Two years ago, renowned Chef Manet Chauhan brought her vision of creating a unique dining experience to Nashville with opening Chauhan Ale & Masala House offering traditional Indian cuisine infused with traditional Southern fare. What you get is uniquely Nashville.
The restaurant is located in the heart of downtown Nashville on the corner of 12th Avenue North & Porter, nearby the Gulch and Music Row.
Upon entering the restaurant, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the decor and ambience. Dim lighting, spacious room, large bar area, beautiful hardwood floors, ornate glass light fixtures, projections of Bollywood films made to look like on a tv screen line the walls. It’s upscale without feeling stuffy, artsy, and eye-catching all at the same time. It’s a very clean, elegant environment.
The food is spicy, flavorful, artfully presented, and carefully prepared by the chef and her kitchen staff.
If you are lucky, you just might get the opportunity to meet Chef Manet Chauhan, who fans of Food Network’s “Chopped”, “Iron Chef”, and “The Next Iron Chef” will surely recognize. Not only is she a masterful and skilled chef, but a pure delight to talk to.
My favorite items on the menu that I tried that night were the gol guppy shots (semolina puffs, black garbanzo, potato, mint cilantro water)–an appetizer served in a round puff filled with all sorts of unique Indian flavors enriched by the mint cilantro water. Pop each puff filled with the into your mouth all at once for a flavor explosion that is spicy, sweet, and savory at the same time. The garlic parmesan naan (bread) was fresh, soft, and flavorful accompaniment to the meal. The malabari seafood cioppino was a tasty blend of seafood, spices, and coconut garam masala broth over steamed basmati rice for a main course. For dessert, the gulab jamun saffron rose cheesecake (traditional gulab jamuns, NY style cheesecake, strawberry pomegranate molasses) was a beautiful, creamy, flavorful concoction. The garam masala cake (spiced chocolate ganache, mantra’s japa milk stout ice cream) was a chocolate lover’s dream served hot and moist with mantra’s japa milk stout ice cream.
I could eat there every night of the week and still not tire of it. I’m sure that Chef Manet Chauhan will continue to add new and flavorful dishes to the already expansive menu to the delight of the already loyal patrons.
Do yourself a favor and make a reservation to enjoy this unique dining experience. You’ll see what the talk is all about in an already bustling restaurant scene in Nashville.
ABOUT CHAUHAN ALE & MASALA HOUSE
Chauhan Ale & Masala House is devoted to creating a unique dining experience in Nashville, Tennessee’s bustling food scene. Co-owner and Executive Chef Maneet Chauhan’s Indian roots, zest for travel and affection for Southern cuisine have beautifully collided to offer a menu featuring globally influenced Indian cuisine that highlights aspects of the culinary scene not only in Mumbai or New Delhi, but Nashville as well, perfectly combining Indian fare with traditional Southern dishes. Chauhan Ale & Masala House also boasts an exceptional beverage program with a worldwide selection of wine and spirits, cocktails that excite the palate, and an array of beers including Mantra Artisan Ales, carefully crafted to pair seamlessly with the food offerings created by Chef Maneet.
Opened in November 2014, Chauhan Ale & Masala House has quickly become a favorite amongst locals and tourists alike and is a recognized leader in the industry. The restaurant has collected numerous accolades including Best New Restaurant, Best Lunch Spot, Where to Eat Brunch, Best Cocktails, and more from reputable outlets such as USA Today, The Huffington Post, Food Network, Travel + Leisure, Delta Sky, Playboy, Garden & Gun, The Tennessean, Nashville Scene, Eater Nashville, Zagat and Open Table, amongst many others.
Chef Maneet Chauhan is an award-winning cookbook author, television personality, active philanthropist and Executive Chef of Chauhan Ale & Masala House. In addition to her unprecedented prowess in the kitchen, Chef Maneet is known for her work on Food Network’s Emmy-nominated television show “Chopped” where she has been a resident judge for more than five years and a James Beard Award for Excellence recipient. She has also competed on “Iron Chef” and “The Next Iron Chef.” Chef Maneet was born and raised in India’s Punjab province. As a graduate of India’s WelcomGroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration and the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, she has worked in some of the finest hotels and restaurants in India and the U.S. At a remarkably young age, Chef Maneet became the Executive Chef of Vermillion in Chicago and New York, garnering a wide array of praise including Best New Chef. She has also written her own cookbook, Flavors of My World, as well as introduced a signature spice line. Most recently, Chef Maneet launched Mantra Artisan Ales, a brewery and taproom in Franklin, Tennessee. With two new restaurant concepts set to open later this year, Chef Maneet is no doubt a visionary chef and restaurateur that is elevating the culinary landscape in Nashville.
Vivek Deora, founding partner of Chauhan Ale & Masala House, is a veteran of the restaurant industry with an unstoppable zeal and passion. He has been instrumental in multiple establishments across the globe, opening 11 restaurants over the last three years in cuisine varying from Indian, Italian, and Indonesian. After spending many years at the helm of several successful restaurants in Indonesia, the Indonesian Central Government honored Deora with the ‘Business Indonesian Award’ at the age of 26. In America, Deora went on to own and operate establishments such as Brick Lane and Radicchio and served as the General Manager at the highly acclaimed Vermillion in Chicago and New York City. Deora’s most recent venture was the launch of Mantra Artisan Ales, a boutique craft beer brewery and taproom in Franklin, Tennessee specializing in globally-inspired craft beer with daring flavor profiles.
Moni Advani has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Advani’s background is rooted in the hotels; however, he has expanded his expertise into the food and beverage business over the past five years, contributing to the thriving dining and hotel scene in Nashville with several successful ventures including Chauhan Ale & Masala House. Advani played an integral role in leading the team that designed and constructed the restaurant and continues to be involved in operations as a founding partner.
Arjun Meherish is Chauhan Ale & Masala House’s General Manager and Operating Partner. He has more than 8 years of experience in the hospitality industry with an MBA in retail marketing & management. Meherish moved to the U.S. in 2010, to be the Marketing Director and eventually Management Analyst for a hospitality company that owns and operates approximately 38 hotels all over the country. He was instrumental in exponentially growing the group’s business in the Southeast region. His management and operational expertise is vital to the Chauhan Ale & Masala House team.
Kevin Woods joined Chauhan Ale & Masala House in 2015 as Chief Financial Officer. Woods is a Middle Tennessee native and has worked with several influential companies in Nashville including Nissan, Asurion and KPMG. A licensed attorney and certified public accountant, Woods received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master of Accountancy from the University of Tennessee and his J.D. from the Nashville School of Law.
London Parfitt has been part of the design team for six Nashville restaurants over the past 12 years. With 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry along with extensive knowledge in interior design and audiovisual, Parfitt teamed up with local architect Barry Brechak to create a modern pub feel for Chauhan Ale & Masala House. Parfitt reinvigorated the space, which previously housed the historic Nashville restaurant, Café 123, to convey an old-world British pub atmosphere combined with fun, modern accents that perfectly reflect Indian culture.