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

Dom poses with his latest 'curry mate'.
(Maybe he'll leave me alone now. G.)

Visit Report

Visit Number: 211 (visit 6 of 6 for this restaurant)
Date of visit: 30 Nov 2017
Cost per head: £30.00 (2 beers)

Serv Amb Beer Start Nan Rice Main Veg VFM Score Comments
Overall 5.1 6.9 5.4 6.9 6.2 6.8 7.5 6.7 7.1 6.64
Brian 6 8 7 9 8 8 9 8 8 8.0 See Brian's comments
Dave 5 8 6 6 9 6 7 6 6 6.6 See Dave's comments
John 4 5 4 4 3 4 4 4 5 4.1 See John's comments
Alex 7 8 7 8 7 8 8 8 7.7 See Alex's comments
Richard 5 8 6 10 8 9 8 9 10 8.2 See Richard's comments
Jon 4 7 7 6 7 6 8 6 6.3 See Jon's comments
Luke (Guest) 4 7 4 7 7 6 5 6 6 5.8 See Luke's comments
Graeme 7 7 4 8 7 10 7 8 7.6 See Graeme's comments
Tim 5 6 7 8 7 7 9 7 7 7.2 See Tim's comments
Neil 5 7 6 6 3 7 7 7 6.1 See Neil's comments
Declan (Guest) 3 4 3 6 6 6 6 6 8 5.4 See Declan's comments
Dominic 4 7 5 6 2 5 7 3 5 5.1 See Dominic's comments
Robin 8 9 5 8 8 9 9 8 9 8.2 See Robin's comments
Mark 4 6 5 5 7 10 7 6.6 See Mark's comments

All Comments

Brian - An enjoyable meal, although the starters seemed to me to take too long to appear. The food was all good King Prawn Puri for starter and a fish on the bone main were both excellent, especially as the fish was relatively "big-boned", making it far easier to separate the meat.

Dave - Enjoyable evening at the Masala - usual cobra or not debate on the beer front - I'm in the 'not' camp. The Griff set menu was good with the highlight being the Nan bread. Service not great - long wait for food to arrive.

John - Rather disappointing effort can't believe this place made it into the top six. I had garlic chilli chicken but it lacked the usual bite. Portions were small too.

Alex - Pretty good but not up to last month's Rajastan 2 visit. Bit slow service, some things heading for cool on arrival. Flavours good but not with the Rajastan's extra edge.

Richard - I'm glad Brick Lane can keep a couple of top 10 entries, not least so we can continue to patronise the Pride of Spitalfields beforehand. Tandoori mixed platter starter was really excellent, and the main of Chicken Biryani hit the spot too. All the food was excellent except the nan which was just good and the beer was a touch watery. It was a good price (25% off and free pint) and a pleasant venue. The only let-down was the surly and lazy service from one fellow, although the other waiters seemed fine.

Jon - I was somewhat disappointed by the Masala. My starter was not as hot (temperature) as it could've been and the lamb tikka element was a bit tough. The main, Tandoori Mix Naga, was ok nice and spicy but not that special and the chicken was on the bone which I don't really enjoy (not mentioned on the menu). The veg dishes were very good. Service was poor we had to ask for a drinks order and I'm pretty sure we didn't get the veg we ordered, although Tim's interventions may have had an impact on that.

Luke - I have to say I really enjoyed the night and it was nice to see you again.

Graeme - This is a top place. Not quite as cheap as some previous visits due to the negotiated discount being less due to us being such a large party (14). Still pretty good VFM though. I really enjoyed my Tandoori Platter starter - all the components were tasty and well-cooked. I had my 'go to' main of Garlic Chilli Chicken and, once again, it was perfect (10/10). The service itself was good but I have marked it down a bit as we had to wait a while for our orders to be taken and there was quite a delay before the starters arrived. I suspect that the beer, which was supposed to be draft Cobra, was in fact something else. As the first pint was free, we let it go. A good night out, with two guests to boost the numbers. A great Brick Lane experience!

Tim - It was lively (and noisy) in the restaurant, and once the 14 of us had sat down, the floor was pretty much full. This caused some service problems over the course of the evening, as we had to wait 45 minutes for starters and a further hour for mains, and it also took a while to get drinks (I had to ask twice for water, and it still took 15 minutes). To be fair, our ordering wasn't quite as smooth as usual, with some people too busy chatting to order their sundry dishes at the appropriate time. There was also a farcical conversation with a waiter about the size of veg dishes as mains vs sides. My spicy poppadom was very thin, and kept falling apart when the toppings were put on. The tandoori platter starter was very good - a decent size, and the meat and fish tasty and cooked well (except the prawn might have been a bit overdone). The main of Murghi Masala had lots of good flavours, though I wouldn't have described it as medium hot, more like mild. All of the sundries were fine, though nothing stood out. Overall it was a good meal, at a reasonable price (Mark had negotiated 25% off food and a free round of drinks), with the worst aspect being the slow and slightly grumpy service, although we did get a round of complimentary liqueurs at the end.

Neil - The noisiest curry night on record I think, started at the Pride of Spitalfields, great pub but absolutely packed out. Followed by an incredibly loud party in the curry house (ourselves!). Ears ringing on the way home. Enjoyed the food but seems to have gone down slightly in quality since last time. Discounts made the price acceptable but wouldn't go back otherwise. I think our last Brick Lane curry house may slip out of the top six which is a shame.

Declan - All in all a disappointing meal but spent in good company and showed fair value for money. Brick Lane offers many better experiences than 'Masala'. Gap between starter and main way too long, did not feel authentic and watered down Cobra.

Dominic - It was good to be back in Brick Lane despite my reservations about our regular boozer pre curry. And seeing as I had nipped in beforehand to ask that we would not be seated at the door we had a comfortable table inside and away from the draft ... well our side of the table at least! Service was somewhat slow all evening and there appeared to be some confusion in what we were being told about the size of the veg dishes - more on that later. I had the Tandoori Platter which was fine although the mixed platter looked like the pick. My main of Lamb Vindaloo was tasty as was the wonderful brenjal bhajee. However, I didn't get to try either the sag aloo or the mushroom bhajee as they ran out almost immediately - a result of the confusion in the size of the dishes! The rest of the meal was a compromise: no stuffed paratha nor most of the wine list! A disappointing evening compared to previous visits but enjoyable given the company (including 2 guests, one of whom was my immediate neighbour and a top guy: "Matthew-mark-John" aka "the other one" aka "the runner"!!). And the highlight of the evening for me: a heartfelt apology from Brian!!!

Robin - I had a very nice prawn puree to start, flowed by a superb Jheenga Malaai (king prawns in a fantastic tomato based sauce). The only let down was that the king prawns still had their tails on so eating it was a messy business, otherwise I'd have scored that dish 10. The veg dishes were very good, as was the half keema nan, and the special rice was excellent. The beer was entirely average but overall a great meal for the price.

Mark - Coldest night for a long time so PoS was crowded even before the 14 of us arrived. One of the troubles with such a large group is that the order then often takes a long time and this was no exception with far too long before we ate - also less chance to get discount. Fish starter was OK but needed more than the decorative sauce (keep the chutneys if ordering). My main of Lamb Sag was delicious. For a change is was more lamb than the sloppy sag some places serve. Beer was more session than Cobra but I was fine with that. Overall a good evening with 2 guests and much banter flying around - shame the restaurant did not live up to previous billing.

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