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Masala Zone Restaurant
9 Marshall Street, Soho, London W1F 7ER
- Oxford Circus Tube Station (0.3 km)
- Piccadilly Circus Tube Station (0.4 km)
- Contact us:
020 7287 9966
Contact via email
- Opening hours:
Mon: 12:00 - 15:30 and 17:30 - 23:00
Tue - Fri: 12:00 - 15:00 and 17:30 - 23:00
Sat: 12:30 - 23:01
Sun: 12:30 - 15:30 and 17:00 - 22:30
Mon - Sat 12.00 - 23.00
Sun - 12.30 - 22.30
50 Shirland Road, London W9 2JA
“Few venues in Central London combine service, practicality, and affordability in such an attractive and distinctive building. Tastefully renovated from a former 19th century Welsh Presbyterian chapel. The Amadeus offers exclusive use of two unique...” more...
32 reviews of Masala Zone Restaurant in English
Maybe I was unlucky but this place was pricey (even for the west end) and the food varied between uninspiring and downright horrible. I am amazed to see such good reviews.
My experience - the curry veg were composed in part of plain boiled new potatoes dunked in some sort of luke warm sauce and then unceremoniously served with a flat cold hard piece of nann bread. It tasted like what is was, plain boiled veg in sauce - no flavour and no hint of the sub-continent. don't get it sorry
Lovely atmosphere and good customer service. Ordered chicken and lamb. I must add, the lamb was fab but the chicken was a big no no. Been here a few times and the chicken always seemed to taste horrible! You could literally see the fat on the meat and it looked as if the poor creature had been hastily slaughtered and cooked (ok, im exaggearting) but i'm sure this place can do better!
A definite no no.
A while back I don't doubt that the quality of the food was good but the freshness of the food is somewhat questionable, probably due to the fact that the restaurant was pretty much deserted.
On entering we had to wait in the entrance for 15 minutes (timed - no exaggeration) before being seated. Fine. Bad service doesn't particularly bother me - if the food is good, I couldn't care less.
My friends and I ordered vegetarian thalis. On reading the terrible reviews before my visit I had braced myself for the worst, but it was worse than I could imagine. The starters were okay albeit overpriced but as they were cold starters it was bearable.
The thali was the worst indian food I was ever tasted.
The poppadums within 1 minute had become soggy and there was no liquid on my plate but they tasted stale and were not crisp in the slightest, instead they had the texture of wet cardboard. The curries were COLD and I don't mean tepid, I mean COLD! They were completely lacking spice which is fine, I don't particularly want to eat food which has me running around screaming for water, but there was absolutely no flavour. So I had been presented with poor service, stale poppadoms, old cold tastless curries and at a price which is certainly not unbeatable!!
Don't make the mistake I did in just taking a chance, because I can assure you it will not pay off!
Masala Zone is run by the same people as Chutney Mary and Veeraswamy. There are other branches located at Covent Garden, Camden Town, Islington and Earls Court.
Masala Zone - mercy be - entices and does not disappoint. Excellent service. Lovely range of non-alchoholic drinks (though booze is available for those as wants). A balanced selection of vegetarian to meat dishes available in combinations that illustrate the range of flavours from across India.
As my record shows, I am a stern critic of sub-standard Indian/South Asian food. I can't bear insults to that culinary heritage such as bright red/orange sauces with generic chemical flavours which are an insult to the palate and do not represent 'Indian' food. If you want a curry out of a jar then get some muck from Sainsbury's or wherever but don't insult India's millenia of food tradition by calling it 'Indian' food.
Masala Zone compliments India by serving proper Indian food - long may it stay that way!
Prices are reasonable with excellent deals for 2/3 course lunches for between £8.50/£13. Dinners attract similar deals so you can be sure to fill up for £15.
I've been to this place 2 weeks back. While the quantity of Munches and Fast Foods is too less than expectations - they have tried their best to meet the tastes of India.
The food quality is high standards and if you want to feel the taste of mumbai junk foods and auhentic Bombay food - this is the place to be.
I tried Sev Puri, Dahi Puri, Chaat, Bhel, Pav Bhaji and eveything was amazing.
I took my godson who loves it here and loves curry...he's 11....it was my first time....and I hasten to add my last. The only saving grace were the staff who are lovely and very helpful but the food was a miserable excuse for Indian Cuisine....it's sort of dumbed down Indian for the masses and that's being kind. Everything was gloopy and even the Grilled Chicken Tikka had some kind of sweet slimey sauce on it....my Godson had the chicken saffron tikka Masala which was bright yellow..(not with saffron but tumeric) and sickly sweet with way way way too much coconut cream....the naan bread was clearly bought in and flat as a pancake, tasteless and cold... and all in all not good.
Give it a miss.
He estado aquí cuatro veces ahora - siempre excelente. En comparación con otras ciudades que he vivido, buenos restaurantes indios en Londres son difíciles de encontrar (a pesar de que hay cientos de ellos). El ambiente es muy diferente de la mayoría de los restaurantes indios - tal vez más en forma de cadena, pero inofensivo (y muchas veces animada). Hay una clara visión de las cocinas, que se ven impecables y bien administrada. El servicio fue entusiasta, y hay algunas novedades inusual y delicioso en el menú, que los camareros estaban ansiosos de señalar. Un gran almuerzo a un precio razonable si usted está en la zona de Carnaby St.
I think I've been a bit spoilt in terms of curry options recently. What used to be my local curry house is regularly voted one of the best in London, and now in Crystal Palace I have the marvellously named Ghurka Cottage which serves us some brilliant Nepalese dishes.
So a trip to Masala Zone at 11 on a Friday night after a few pints in the pub was just a bit...boring.
As has been menioned already, the decor is a bit bland and uninspired and the same goes for the menu: it's all very impersonal and a bit samey.
Chicken Tickka, Rhogan Josh, Butter Chicken etc - think of it as Now That's What I Call Curry, i.e. familiar, a bit dull, but will do at a pinch.
But it's not mega-expensive, and the execution of the dishes is good, and as far as Soho curry options go it's actually one of the better ones (but that's not saying much).
In short: a solid three-starrer.
There's something not quite right about Masala Zone and i'm struggling to put my finger on it. Don't get me wrong, the curry was delicious. I can highly recommend the Chicken Thali - A combination of rice, butter chicken, bombay vegetables, dahl and naan bread all for £11. The service was also attentive and friendly. All in all i had a really nice time and it's a great spot to soak up the beers guzzled in the pubs of Soho. I think it's the atmospehere and branding that gets my goat. From the outside, Masala Zone looks a fast food joint andthe inside feels like an airport lounge. Completely soulless. Now this standardized approach may appeal to some Brits, but it definitely doesn't appeal to me. There's no weird Indian music, no pictures of Ganesha on the wall and no Kingfisher! I'll say it again, this place has NO soul.
For an authentic Indian experience, avoid this place at all costs. For a relatively cheap, decent Indian meal... i'd give it go.
Full review with pictures can be found here http://cheap-eat-london.com/2009/08/10/masala-zone/
Time Out describes Masala Zone as "Soho's best Indian, no contest" and therein lies the curry lover's problem: NO CONTEST!
There's a real dearth of good ol' Indian curry houses in the West End with a few sporadically dotted here and there, but most notably a small cluster of dingy restaurants on Denman Street in the Soho area. If you're ever unfortunate to walk into one of these places, might I suggest negotiating 10% off the menu price first. They usually oblige and you might feel a bit better knowing you salvaged something to go with that slab of ghee swimming in your belly.
Masala Zone have thrived in part due to any lack of alternative choices but also through innovation (or modernisation), if I can call it that: Big, illustrated and descriptive menus; a bright interior; spacious seating; and well trained waiting staff that don't wear waistcoats. Most importantly of course is the food which I found to be a commendable effort. Previous visits with friends have taken in their renowned Thalis - a complete meal on a tray made up of several small dishes - and they've kinda dissapointed. The meat curry dishes aren't swimming in oil but at the detriment of any real flavours. Same with the vegetable dishes which were slightly on the cold side. At £11 for a thali, I'd also question the value - sure the variety seems impressive but an espresso cupful of rice, some shredded onions with green bits and a pot of minty yoghurt does not fool the tummy.
This recent visit with my buddy Nige saw us share: he, his lamb madras and I, my chicken mangalore. Supplemented with rice, chapatis and garlic spinach. For little more than a couple of thalis I'd say that it was a more fulfilling eating experience.
The madras was delicious - heavy on the chilli and tempered by tamarind. Lamb seemed a tad overcooked but it could've been a bit too lean. The Mangalore chicken was just right in it's combination of spice and coconut, with ginger being most prominent. The chicken was a bit dry though and I'm finding this to be a common occurence in all their meat dishes.
We decided on the Rasmalai for a sweet thing but other choices are standards - Golub Jamun, falouda (a sweet drink with colourful noodles) and kulfi almond ice cream. Rasmalai was a great choice - light, spongey, milky patties soaked in a saffron flavoured milk sauce and topped with pistachios went down a treat with the chai teas.
Masala Zone is a pretty good Indian that provides a more contempory experience to the traditional restaurant and if they figured out a way of serving meat that isn't overcooked to a high turnover of customers then I'd say it'd be excellent.
This was my second visit and it was a more positive experience than the first one.
£40 for the two of us which includes 2 mains, rice, chapatis, sides, drinks, desserts and chais.
I didn’t find this to be an enjoyable experience overall. The time I went it was noisey, a bit too noisey and I couldn’t hear the waiter properly but he didn’t seem much interested either. The food seemed to be favouring heat rather than flavour and we both felt disappointed especially as it came on a good recommendation. I would have to agree with another poster here it did have a McMasala feel to it. Not somewhere I would go again as I prefer somewhere with a more intimate feel.
A very satisfactory canteen-style approach to Indian food, which makes a welcome alternative to the traditional high st tandoori. I went to this one on Marshall St and had a very tasty meal with a friend.
We started with Bhel Poori, which my dining companion had never had before but I recommended. It’s like a crunchy mix of raw ingredients with a tamarind tang. Yum.
The main courses were good too and the wine went well with the moderately spiced food. I was quite surprised by the good standard of food from a restaurant that is part of a chain, and the prices were very reasonable.
Good quality curry house that also opens on Sunday nights, unlike a lot of Soho restaurants. My girlfriend loves the thali, but I have one big problem with the place: they don’t like people with nut allergies. Mention that you have a nut allergy in here and they present you with a bright yellow card informing you that if you eat one of their dishes and they happen to have chucked a brazil nut in it, then it’s your own fault if you end up dead. Ask for the nut-free menu and you get a list that’s barely one-eighth of the full menu. Is it too much to ask to eat something other than lamb rogan josh? Apart from that, the restaurant is both clean and speedy.
This is modernized Indian food at its best. Clean restaurant with more mainstream type décor. It can get quite busy on weekends but the service is quick so that’s usually not a major issue once you get a table. The staff are friendly and sincere and food was delicious. The menu is extensive and the vegetarian options are excellent. Highly recommended.
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