Masala Zone - London, UK

Masala Zone, Covent Garden, London, UK
On a recent trip to London, it was one of my personal goals to find a gluten free Indian restaurant - Chicken Tikka being one of the unofficial national dishes, it seemed a must-eat. My search brought me to a lovely restaurant in the heart of Covent Garden aptly named, Masala Zone. While the name may not be as "classy" as some of the other establishments, the food, ambiance, and service all exceeded my expectations by a long shot.

The Grub:

It should come as no surprise that a restaurant called Masala Zone serves Indian food, what is surprising was just how amazing it was. On offer are a number of traditional Indian classics as well as unique spins on old favorites that made me wish I had the time (and ability) to try them all. As I was waiting to order, a quick scan of the other patron's tables clued me into the popularity of the Thali (an Indian-style meal made up of different dishes served on a platter) which is comprised of a main dish along with a selection of dips and other small items that make up one heck of a meal. If curry is more your aim, they have a number of menu items sure to satisfy, beginning with the ubiquitous Chicken Tikka (sadly not gluten free so I couldn't try it) which is reputed to be quite tasty. Since they clearly label their menu for allergens, I was able to try their Diwani Handl of Vegetables and Lamb which was legitimately out-of-this-world good. If curry doesn't float your boat, Masala Zone also offers a decent selection of "House Biryanis & Specials" including the Shahi Mughiai Chicken Biryani, which our neighboring table highly suggested. The menu also features a selection of "Grilled and Griddled" items including such tantalizing options as Duck with Coondapur Ghee, Roast Spices and soft dosa or Lucknowi Lamb Seekh Kebab. All I know is, the next time I'm in London this will be one of my first stops.

My Order:

Diwani Handl of Vegetables and Lamb
(next time one of the biryanis)

The Digs:

Masala Zone has a number of different locations around London, but we happened into the Covent Garden location not far from our hotel. The interior is extremely lively, well-decorated and honestly quite fun to look at while you are making conversation or waiting for your meal. The restaurant was quite large, and quite full when we showed up so we had to wait about 30-40 minutes for a table - which honestly was well worth it. It gets really busy so if you are at all concerned call the day before or early in the morning for a reservation. Service was absolutely excellent, they took both my, and my girlfriend's dietary restrictions extremely seriously and were beyond helpful. The restaurant is located not far from public transportation, and since parking is so limited or non-existent that your best bet is to take the bus.

The Nitty Gritty:

Amazing and authentic Indian food with stellar service.

Masala Zone
+44 20 7379 0101

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