There’s something about Indian food and the aroma it leaves hanging heavy in the air that always makes me want to eat it. Doesn’t matter if it’s 9am or 9pm, if I’ve not had anything to eat all day or if I’ve just had lunch, once I smell the spices, I want the ingredients responsible.
Masala Zone is one of those chains that I’ve always seen around but never ventured into but on this Saturday night, uni girls in tow and the need for good food, good drinks and a good catch-up arisen, the time had come.
The place was packed when we arrived which was a good sign for a busy Saturday night in Covent Garden. After a brief wait during which we were able to marvel at the dozens and dozens of rainbow coloured Rajasthan puppets hanging from the ceiling and feel our tummies growling in anticipation, we were shown to our table, given a warm explanation of the menu and swiftly brought cold beers which is arguably the best way to start a good Indian feast.
Samosas and bhajis were full of flavour and well cooked, crispy and more-ish and devoured with much appreciation. After careful detail was given as to the origins and meaning of the thali, the Paneer Makhanwalla version was plumped for and it was completely delicious. Indian cottage cheese in a warm and spicy and vibrant tomato based sauce, it went perfectly with dry crispy poppadoms, spiced cauliflower and potato, rich dhal, clean rice and sweet mango chutney.
For a laid back, non rushed, deliciously filling Indian meal that offers enough choice to please all types of eaters, Masala Zone proved to be a chain worthy of much more than that description might intimate.