Masala Zone is an Indian restaurant with several locations around London. I visited the Earls Court location and really enjoyed the experience. The atmosphere of this place made me feel like I was back in India with the dark setting and the aroma from the kitchen.
We ordered a variety of starters including the Sev Puri and Dahi Puri. They were all delicious and I could have eaten it all by myself! For my main course, I chose the thali which is a traditional Indian platter loaded with little bowls of various treats. Everything I tried was good.
The most amusing thing for me about this place is fact that they had Masala Coke. I first had a Masala Coke in Delhi, India. I remember tasting this creation on the streets of Delhi thinking that my friends had pulled a joke on me. It was quite possibly the worst thing I'd ever tasted. So when I saw this rancid thing on the menu here at Masala Zone, I realized that my friends back in India had not pulled a joke on me. I had to try it again here at Masala Zone and while it still wasn't very good, it was a lot better than the one I had back in Delhi.
4 stars for Masala Coke and making me feel like I was back in India.
Finally, I found an Indian restaurant in London that didn't try to overcharge, extra charge, or, false advertising of a happy hour.
Floor staffs were efficient and knowledgeable, friendly and courteous.
And the food here was excellent. They have good selection of wine, too. I recommend this place to those who are not too expert on Indian cuisine. There are many located through London. My favorite is Earls Court location. I suggest to avoid those individually operated Indian Restaurants if you are not local. They will most likely try to cheat. It's not a good way to end your meal if you have to doubt the bill and question about it.
Let's put aside the subpar food and cheap spices used in the dishes for a moment, and talk about the obligatory tip that I HAD to pay for TWO people. I can understand that if it's a party of 5, 6, or more, then the added tip is justifiable.
But for two people? I'd rather decide for myself how much tip the waiter deserve. Thank you very much.
Food was fine. I went with family. They thought food was fine. I thought Malabar green Chicken is AMAZING.
Horrible service though. Asked for coffee before meal, got it during and had to wait till after. At least it was free then. Slow service all the way through: Order, get food, pay bill.
Spices were not great. Food was decent fare, but I've seen better.
This place is okay.. but not the best. You will be paying quite a bit for a so-so experience. The service couldn't be better.. it's almost too good with the people who work here checking every 5 seconds if you are enjoying your food. But in the end the food just wasn't that great and you'd be far better off seeking out a cheaper and more authentic experience.
If you do go here I recommend the appetizers and veggie dishes. The butter chicken and paneer tikka masala were both pretty disappointing. I can't even put my finger on what they were missing, but they were definitely lacking something. At first I thought it was just me but my boyfriend noticed right away too. We've frequented some amazing Indian restaurants in NYC, San Diego, + LA and my boyfriend has traveled through India so I think we have a good enough background to tell..
Now I know tikka masala isn't "real" food from India, but we do like it a lot and heard London is of course the place to have it.. I guess that added to our disappointment. Like I said, go for the veggie based stuff and the more India-based dishes. Large thali can be shared with 2 people, although they didn't seem very happy to do this even though we also ordered a large appetizer. Veg dishes are worth at least a 4-5 star rating, but those tikka masala dishes are definitely in the 2 star range. My boyfriend did enjoy his "Masala Coke" although I found it to be kind of gross!
I stopped into Masala Zone with my visiting brother expecting to get a reliably tasty curry before sending him on his way home. The place was completely buzzing at 9pm, with only a few tables left available, which in my opinion is a good sign. We received appropriately prompt service and were left to peruse the menu. All good.
Sadly, the food left me feeling apathetic. I did not relish every delicious bite of my thali, because, well, it wasn't as delicious as it usually is at Masala Zones. Everything felt and tasted a bit commercialised and affected. Was it because Masala Zone's chain mentality is getting the best of it? Was it an issue of Masala Zone Earl's Court bowing under the weight of its own seeming popularity? The food was average, at best, and mostly uninspiring. And there were no onion bhajis on the menu - wtf.
In any event, the 'Masala Coke' I ordered was foul. No matter how delicious the menu makes Coke with crushed mint and spices sound to you, don't be fooled. It tasted sort of like a Bloody Mary without the vodka and Coke subbed for tomato. MISTAKE.
Was on the lookout for Mai Food but, after regretfully forgetting where it was, I ended up at Masala Zone. Despite being skeptical of chain restaurants, the menu looked pretty decent, so I decided to give it a go.
Overall, I'd say the food was good, not great. I started with the dahi puri biscuits, which I thought had good flavor, but most of it was drowning in yogurt. Then I tried the butter chicken curry, which had decent flavor but a disappointing amount of chicken.
It was a good meal, but I definitely wasn't doing cartwheels out of the restaurant.
Each time I've stayed in Kensington, I've had at least one meal at Masala Zone since it's only about a block away from where I stay.
The good: The thalis are a great -- ample amount of food, good flavors and a fair price. The appetizers are also quite tasty. The staff has always been pleasant.
The bad: Spice-wise, it's a bit on the mild side. The tikka masala is a bit blah, sadly. Stick with the thalis or the apps and you'll be good to go.
Is it the best Indian food I've ever had? Not even close. But, if you are in a rush or not in the mood to go far, it's a nice option.
I know it's a chain, but I'm a huge fan of Masala Zone. This is primarily down to their authentic and interesting menu and focus on thali dishes.
They had a wide range of lunch offers - we took them up on a starter & thali 2 course menu (for around £9.50). The 'street food' style starters were tasty and interesting (if basic) and the thalis never fail with their mixed selection of curries, rice & breads etc.
The service was fairly standard - not quick, but not slow either.
One point of note was the added 10% service charge. We paid it, feeling it was deserved, but I would rather the tipping decision was left to me.
Very mediocre and somewhat bland indian food. The prices are not too bad for london. We got the regular thali, which has a choice of curry in small size, with a couple of side dishes on a silver platter, and then a curry with rice. I don't remember the names of the two types of curries we got but they were both of the spicy nature and they weren't that spicy. The quantity of the curry on regular thali is actually pretty small and we didnt really like all the side dishes that came with.
I wasn't impressed.
It's a chain, but the food is very good value for money and also tasty. Try the early-bird special thali plate for a chance to try a lot of dishes for not very much money.
I tried chicken tikka masala which was respectable though definitely not the best I've had.
If you need a quick meal that you know will be good and don't want to pay a huge amount, this is a solid bet.
Gluten-free notes: This is an Indian restaurant, so most of the dishes are naturally gluten-free.
Providing very affordable, good-quality Indian cuisine, Masala Zone is a venture of the more up-market Chutney Mary chain.
The service when I have been there has been very fast - it can get very busy, and is a bit noisy, so not really a place to linger for a romantic meal for two - but great if you want some decent Indian food. Recent lunch experiences have been very good - they do a two-course option for £7.95, so you can get a decent, varied meal, with a drink, for about a tenner.
This certainly adds depth to the stock of restaurants in Earl's Court, which was lacking a good Indian.
I really like this Indian restaurant. The food is good and affordable. Also the service is friendly. I like to order the plates with different sauces and vegetables.
The restaurant is accessible and they have disabled facilities. You can't reach all tables without steps.
An excellent Indian restaurant in London with somewhat fair prices. The food is very good - I had a Thali plate with butter chicken curry and a variety of other stuff, all of which was very tasty. The service was also very good, all of our waiters were very polite.
Only downside are the opening times - we were frequently standing in front of the restaurant, half-starved, but quite often had to leave because they were closed during most of the afternoon. If that hadn't been the case, we'd probably have eaten here every day instead of just once!
I love this place. I love that you get a little taste of many dishes. There's something spicy, something sweet. I usually get the vegetarian or lamb varieties.
I've been a few times spread out over a few different visits to London and the food has been good each time. The service is good and the decor nice.
When it comes to Indian food and other such spice-laden cuisines I am a bit of a lightweight since I can barely hack the intensity provided by too much pepper but I am slowly getting to grips with this disability (with gentle encouragement from the missus) and places like this really push me to keep trying.
The menu has quite a lot to offer and the waiter was incredibly helpful, explaining what some of the less common dishes were and, crucially, just how much spice was involved. The food was awesome and though it was somewhat on the threshold of my spice tolerance I soldiered on like the champion I am and thoroughly enjoyed my meal.
I think if you go before 6:30pm there is a slighlty cheaper meal option but even if you miss it the prices won't break your bank. Defintely a solid choice for a pleasant, affordable meal.
I have just been to this Masala Zone restaurant, and things have changed for the worst....
When they first opened I was quite impressed with the modern, contemporary decor and the interesting menu. But I am afraid that the quality of the food has become really disappointing.
The curries are very powdery, the naan breads are dry (feels like they have been waiting around for a while).
Something particularly annoying with the Earls Court branch: the bottled drinks are very warm - whether it's water or red wine you are ordering. So you end up having to put ice cubes to cool things down - which is ok for water but less brilliant for red wine.
Still nice decor, but even at the reasonable prices the food is poor value for money.
I've eaten here a few times, the food has always been top notch. It can appear fairly pricey when everything is ordered separately from the menu. I would recommend having your chosen main as a Thali - the meal comes with rice, a naan and a few other side dishes all on one 'tray' the service is fast and the staff are friendly and helpful.
The restaurant is large enough to accomodate a large group, it's always been easy to get a table.
The food is good here. Its going to be 50% more expensive than your run of the mill indian restaurant. The service is slow but its also a nicer ambiance than the regular indian restaurant. If you are in the mood for a leisurely well made indian dinner, and don't mind paying a little more, this is the place to go. Its all about your expectations. They added a 12.5% obligatory tip. I thought that was on the high end. I can understand 10%. Plus the service really is slow so it grates a bit. However, as I said earlier, if you can go in the right expectations on price, you will like this place. I would recommend it for its good food, and decent decor/ambiance.
Looking into this restaurant window I saw a calm, inviting setting even though it was at its busiest. It took about 5 minutes to get a table and the staff were friendly. We got a table for two at the back of the restaurant. I was pleased to see that the waitresses weren't annoyed at our indecisiveness as they had to come back several times. The platter for two came as a starter and in perfect portions, the waitress was kind enough to introduce the plate, if only all restaurants did this! She seemed passionate about the food and it really rubbed off on us as we tucked in. A big 10/10 for service!
The food was served in good portions although a bit pricey. They were kind enough to give us a student discount after asking however only took about £3 off the total bill of £40 which I thought was a little stingy. Overall a nice style of restaurant but if the price was more affordable I would give it a 10.
A place you can get a nice curry without all your clothes smelling curry when you leave! I had rosh mild lamb curry which was very good. Very friendly& nice staff.
I have been to the Soho branch of this Indian street food chein several times and wouldn't normally choose to eat out in Earls Court. But a 2-for-1 offer is too good to pass and a trip to Soho too much of an efford on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
I just love the thali idea of being served a variety of delicious dishes. This latest one consisted of black pepper chicken - delicious and with loads for fresh herbs and spices in evidence - plus coconut potatoes and a lovely mixed vegetable curry, as well as thali, pilau rice, papadom and pickles. A very filling and most delicious meal. We opted for the lassi and chaas which complemented the food perfectly.
Admittedly the ambience does not hide the fact that this is a fast food outlet, but this type is of the highest quality and a lot more interesting than food at a similar price.
They are currently running a 2-for-1 deal which unfortunately will expire on 9 December.
A great place to eat when you fancy a good Indian meal! easy and convenient and the food is tasty!
Masala Zone! How I miss thee!! We ate here almost everyday during our stay. Good food. Close to the Underground. Quick service. And not very pricey.
Come for the thalis.
So good! Definitely get the Thali but you can't go wrong with any of their dishes. Makes me hungry just thinking about it!
Extremely good value for Indian food.
I agree with the previous reviewer about the set menu -- it is overpriced and the choice is poor. However the a la carte selection is very broad and also extremely good value for money.
Food is usually presented on a thali, with rice, chipatti/naan, a curry of your choice, as well as three smaller dishes (dahls, etc.) that the chefs change every day. It's a fantastic way to eat for £8-£10. Having said all this, you are by no means obligated to eat from a thali; you can order food presented in a more common anglo-indian fashion if you prefer.
The two curries I've tried at Masala Zone are butter chicken and rogan josh. In both cases the curries were properly spiced and the meat was extremely tender but still well cooked. I was particularly impressed by the lamb.
The starters are very tasty but perhaps not as good value as the thalis. Aloo tikka chaat, and the dabalrotis in particular are worth trying.
Masala Zone is very attractive inside; the are deep red and brown murals on the walls and pleasant lighting. The atmosphere is very relaxed and there is always a diverse mix of people there.
The service is prompt and polite (though perhaps a bit unreliable at times). Later in the evenings it can get pretty busy, but I would consider this a good thing. If you arrive before 6.30pm then you have the option of a cheaper set menu. Don't be afraid of not being able to get a table later on -- as long as you arrive before 8pm there shouldn't be a problem.
It can be very difficult to find a good indian restaurant in London; I've been caught out many times by indian restaurants that look good from the outside, but are in fact overpriced with poor food and service. Masala Zone is, on the other hand, reliable, original and very good value.
Visited on Wednesday last week, and had a great spicy starter with chickpeas, followed by a thali. Couldn't fault the food. It was great, and more traditional Indian than you usually find in the typical British any house. The only fault I could find would be the Cobra beer. I prefer Kingfisher. Although this isn't a big issue.
I tried it a while ago and didn't like anything.
The atmosphere, noise and lack of space was like a canteen.
The service was friendly.
The choice and taste of the food was also pretty bad. Sipping my warm Coke I gave up after half of the portion, walked to the Delhi Brasserie round the corner im Cromwell Rd. and - relaxed happily.
How interesting and what a blessing that we are so different.
The best Indian yogurt sauce that I ever had. I consider the thail (combination plate) a very good starter choice because you can try a few of the side dishes. Delicious and healthy, I guess in my own mind.
Fairly new chain of modern Indian restaurants; we have eaten several times at the Earl's Court location.
Food is good value, atmosphere nice and relaxed, but service can be a bit patchy (although always with a smile). Good option for dinner with friends.
I visited this place two months ago with a group of friends for a 30th birthday celebration. Not the best indian i have tasted but still very good indian food. Their curries were deliciously spicy without being overwhelming. My friend who is diabetic was able to find something in their menu structured for a diabetic. Good variety of indian food and good service. You donot need to make a reservation unless in a party of ten.
Currently there is a 2 for 1 promotion valid from sunday to thursday upto the 9th of december 2008 for two customers. This promotion is only for those eating in and excludes food to go and home delivery orders. prices usually start from about £9 per head.
Masala Zone has branches in Soho and Islington as well as in Earls Court. All serve the most delicious authentic Indian food from street food dishes to curry and rice, noodles to thalis (whole meals on a tray). Prices rarely go above £12 per person with drinks and it is often just £8-10. The staff are friendly and attentive and are more than happy to guide you through the menu if you have any queries. Highly recommended
The food here was good but the service was not that great at all. Two of my friends fell asleep at the table waiting for our check to come. We had the lunch special and the portions were large enough and the food seemed fresh. i would come again but just ask for the bill while ordering.
I was staying in London for one night and this was one of the closest restaurants to my hotel so I thought of give it a go. On the outside, the restaurant looked very stylish, warm and inviting and reasonably busy. Upon entering we were showed to a table within moments by friendly staff. The decor was bright and contemporary with interesting touches like the suspended bamboo ceiling and clever lighting. The menu selection was impressive. Many dishes I hadn't seen in other Indian restaurants were featured. The service was excellent, staff were very attentive. The food arrived reasonably promptly was delicious, full of flavour and spice. We were even able to use a discount card which gave us up to 50% off despite it being Valentines day! Our bill total came to a very impressive £22 including service charge. On the whole, I highly rate this restaurant and would recommend it to anyone in the area and beyond. They have several branches across London and assume you will receive a similar experience at their other locations.
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