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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.
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08 October 2017
Six of us had a wide range of dishes - street food, Thali, grill, and Biryani. They all had interesting delicious flavours.
I particularly recommend the bhel salad and the squid as starters, and the seafood biryani and sea bass as main courses
Lovely comfortable room. Charming service.
24 October 2015
There are precious few worthwhile restaurants worth the name in the immediate vicinity of Earls Court Road Underground Exit.
Masala Zone had looked the only likely contender but oh dearie me.
On entering it quickly became apparent that the waitress supposed to be greeting us/taking our order was linguistickly challenged in plain English department.
Every jab of ours at the menu was greeted with puzzled frowns,request for repetition and a have vibe of hesitant uncertainty.
Eventually we 'thought'our order had been noted and sat back in anticipation of a tasty meal.
Other customers came in thick and fast.Some ordering large 5 person take aways or sitting at tables.
Kitchen porters appeared too in ragged jeans shuffling amongst the diners on their way into work.
The Chefs at the open plan kitchen chatted amongst themselves oblivious to the diners.
After a while it seemed apparent that the customers were practically forgotten and/or invisible as they sat twiddling their thumbs waiting for something to happen.
"Taken for granted"or even" taken for suckers"might describe the atmosphere better.
15 minutes passed,then 20 then 30 exactly by my watch & still not a single diner/take away customer had received any food whatsoever not even a glass of water.
We had waited & waited & waited.All of us.
It was now 6pm,30 plus minutes since they had opened.
I was first but felt sorry for the other diners who were obviously in for a wait of up to an hour,not to be seated but to EAT!.
Eventually waitress returned to the door check out.I enquired further about the progress of the ordered meal.
"Theres no prawns"she said "The curry you ordered cant be supplied" or at least that's the gist as the mumbling explanation was none too audible.
In exasperation I informed her to "forget it".
At extra expense we continued to Knightsbridge where we did find satisfaction.
As for Earls Court-nothing there now,
16 April 2014
This is a chain and i have been to a few of their branches, and its a good charin. The first night we were early enough for their special, which was a good deal and tasty to boot. On our second visit, we had a more substantial meal, the thali with lots of little dishes of delicious things.
18 August 2013
Generally great food, especially the chops and the rogan josh. The naans were poor – didn't feel fresh out of the tandoor but were flat and doughy. More choice in vegetables would also be good.
The staff were attentive and obliging – full marks! The atmosphere was a good mix – lively and buzzy, but not intrusive enough to drown out conversation. Decor and hygiene were fine, so all in all, would go again.
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