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Masala Zone

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Covent Garden
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Sharing owners with some of London’s top Indian restaurants (including Chutney Mary, Veeraswamy and Amaya), the Masala Zone chain is aimed at the budget end of Indian dining. Fortunately, it doesn’t let the side down, delivering punchy flavours, strong spicing and snappy service.

This busy branch – one of seven across London – is tucked behind the Royal Opera House and attracts tourist groups, solo lunchers and many others. Each outlet has the same plain furniture, but its own distinctive decoration: old advertising posters in Islington, tribal drawings in Soho, and a ceiling full of Rajasthani dolls here in Covent Garden. Hot and cold street snacks, including puffed puri biscuits, set you up for mains of meat grills, thalis and regional curries (from a slightly watery goan prawn curry to a gentle saffron korma and more pungent rogan josh).

The thalis are a good bet – assorted little metal bowls holding a variety of vegetable dishes and dals, a choice of main curry, and rice or chapati alongside some tangy chutneys. The venue feels a little canteen-like, and not all the dishes are up to scratch, but it’s a no-nonsense, efficient operation. You can eat well for very little.

 

Venue name: Masala Zone
Contact:
Address: 48 Floral Street
London
WC2E 9DA
Opening hours: Meals served noon-11pm Mon-Sat; 12.30-10.30pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Covent Garden tube
Price: Main courses £8.50-£12.50. Set meal (noon-6.30pm) £9.15 2 courses, £11.60 3 courses

Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|10
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Missy B

Whenever I eat here, which is once a month, I find the food consistently good and genuine. Service is generally very friendly. The wall prints are amusing. While prices have been increasing, it still remains very good value

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

hugo g

This restaurant is indeed my favorite Indian restaurant in London. The great flavours, taste & presentation of each & every dish is stunning and the staff takes complete pride in explaining the dishes to the customers.


Overall, an authentic Indian restaurant and cannot be compared to any of the curry houses in UK.

michelle m

Seated very quickly despite long queues when we first arrived. Our waiter was lovely, he explained all the dishes patiently and gave guidance as appropriate. We had 3 Grand Thalis, 1 lamb chops plus 2 large starters to share between 4 people. The food was served very promptly and everything was delicious. We were stuffed and left feeling very happy. Total bill including beer and soft drinks came to £90. Excellent value for money especially in Central London.

Laura

They do take away lunch pots now! I have just polished a 'Butter Chicken' curry pot and it was so delicious, yummy layers of chicken, rice, chickpeas and a lovely garnish of chopped tomato, pomegranate seeds and crushed popadomds! Mmmmmnnnnn!!!!!!!!

Ellen

Fantastic place. Great service, friendly and welcoming. Good food and very reasonably priced. Generally a fantastic atmosphere. Would defiantly visit again.

Kavitha

- Place was great. - Food was authentic and tasted good even though it could have been a bit spicier. - Pani Puri and the Dahi Samosa chat were best. - Would def go back. - Service and the staff were great.

Ashita

Chef Karanbir Singh Bawa...i heard a lot abt him...n after visiting Masala Zone at conven garden...i realised ppl wre so true...the food was awesome..really the kitchen staff does a lot of hard work to maintain the standards...Hats off service..Thanku Mr Bawa.:)

Khushbu

I visited this restaurant on my friend's recommendation and was definitely impressed. The ambience is cosy and traditional with a modern twist; the waiters are more than helpful as they have complete knowledge of food items featured on their menu, so if you have any queries than u can count on these guys for correct info. We went for street food as starters and thali as the main course. In street food we had pav bhaji (spicy vegetable and potato mash with warm buttered buns) and dahi puri (puffed round hollow thin biscuits filled with chickpeas, mash, yoghurt and tamarind chutney) was very close to the one u will get in India. The pav bhaji was spicy but not too hot and had balanced flavour with prominent butter taste on the buns and dahi puri was very refreshing to eat, instead of taking bites you have to put the whole round biscuit in your mouth that burst all the flavours of the ingredients that are stuffed in it, as they say - just the right thing to get the hmmm effect. Thali is well proportioned meal with one curry selection and also has many other interesting vegetarian dishes with yoghurt, salad and poppadum. Quite filling and full of different flavours.. Good value for money.

Craig

Ate here during August 2011. This was not my first try of a Masala Zone - had previously been to the one in Soho. Thought the food was fine (not great, but fine) and service good. The second visit (to the Covent Garden branch) was a little different. We were brought breads that we had ordered, in a basket. I picked one up and noted that there was old, dried up rice stuck to the bottom of the bread and in the bottom of the basket - clearly the basket was dirty and had not been washed. I gave this back to one of the staff and told him that it was dirty. He took it away without saying a word. One of the other staff came over a few minutes later and started to apologise. However, then he told me that the basket was not dirty, and that another rice dish had merely dropped into the basket as it was coming up from the kitchen in the food lift. I asked him how the rice had ended up underneath the breads, and why it was old rice (I saw this, it was not fresh rice). He insisted that it was not dirty and that it was an accident. I told him that i was not interested in excuses - this looked like it was made up to me - and asked him to replace the breads. Breads were replaced, we went on eating. At the end of the meal another member of staff came up and said that he understood that I was not happy with something in the meal. He gave me the same excuse about rice falling into the dish. I again asked how this was possible, no answer. I said that i didn't want to hear excuses, just an apology would be enough. He kept on insisting that this was an accident and the dish wasn't dirty. I asked him to bring the bill and to leave it at that. The bill was brought. It contained items that we hadn't had. I asked for these to be removed - cue more confusion amongst the waiting staff. He again apologised, but quickly said that the plate was not dirty again! I asked him to stop giving me excuses. I would either pay the bill or not, whatever he wanted and we would leave. At this point the staff got upset, ganged up on us (three of them now standing at our table) and asked us to leave the restaurant because we were causing a disturbance!!! So we left, without paying (they told us to not pay and just leave). I'll never go back to any of their restaurants. Rude, insolent staff unwilling to take responsibility for their mistake. Dirty dishes. Mediocre food. Avoid like the plague.