The word ”authethtic” has never felt so apt as when I use it to describe the offerings from Masala Zone. I am a frequent visitor to this place and it all started with my very first visit 2 years ago.New to London, needless to say terribly homesick , my husband decided to treat me to some delicious Indian cuisine. He couldn’t have chosen a better place.
The instant I walked it , I was greeted by a beautiful idol of the elephant headed Lord Ganesha and a massive urn decorated with floating flowers.The walls an earthy brown with delicate warli paintings all over.A welcome sight and instantly made me feel at home:)
I love Indian street foods,so gorging on CHAATS was in order.A masala Coke is lovely with the chaats and I can rarely stop at one masala coke. We went A’ la carte and got some spicy dal (lentil curry) and plain rice to go with it,closest in comparison to, my favourite comfort food which is varan bhaath- meaning simple yellow moong dal with ghee and steaming boiled rice!
Image below is of Sev Puri- thats small fired crunchy puris topped with mashed potato mix spiced with finely chopped tomatoes,sev which is the fine yellow crisp gram vermicelli,green mango bits and a tangy tamrind chutney with some finely chopped coriander sprinkled all over.
Image above is fried onion fritterr called Bhajiya in Hindi – thin slices of onion coated with gram flour mixed with spices and deep fried served with green chutney and tangy tamrind chutney.
In the image above there’s 2 plates of Ragda Pattice and a plate of Dahi Puri in between- Absolute CHAATilicious !Ragda Pattice is fried potato patty served with a gravy made from dried white peas cooked in a thick garvy and spiced with many different flavours topped off with various chutneys and sev. Dahi Puri is made by stuffing the puffed puris with a mix of mashed potatoes,sprouts,chutneys,sev and adding dollops of flavoured curd over it.Great for those who want to try a chaat dish and still avoid anything too spicy as the curd soothes your palate.
Last month we had a lot of friends and family visit us from India and U.S.A, all craving to have ”authentic” Indian food. All the edible looking snaps I have taken with my new Samsung Galaxy sIII are taken over several dinners.
Highly recommended are the tasty and varied ”Regular thalis” (mixed platter with a lentils,vegetable preparation of the day,another mix vegetable,some fried papad, rotis or rice as you choose,a sweet mango chutney, a green chutney and the main curry dish that you choose from the veg or non veg menu)which are quite filling and satisfy any cravings one has of either sea food,lamb,chicken or just good old plain veggie fare. Down it with some Mango Lassi and you are well on your way to food heaven. One has to choose the gravy dish from their menu to go with a thali or their choice, I love Roghan Josh – a spicy lamb curry and both chicken gravys one with a coconut gravy and the other spicier and packs a real punch.The staff are quite helpfull, friendly and will explain each item in your thali once it arrives which is great considering the many tourists who come here.
If your planning an early dinner , a beer or wine with some chaat dish or fried pakodas is apt.
If you want to go the whole hog, the dessert not to be missed is a serving of GulabJamun with Ice cream topped with pistachios.A perfectly sweet end to a meal fit for a king.
As their website says,it’s the place to go to for ”seductive Indian desserts”,”Sophistcated Indian Grills” and really wholesome Thali’s.
Masala Zone has 8 outlets in London, the one at SOHO,also the only one I have visited several times.
The service at this branch is prompt and most times it’s crowded especially on weekend evenings,if you are going in a big group to this particular branch, it makes sense to book yourselves a table.It’s a short walk from Oxford Circus tube station off the lively Carnaby Street area.
To check out Masala Zone‘s website click on the hyperlink.