild dish that is easy on the palette. Can we paired with naan or roti and even puri. This is a great dish for younger kids – Healthy and mild with just enough flavour to get your acquainted with the cuisine. Will I order it next time? – perhaps not, because when I dine out, I want to try something new and unique.
Bhindi Bhaji (okra): A well flavoured vegetarian side dish mildly seasoned. This dish didn’t do much for me. I might have enjoyed it more if it was spicier or crunchier.. But for me it was sidelined against all the other dishes.
This course was another reason we didn’t have any naan or rice with the meal – Can’t dine out and not try the desserts! We tried two desserts between the four of us and we all shared.
Chocolate Heaven: This decadent, gooey and chilled dessert is served with strawberries and chocolate syrup. It’s an absolute must for chocolate lovers. Can be shared by two but I wouldn’t !!
Fankie Pie : A beautifully displayed vanilla ice-cream cake covered with crunchy nuts served with whipped cream, syrup and strawberries. Gosh just the pic makes me want to have it.
All in all it was totally worth the trip and was a fantastic experience with very friendly staff and great service. I can’t pick on one thing that was not upto mark. The food was delicious at the same time not too heavy or overly spiced to leave you feeling sick.
PRICE POINT: Moderate.
FAVOURITES: Paneer Butter Masala and Badshahi Zinga Morich.
Contemporary Indian Cuisine – Aston Clinton – Aylesbury