Most of our office went to Masala Zone in Covent Garden for dinner last night. Even though it’s a chain and it’s not in Brick Lane, the Indian food here is great. The place is massive, with hundreds of Indian puppet people hanging from the ceiling, and masks dotted around the walls. The kitchen is open plan which adds to the whole ambience. There were loads of us so we were downstairs, away from the main action.
Poppadoms are always a favourite and these were the best poppadoms I’d ever eaten. Apparently Little Heena’s mum can make them like this too – I’m still waiting for my dinner invite!
First up I had something mash like with chickpeas, yoghurt and relish. It doesn’t look very attractive but the subtle blend of flavours was delicious. What was a bit weird and didn’t really work on it was the potato stick crisps drizzled on the top – most peculiar.
I’d spoken to some work colleagues who were born in India and they say they still eat Indian food with their hands, even though they eat everything else with knives and forks. I was slightly bemused by the whole idea and thought it was a piss take to start with. But no, they really do. Getting into the spirit, I decided to give it a go. A bit hesitantly at first and rather messy too! There is a definite technique which goes something like, ball the rice up, drop it in your sauce or dahl or vege and then scoop it up, using your thumb to push the whole lot into your mouth. Using the bread is loads easier than the rice. Once I finally got the hang of it I really enjoyed it. Although now I have yellow tinged nails from the spices. Not such a good look.
Dessert was mango kulfi which was quite nice but very rich. I dropped my spoon in horror when I heard it was basically made from clarified butter. Four times more fattening than ice-cream. Give me Ben and Jerrys any day.
I’m going to my favourite restaurant for lunch today, Hakkasan. It’s Asian so I’ll be using chopsticks. How very international of me.