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.
- 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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578 Tremont St
Boston, Massachusetts 02118Get Directions