Name: Masala
Area: Brick Lane
Address: 88 Brick Lane
London E1 6RL
Phone: 020 7539 9448

Visits to this restaurant ...

1. 28 Jun 2012|2. 25 Jul 2013|3. 25 Sep 2014|4. 26 Mar 2015|5. 28 Jul 2016
6. 30 Nov 2017

Is the hand needed to prevent the Cobra glass coming out of the top of Neil's head?

Visit Report

Visit Number: 174 (visit 3 of 6 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 25 Sep 2014
Cost per head: £28.00 (1.5 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 8.0 6.9 7.1 6.8 6.8 7.3 8.0 7.0 7.4 7.31
Jeff 9 7 8 6 6 7 6 8 7.1 See Jeff's comments
Dave 8 8 7 9 8 8 9 8 8 8.2 See Dave's comments
Jon 8 7 7 8 6 9 9 8 9 8.0 See Jon's comments
Graeme 10 7 6 7 7 7 10 7 8 7.9 See Graeme's comments
Neil 7 6 7 3 7 7 7 7 6 6.2 See Neil's comments
Tim 7 5 7 6 7 7 5 7 5 6.1 See Tim's comments
Dominic 7 8 8 8 7 8 6 8 7.6 See Dominic's comments
Alex 8 7 7 7 6 9 7 7 7.4 See Alex's comments

All Comments

Jeff - My second visit to this place, which has now had a bit of a refurb. It's even more stylish than it was, although it's not so good for a big party like us as we were again seated near the door and there seemed to be nowhere else, except perhaps upstairs. The waiters are still very friendly and engaging and our order was taken and delivered with reasonable speed. The quality and portion size of the food was still very good, except perhaps the rice. And they have solved the problem of the beer not being cold enough, even having a draft beer. I think that Tim, CC for the evening, got a discount on the food. Anyway £27 [£28, actually - Ed.] each is not too bad these days. All in all a very enjoyable evening - this is a place I would make a beeline to in Brick Lane.

Dave - Very impressed with second visit to the Masala. Prawn Puri and Chicken Curry were excellent and the accompanying sides and breads were all of a good standard. The price tag was slightly larger this time around but still less than the centre of the city prices. Excellent sing-along again - the theme this month was "American Sitcom Theme Tunes" with Soap and Taxi my own personal favourites. Evening rounded off with a free round of brandies - a drink which I was told off by Jon, for drinking like a shot (apparently it is not a shot and should be savoured in several visits to the glass?).

Jon - A great meal at a refreshingly reasonable cost. Although there were a few whingers when I ordered the tandoori mixed platter for starter, at £6 it was a damn sight cheaper than the equivalent at the Mehek, and just as good. My lamb dansak main course was excellent. Tender lamb and a wonderful sauce. A good night as always and it was a pleasant surprise that Griff was not nearly as wrecked as we expected having started drinking at 4, especially as I was sitting opposite him.

Graeme - This is a top Brick Lane restaurant with excellent food & service at a reasonable price. In the 'good old days', there were many restaurants on Brick Lane like this but now they are rare. I was very impressed with the service - the waiter even 'got' the fingers (including the bent fingers) straight-away. My Fish Tikka starter was very nice with a delicate flavour, although it was a bit small. For my main, I went for my favourite Garlic Chilli Chicken - it was the absolute business. Everything else was pretty good and I had a great evening.

Neil - We met at The Ten Bells, our new local complete with bohemian staff and clientele. Will it be as nice in the Winter when we can't stand outside? After a few beers we arrived at the slightly austere Masala. However, it does have some classy pictures on the walls  (see last visit photos) and no flock wallpaper which was a nice change. Service was good, although the waiter tried to bring out the poppadoms before they were ordered. Swiftly put right of course! Food wise, the starter, lamb tikka, was small and slightly chewy whilst the main, lamb rogan, was very good, only let down by a slightly greasy sauce. All sides, rice and breads were really good. VFM was also not too bad, probably because, for once, we seemed to order exactly the right amount of food and drink barring one beer that no one could finish (back in the day, etc, ...).

Tim - Masala is a long narrow restaurant, and despite there being quite a lot of room at our table, it did feel a bit like eating in a corridor, particularly as the walls are quite plain and the lighting fairly bright. There was a choice of Cobra or Tiger beer, and wine. The spicy poppadoms were uncooked in places, but there was a generous amount of accompaniments. Lamb tikka starter was pleasant enough, with a good flavour, although quite small. We ordered a second bottle of wine, but sadly it was off; even the teetotal waiter could smell there was something wrong with it; but it was exchanged without fuss. Main of Jheenga Malaai was rather watery with large chunks of pepper and tomato, and the large prawns had their tails still on; Alex's chicken Joypuri and Dom's Jalfrezi were much better. There was no food left over (Griff finished the last of the veg), and although we got 25% off the food, value for money just wasn't as good as the previous time. Service overall was pretty efficient, and we had a free round of brandy (in a curious array of glasses) to finish.

Dominic - It was good to see the Masala open once more after they were closed for refurbishment earlier in the year ... though truth be told I couldn't tell any difference! We were seated once again near the door but with a couple of late drop outs (and Griff spending most of the time outside!) we were very comfortable. My starter of the mixed tandoori platter was quite good but they need to leave the condiments until after the starters are finished. My main of the Chicken Jalfrezi was very good being an extremely generous portion with just the right amount of bite. Indeed all the mains were served in very nice dishes and appeared generous as well. The wine was also very good but for the one bottle in the batch that was obviously corked ... but this was replaced immediately. Another enjoyable evening in a modern eatery with very good VFM.

Alex - The meal was a bit up and down. The main was a little unusual (tamarind sauce) and very good. The garlic naan was short on garlic and otherwise unremarkable. The starter was ok but a bit innocuous. Worth it for the main alone.

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