With outlets around London – Soho, Earl’s Court, Covent Garden, Camden, Islington, Bayswater, and Selfridges, it is an ideal mid-range eatery which will steal your heart with the aromatic spices (“Masala”) in the dishes and the taste itself.
Food: Masala Zone is one of those rare Indian joints that does not just specialise in one type of Indian cuisine, so you get a variety of cuisines such as Punjabi or Gujarati or Kerala or even Goan. And dishes within each cuisine taste true to its roots - Masala Zone’s strategy is to assign a specialist, experienced chef to each of the cuisine. It offers both vegetarian and chicken, fish and meat dishes.
Prices: Masala Zone falls somewhere in between cheap, quick Indian chaat houses or curry houses and the upmarket fine dining restaurants. But it is versatile in its food offerings and ambience that it will suit a quiet dinner for a couple and a group of youthful friends catching up over drinks and food over the weekend.
A sumptuous meal for two with drinks will cost about £35-£40.
Upside: The taste, the wide choice of dishes, the starters, the lassis, and the friendly staff. The diversity of cuisine is another high point. This means you can order your favourite Punjabi chicken curry and a Gujarati subzi. And there is a good choice of authentic Indian sweets too like Gulab Jamun or Gajar Halwa.
The good news is, if you are a fan, wherever in London, you are not too far away from a Masala Zone outlet.
The interiors, the paintings and the artifacts in Masala Zone restaurants are inspired by different cultures from India and are warm, tasteful and interesting. There’s even a quirky Bollywood-esque touch to it if you’re a fan.
Downside: The brasserie-style seating arrangement means the table for two is a tad bit small with just about enough room for two big thalis and the accompanying drinks. Also, wish Masala Zone added idlis, dosas, medhu vadas and South Indian filter coffee to its repertoire. India News Bulletin has also met Masala Zone’s frequent visitors who prefer it only for its thali offering. “A la carte here is OK but it is the thali that steals my heart” said one.
India News Bulletin tip: While Masala Zone offers a variety of cuisine such as Hyderabadi, Punjabi, Mughlai and Goan, go for the Mumbai chaat and then dig into the Gujarati thali – the delicious Undhiyo and all the rest of the dishes will be a proper, well-deserved pampering to your taste buds.
Both chicken and meat, and vegetarian dishes served at Masala Zone taste good but India News Bulletin finds the vegetarian dishes more delicious.
If you are confused about what to eat, go for the grand thali and a tall glass of cool lassi – you won’t regret it.
While Masala Zone food is worth paying the full price, there are occasional 2for1 voucher offers available to make your dining experience a super value-for-money experience.
Verdict:if you live in London and are a fan of good Indian food, you need to have tasted food at Masala Zone, especially the Gujarati cuisine and the thali. While the rest of the menu is what is on offer at a good Indian restaurant in London, thali here tastes like it has been prepared lovingly by a matriarch at home in a rustic village in India!
Have you eaten at Masala Zone? Let us know what you think.Follow Archana Venkatraman on Google+