Mantra – Delightful & Delicious…

….and did I mention Indian?  On a fluke, I signed up for and bought $50 worth of food for $20 at Mantra Restaurant on Temple Place in Boston.  It’s tucked just outside Downtown Crossing and our experience was phenomenal.  Take cash for valet parking – if you forget, an ATM is right around the corner.

A marble bar (that used to be teller cages) and a cool and calming water element catches our eye right away.  Ahhhh……after the hustle of the city, the ambiance is settling.  After being seated, I saw on the wall behind my partner a smashed cake – YES, an entire smashed cake.  Chuckling, we tell our waiter who, in disbelief, indeed verifies for himself.  Uh-huh, a smashed cake.  He relayed memories of a large wedding party, with dancing and I’m sure a fountain of alcohol, the evening before.

It didn’t bother us one bit.  The food presentation amazed – we were starving and scarfed down the small and delicious potato cake the chef sent out to welcome us.  On their website, they boast of a heating martini (named Mirchitini) of muddled cucumber, cilantro and jalapeno. Even though it hasn’t made its way to the menu, our waiter promptly went behind the bar and delivered to us a smashing good cocktail. 

There were so many tantalizing choices, we were almost overwhelmed but finally settled on apps of Jalapeno Onion Rings (can you tell we like it hot?), Subji Trio – small and satisfying portions of Chana Masala, Saag Paneer, and Dal Makhani (black lentils), fragrant basmati rice, garlic naan, and a decadent chocolate pudding cake surrounded by sugar-glazed bananas and fresh strawberries. Chocolate Dessert

You have to take a trip to the ladies room – after passing the 2 amazingly serene Buddhas at the bottom of the stairs, the powder room is a sensation unto itself.  1-way mirrors for stall doors allow you to gaze out onto the industrial sinks placed at varying heights. Toilet paper will never run out.  Each stall has 10 or so TP hangers angled along one wall – an alluring and functional art work display. 

You must go…………….and tell me if the cake is still there!

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