Mela

South End

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In a Nutshell

  • Casual chic Indian cuisine
  • DIY hot stone cooking
  • South End location

The Fine Print

Promotional value expires Feb 18, 2010. Amount paid never expires. Limit 1 per table. Dine-in only. Not valid with other offers. Tax and gratuity not included. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

Jump to: Reviews | The Spice Must Flow

Mastering the secrets of Indian cooking takes a lifetime, but tasting the mystery takes even less than a lifetime. With today’s deal, $15 gets you $35 worth of casual, chic Indian cuisine at Mela. South Enders who sample Mela's modern hot stone cooking have been known to sing its praises in a shrill, pinched voice for hours afterward, and usually end up getting married after a long, colorful item number.

Mela's menu is best known for featuring India's answer to the open grill, hot stone cooking ($21–$27), where a large, volcanically hot slab of rock is brought to your table. You get to place your food on the rock, watch it sizzle, and take it off when it's cooked just the way you like it. As any backyard barbecueist knows, nothing stimulates conversation like watching meat cook (unless you spring for the Moon Bounce), so bring buddies.

For the equally adventurous but less DIY, Mela also serves up modern recipes such as Subz Panchmael (red, yellow, and green peppers, artichokes, asparagus, and bean sprouts stir-fried with panch phoran tomato and green cardamom sauce, $16). Seasoned Indian foodies and vegetarians, meanwhile, will find all their favorites on the menu, from fresh-baked naan bread ($3–$5) to vegetarian vittles such as Mela specialty baingan bharta (eggplant baked over open flame, mashed and sautéed with onions, garlic, ginger, and spices, $15) and malai kofta (herbed and spiced veggie balls cooked in creamy nut sauce, $16). Any meat-eaters in tow will find plenty of chicken, lamb, and seafood dishes. For a one-stop feast, though, go with the mixed grill of sizzling tandoori specialties and kebabs ($21). If you get seated near the giant head of the Gautama Buddha, try to keep the aroma from reaching his nose; if he wakes up, he may ask you to share.

Reviews

Reviewers on Yelp and Google give Mela four stars:

  • My husband and I had one of the best meals we've EVER had in Boston at this restaurant. He is especially hard to please with both a serious gluten and dairy allergy set, and Mela catered to his every request. – cgraefey, Citysearch
  • The food is superb, location fantastic and service is always good. – ACAkka, TripAdvisor

The Spice Must Flow

Though delicious, some Indian food is so spicy that the human body punishes your hubris with involuntary reactions. If you don’t want your blind date or your hard-butt veteran grandfather to think you’re a lightweight, here’s a list of excuses you can use to disguise the fact that your tongue is on fire:

Crying: If your dish is so spicy that is makes you cry, simply state that you’re not crying because of the spiciness of the food, you’re crying because you were thinking about Finding Nemo.

Sweating: If spicy food causes you to sweat profusely, you can claim that you’re not sweating because of your meal’s hotness, you’re performing Interior-Cardio, a new method of physical fitness conducted entirely under the skin. Complete the illusion by playing techno music out of your bellybutton.

Steam coming out of ears: This is an age-old problem, and one of the most difficult to disguise. If and when pressurized steam begins to whistle from your ears, simply mash them closed with your palms and scream, “Tea is ready!” before jumping skull-first through the nearest window.

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Customer Reviews

This restaurant is lovely, the staff is so gracious and polite, and the food is flavorful and plentiful, with 3 'stages'' of heat; I prefer mild. The restaurant has comfortable seats and it is not noisy loud even when full. The sauce to the lamb coconut curry was so good that I requested to take the remainder home; our waitress packaged it up and even packed extra rice. Wonderful! Mela is in the heart of the South End close to my destinations- theatre and ballet. I will go back next week, or maybe every week.
Michael T. · March 31, 2016
A very nice small restaurant very convenient to the Boston Center for the Arts. Been there a handful of times and have always thoroughly enjoyed our meals. Generous helpings -- plan on some leftovers unless you just share an entree. Very fresh ingredients, and very friendly staff.
Eveline R. · February 10, 2016
Excellent food.
Tricia L. · January 31, 2016
Merchant Location Map
  1. 1

    South End

    578 Tremont St

    Boston, Massachusetts 02118

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