Masala Zone.. Covent Garden

While Covent Garden is full to the brim with those proffering pre-theatre menus, we were reluctant to get bogged down into the 2-course overpriced special and instead opted to pop over to Masala Zone.

While a chain establishment, this should by no means put you off.

Each of the restaurants is decorated in a slightly different fashion – and this one has to be my favourite.   Dolls from Rajasthan adorn the ceiling and make for a vibrant impact upon entering.

masala zone covent garden interior

We’ve opted today to order off the Street food menu – and we’ve picked a medley to share.  Samosa chaat, Gol Gappa and Pav Bhaaji.

Samosa chaat is reasonably easy to explain so let’s start with that.  Samosas stuffed with curries chick peas topped with yoghurt and mint & Tamarind chutney.  This was surprisingly spicy even for these Indian tastebuds but very filling and a very adequate meal!masala zone samosa chaatPav Bhaji is a dish that is a particular favourite of mine – it’s essentially a potato based with mixed vegetables curry served with toasted buttery buns.  Strange it may seem, but this dish is a popular snack and when garnished with lemon and plentiful chopped onion, packs a punch.

I did find this version a little oily for my taste but it was certainly tasty and again more than adequate fora light meal.
Masala Zone Pav Bhaji

This final dish probably requires a bit of explaining.  A friend of mine refers to it as crispy shells with cold mint water and while that description is not flattering, it is fairly accurate.  Not to be tried for the faint hearted.

It can be referred to as Gol Gappa or Pani Puri and it is my favourite Indian food of all time.  Ever.

The shells were a little stale which was disappointing but the liquid (pani) was sublime and I could have just drunk that down on it’s own.

masala zone gol gappaAll of this we washed down with a Mango Lassi and a savoury Lassi.  While I’m sure you’ve heard of Mango Lassis, the savoury one is more of a favourite of mine.

Although for the sake of accuracy, this is not quite a savoury Lassi – it’s known as a Chaas (or Chach) and is a bit lighter than a traditional Lassi with less fat and includes salt, cumin seeds, fresh coriander and even a bit of ginger on occasion.
Masala Zone LassisSo there you have it, your very (brief) introduction to Indian street food told through the eyes of a high street chain.  A great place to come to experience the taste of some of the best street food around.
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9 thoughts on “Masala Zone.. Covent Garden

  1. I’ve wanted to go here for a while but have been hesitant as it’s a chain and I prefer the more authentic Indian food but this actually sounds really good! I’ll make sure I give it a try soon :)

    • It’s not the most authentic there is (I’ve yet to find that holy grail in London) but it’s accessibly authentic, without jumping on a plane :)

  2. I am a Masala Zone regular! If there is such a thing. Other than my mother’s Indian food, it is no doubt the best Indian I’ve ever had. I can’t eat elsewhere now lol. The Covent Garden restaurant is great but you should try the Soho branch, it’s a lovely atmosphere too and is nestled away near Carnaby Street so never gets too busy. My favourite starter is Chana Dabalroti. Yum!

    • I’m more of a bhel girl myself :) Don’t think i’ve been to the Soho one, but I love their decorations so will go check it out.

  3. i loved masala zone!!!
    S’funny, how in Delhi, we don’t eat out much and I actually miss eating Indian.. Masala Zone particularly..
    Also, Hi you!!! What a great blog!!!!! (Mine’s not a blog, just for the record, it’s more of a messy notepad for friends aiming to live here, so don’t judge me…)
    miss you heaps!
    xoxo

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