It wasn’t so long ago that ‘going for a curry’ meant throat-wrenching vindaloos, warm lager & lurid flock wallpaper. Masala Zone makes such provincial clichés seem like ancient history. This sparky, London-only group of Indian ‘brasseries’ is known for its smart service, ethnic soundtrack & folk art-bedecked interiors – the Rajasthani puppets at the Covent Garden branch are a must-see. As the cheap-but-chic member of the Chutney Mary/Veeraswamy/Amaya stable, bowls of bog-standard chicken tikka masala are beneath its dignity. No, Masala Zone is all about fresh, balanced meals inspired by Indian home cooking, market stalls & palace chefs. Kick off with street-food nibbles such as samosas, papdi chaat or jumbo prawns from the grill, ahead of a textbook thali featuring your choice of curry & daily changing accompaniments.
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