Mantra owners Mahesh and Rupa Oberoi have been serving Houston area residents quality, fresh Indian food for more than 30 years. The couple opened Mantra in Katy eight years ago, offering a blend of traditional and unique Indian recipes.
The pair, who are now Katy residents, were both born in India, lived in England for 25 years and have lived in the Houston area for 27 years. Those locales have influenced the cuisine at the restaurant, which offers an English flare to many menu items.
Indian food is very popular in England, Mahesh said. That makes the restaurant's food have special appeal for English-born Katy residents, he said.
Mantra serves a mixture of family recipes and traditional Indian cuisine. The menu items are the work of Rupa, who has perfected various dishes over the last three decades.
The food offers customers a wide palette of flavors, including many curry dishes and dishes made with a variety of fresh vegetables.
Mantra, located off busy Mason Road, instantly transports diners to India with its dcor and soft Indian music. The restaurant offers a quiet and relaxing dining experience.
Mahesh and Rupa emphasize customer service and will prepare any dish as spicy or as mild as the customer desires.
"We will cook the food the way the customers want," he said. "It's no problem."
The restaurant offers a daily lunch buffet, which is prepared fresh each morning. Mantra also makes homemade cheese and yogurt weekly. The yogurt is made with celery, onion and tomatoes, mixed with salt and pepper and a special curry spice called chaat masala.
"We make everything ourselves," he said. "Nothing is precooked."
Mantra also provides catering as well as a room in the restaurant for small private parties.
"That room is full every weekend with private parties," he said.
This is the fourth area Indian restaurant owned by Mahesh and Rupa. They also owned Shiva in Rice Village for 15 years, but sold it to start Mantra, located closer to their home.
"We are doing very well," Mahesh said. "We are busy during lunch for our buffet, and we are very busy on Friday and Saturday nights. I'm very happy with the location. Katy is growing every day. Business is quite good."
Paneer Mantra: cubes of homemade cheese cooked in a tomato-based sauce, finished with butter and topped with cream ($10)
Shabnam-E-Bahar: Homemade cheese, mushrooms and peas cooked delicately in a creamy nuts and raisin sauce ($10)
Murgh Tikkia Masala: Tender boneless pieces of chicken, cooked in a clay oven and finished in a rich tomato-based sauce flavored with fresh Indian herbs ($14)
Gosht Rogan Josh: Cubes of lamb cooked in a mildly spiced Kashmiri sauce and served Kashmiri style ($15)
Gosht Madras: A classic hot and spicy lamb curry from the South of India ($15)
Tandoori Pomfret: Whole pomfret fish marinated in a special marsala and cooked in tandoor ($18)
Murgh Shahi Korma: Boneless chicken pieces cooked in a rich almond sauce, served with a garnish of sliced egg and dried fruits ($14)
Goat Curry: Goat curry cooked in Indian spices with a touch of nutmeg ($15)
At the buffet:
Tandoori chicken (whole, marinated pieces of chicken)
Chicken Tikki Masala (chicken cooked in a tomato-based sauce)
Da Makhani (a lentil dish)
Navaratan Korma (vegetarian dish made with a cream and tomato-based sauces and nine vegetables)
Giobi Aaloo (mixed vegetables)
Saag Paneer (finely cut spinach cooked with homemade cheese)
Zeera Aaloo (potatoes and green bell pepper)
829 S. Mason Road, Ste. 265–270
Lunch Hours: Tue.–Fri. 11:00 a.m.–2:30 p.m.; Sat.–Sun. 11:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Dinner Hours: Tue.–Thu. 5:30–9:30 p.m.; Fri. 5:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m.;
Sun. 5:30–9:30 p.m.; Closed Monday