It was Sunday night A, her son and I walked along Floral Street, Covent Garden. It was 9pm and the city felt quieter than normal with the majority of weekenders having already headed home. We had been to see the new Blade Runner film at the Leicester Square Cineworld and were all in good spirits, although at two and half hours the film had left us hungry. On our left large windows spread a warm enticing glow across the pavement, and dangling Rajasthani puppets looked down on us. An Indian meal would make the perfect finale.
Our choice on this night was Masala Zone, we had tried to eat here recently but it had been fully booked (if you are coming on a Saturday certainly book ahead). Masala Zone was one of the first restaurants to bring Indian street food to the London restaurant table. Each restaurant in the chain has a distinctive interior making each Masala Zone unique – a nice touch. The Covent Garden restaurant’s distinction is a ceiling of hanging Rajasthani puppets, so be prepared to eat under the gaze of a hundred painted eyes. The interior is a modern with a twist (in my opinion it works better here than their Soho offering) with plenty of different seating, easily catering for larger groups.
The service on arrival was prompt and efficient, getting us seated and with a drink in record time. We all went for their combo option, traditional Thali, this comes on a platter with one main curry, little bowls of other varied dishes, rice and bread. A went for the Diwali Gulab Jamun Makhanwala Thali, T and myself the Diwali Patiala Methl Chicken Thali. These are very filling so be warned, you may want to go for the Regular not the Grand, which is still substantial. The food was simple and tasty with a good selection of flavours, a sensible level of heat throughout, all three of us enjoyed our meals. After their speedy seating they did let themselves down a little at the end when it took a very long time to a) get the bill b) to pay the bill – a small point perhaps but it was late and they were not rushed off their feet.
Whether you are having a day out shopping or looking for somewhere to meet friends Masala Zone is a good place to keep in mind. The food is reasonably priced if you share although it’s not cheap with the Grand Thali coming in at around £18. The service is generally good and friendly.
Loo Review (PMC Rating): ★★★★☆ Smart and clean
Masala Zone, 48 Floral Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9DA, England Sunday, 22nd October 2017