SquareMeal Review of
Masala Zone Islington
It wasn’t so long ago that ‘going for a curry’ meant throat-wrenching vindaloos, warm lager and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and daily changing accompaniments.