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Masala Zone

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Affordable Indian cooking in W1, one of a chain of seven.

The flagship of a small group of casual restaurants, Masala Zone provides homespun regional meals for office wallahs and aficionados of Indian food. It opened more than a decade ago and continues to hold its own with street food snacks and rustic staples, even though there’s now stiff competition in this area from the likes of Dishoom, Roti Chai and Delhi Grill. 

Pan-Indian thalis are good value and usually contain a small bowl of dahl, a meaty or vegetarian curry, vegetable sides, relishes, and chapatis or rice.  On our visit, we appreciated the simplicity of Punjabi-style spinach, fried with new potatoes and spiked with ginger and mild red chillies. More complex in nature, but no less earthy, Gujarati undiyo and lentil khichidi delivered a starchy, sweet-sour mash of purple yam, sweet potatoes and raw bananas, folded together with lentils, baby aubergine and wilted greens.

We’re not convinced by the authenticity of their latest addition to the menu, the Indian-inspired bunnychow from South Africa, which was little more then bland-tasting north Indian chickpea curry filled into a scooped-out bread roll. The menu could do with a refresh, and so could the interior, which now has plaster peeling away from the walls. 

Venue name: Masala Zone
Contact:
Address: 9 Marshall Street
London
W1F 7ER
Opening hours: Meals served noon-11pm Mon-Sat; 12.30-10.30pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Oxford Circus tube
Price: Main courses £7.75-£13. Set meal £5.50 1 course, £8.50-£9.20 2 courses, £10.75-£11.45 3 courses

Average User Rating

4.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|8
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Joe W

The most boring Indian I have ever eaten. It looked and tasted like plane food. Little to no flavour in the lamb rogan josh thali. The sides were lukewarm and inedible. The poppadoms and naan were from a packet. The small amount of lamb in the watery rogan was tough and tasteless. Before ordering the takeaway I asked how long it would take. I was told 45 minutes. 15 minutes after I had placed the order, I got a call saying it would be 75 minutes. I have never enjoyed an Indian takeaway less. Lesson learnt. Mass produced, unloved detritus

Harriot H

There are 2 sets which provide salads,curry,rice and nan with very reasonable price. Around 12-15 £. Quite big portion so no need to order other things. Very delicious and we enjoyed so much. They have very nice cocktail to start

siobhan f

We both went for the grand thali option - a large platter with a choice of curry, two veg dishes, poppadum, roti, chutneys, a small salad and a dhal. I had a very tasty chicken curry (the name has slipped my mind sorry!), but my partner's lamb vindaloo was amazing - spicy, but not so much that you can't taste the actual flavours. Very tender, very meaty. Our bill came to around £32, including drinks - which for Soho, is a great deal.


Will definitely be coming back.

michelle m

We ate at this branch too! Our waitress explained the menu very well. I had Thali with Lamb Rogan Josh. The food arrived at our table within 20 minutes of ordering and was beautifully presented in 4 silver bowls on a silver tray with rice and half a poppadom (look at the pictures above).Try the Nimboo Pani, tastes amazing! Not only this but it's also an excellent drink to refresh your mouth after you've finished eating.

The service was excellent, there was a nice, relaxed atmosphere and the restaurant itself looked clean and stylish.
I would definitely go back again. When I do, however, I will ask them to put less chilli in. Rogan Josh is classed as a mild curry but that was by far the hottest "mild" curry I've ever had. I like a bit of a kick but that nearly blew my head off!

Carolyn S

great value for money with a great range of curries that are tasty and fresh. Would recommend the Thali.

Crystal

Gr8 value for money, very trendy indian restaurant with gr8 offerings of street food (which I never tasted before) and it was lovely.... this is not your typical curry house with oily curries but has so much more to offer! I am definately visiting again :)

John

Got a Grand thalis, with chicken bangalore, medium spiced, was good but not enough, all the sides were good, only down side was the rice was only warm enough to eat other wise enjoyable.

Mark

A vegetarian friend kept on recommending this restaurant to me, so a couple of days ago (22 Feb 2011), I decided to give the restaurant ago (Soho). The restaurant is quite a spacious – seating around 150 people the staff are friendly and explain the menu quite well. The evening that my friend and I went, the restaurant was very quiet with about 20 other customers, we asked whether we could occupy a table for four allowing us to stretch out on this quiet night. To our great surprise they denied us this pleasure, stating that those tables are only for parties of four, we would have understood if they are were busy. We ordered two different lamb dishes and a range of vegetarian accompaniments. The lamb dishes were terrible, the lamb was dry even though both dishes were swimming in sauce, it was also noted that the base source was the same on both dishes with added spices to differentiate between them. This meant that you could taste the fresh uncooked curry flavour, opposed to a sauce that had been cooked specifically for that dish. We were very disappointed with those two dishes; however, my vegetarian friend was correct about their vegetarian dishes they were very nice. Would we go back? Not really.