Masala Zone is the casual dining offshoot of the little restaurant empire than includes Amaya, Chutney Mary and Veerswamy. From the initial branch in Marshall Street the Masala Zone brand has grown to half a dozen outlets around London at the time of writing.
Aloo tikki chat had tender chickpeas and reasonable spicing, and although nothing remarkable it was entirely competent (11/20). Popadoms, however, tasted stale – which is odd given the turnover that they must have, but these were by no means crisp (10/20). My Mangalore chicken curry was pleasant, the chicken correctly cooked and the coriander in the dish tasting fresh (11/20). Naan bread was actually quite good, if a little on the doughy side, but I have eaten much worse naans than this (11/20). I was also genuinely surprised by a side dish of okra that was quite capably cooked – okra easily becomes slimy, and even some quite good Indian restaurants struggle to get this right, but the version here was fine (12/20). Rice was rather clumpy in texture, however (10/20).
A solitary gulam jaman for dessert was reasonable, and though the bread-based mix inside was a little heavy, it was at least moist; it was a little incongruous seeing this with vanilla ice cream, but although over-sweet this did at least use real vanilla (11/20). Service was efficient, and given the rapid turnover of tables the waiters managed to be surprisingly friendly. For £18 a head we ate three courses, which is not bad. Of course this is not fine dining, but I found the standard of the cooking to be entirely acceptable, and it would shame plenty of high street restaurants.
Further reviews: 01st May 2001