Mr and Mrs food went to London on a short break. But of course we found the time to source out another hidden foodie gem. We saw many signs on the underground for ‘The Masala Zone’ in Covent Garden offering authentic Indian cuisine.
The Masala Zone was situated on Floral Street, just off Covent Garden, ideally located for pre/post theatre meals.
The A board outside the restaurant offered early bird deals for diners eating before 6.30 pm. The menu offered set menus for either 2 or 3 courses. The 2 course option was for £8.75 or 3 courses for £10.95, if the food lived up to the expectations created by their many posters the food would be a bargain at those prices. Mr and Mr Food thought that was a good offer and were keen to check out the food.
On entering the restaurant we instantly noticed the modern decor, stylish tables and open kitchen clearly viewable by the whole of the dining area.
We were allocated a table at the window which offered great views of the open kitchen on one side where we could watch the various dishes being prepared and watch the theatre goers passing by on the other side.
The waitress came over and asked if we had been to Masala Zone before, obviously we replied no, the waitress explained the menu to us and what Masala Zone was all about. The restaurant promised to offer genuine Indian cuisine, similar to the dishes eaten by real Indian families in their own homes across India and foods from street vendors too. The Masala Zone also believed in healthy eating, balanced meals and fresh foods. After that brief explanation Mr food was gleaming with joy, whispering to Mrs Food we have found it. For we have long searched for an Indian resteraunt offering real Indian food and here there wasn’t a Tikka Masala or Vindaloo in sight.
We ordered drinks; a white wine and a cobra beer, sorry Mr Food has his traditions cant break the norm. He believes Cobra beer tastes delicious with a curry.
We placed our order from the early bird menu. We ordered two veggie samosas for starters, as meat starters weren’t available on the set menu. Other options for starters were mainly street food options, which were dishes eaten by millions of Indians everyday from vendors on the streets. These included whole wheat biscuits filled with spiced mash and three fresh chutneys, puffed hollow biscuits filled with chick peas mash and splashed with yoghurt and chutneys, spicy potato mash and veg with warm bread and other meat alternatives that were not on the set menu.
Another option for diners, as a main course are the Masala Zone’s concept of Thali’s. Thalis are a centerpiece – which are the way families eat traditionally at home in india. The thali’s were a large stainless steel platter with an array of small bowls of different dishes with the focus on vegetables. The main concept of the thali is to provide a balanced and vaired meal and to also provide nutrition, texture, flavours and colours.
The for the mains Mrs Food ordered paneer makhanwalla; an indian cheese served in a tangy tomato based curry and Mr food ordered chicken mangalore which the waitress replied ‘that is a hot one sir!’. Once again Mr food was grinning like a Cheshire cat. Both curries came with rice and it was rude not to order our customary cheese nan.
After a few minutes our starters arrived they were well presented and accompanied with curried chickpeas. They were full of flavor and quite hot, the main ingredient was spinach and the curried chickpeas complimented the taste of the samosa wonderfully. The pastry of the samosas was thick and crunchy, but in a delcious consistency to complement and encase the ingredients within. The starter was good but could the main dish follow suit
The main dishes arrived Mr Food’s Chicken Mangalore looked more Hot-galore… the dish was brimming with chillis and peppers in the thick, creamy sauce. Mrs Food ‘s also looked equally as good, the bright orange colour of the curry clearly showed the tomato base of the dish and it was filled with large chunks of paneer. Both dishes were presented with the curries in a bowl on a dining plate and the rice sat next to the curry dish.
Both Foodie’s were ready to took in and there were quickly heard yum’s from the Foodie couple as the taste was amazing, this was authentic Indian cuisine at its best.
Gradually, Mr Food said his chicken mangalore was getting hotter by the minute but the liked the hot stuff, even though this new dish had him sweating.
The rice had a hint of saffron and was mixed with sweet corn and it was sweet, the taste was subtle but delicious and was a great accompaniment to any curry dish. The meal was amazing and a bargain at 10.95 for 3 courses.
The dessert choice for the 3 course option was only basic, either sorbet or ice cream. But after such a delicious and filling main course Mr and Mrs Food only needed something simple and refreshing to cool down the spicy heat created by the curries! Mr Food’s authetic Indian experience reached an end at the dessert as he ordered a typical vanilla ice cream to cool down from his mangalore. Mrs Food went for a slightly more authentic mango sorbet which was extremely fruity and exquisetly refreshing.
The Masala Zone left Mr and Mrs Food gossiping all the way to the theatre about what a delicious meal and how genuine and unique the food was. If you are fans of Indian cuisine we would definitely reccomend the Masala Zone as a refreshingly new experience in Indian dining. So the next time you are venturing to convent garden to see a show, or even the greater vicinity of London, be sure to make a trip to the Masala Zone for a truely show stopping Indian.
Visit Masala Zone’s website