One becomes very money-conscious after committing to a home loan. As much as food is still an interest of mine, I notice I'm a lot more focused on coupons and online deals than I was before. I found a great three course feast coupon for Masala, which is conveniently located to us, so it was a no-brainer to pick one up online.
We used the deal last night for dinner. Masala Art Indian Restaurant is located opposite the Barracks in Paddington. Parking around there is always a challenge so we looped around and got lucky in a side street. The restaurant is bigger than we first thought. There's a long inside dining area, outside tables, and a takeaway section.
Our voucher entitled us to shared starters, a main of choice each, rice, naan bread, dessert and two glasses of wine.
We got our wine first, both selecting the house red. I don't know how long the bottle had been open for but it had the slightest vinegary quality. After a few sips, I couldn't notice anymore ;)
Pakoras and tandoori chicken
The starter plate comprised of two each of pakoras and tandoori chicken. I always love pakoras. Crispy onion fritters with yoghurt dip? Delicious. It's like a smushed-together ball of onion rings.
Naan bread - with butter chicken and lamb vindaloo
My main of choice at Indian restaurants nowadays is always butter chicken. I went through an experimental phase of trying lots of new curries with exotic descriptions but now I don't bother because I realised I like nothing better than the classic, creamy butter chicken. I have had disappointing versions of it though so I'm glad that this wasn't one of them. It was everything I like in a butter chicken: creamy, thick, slightly sweet and with ample amounts of tender chicken.
Marc chose the lamb vindaloo. We were warned by our waiter that it had a bit of heat. I tried a little bit and because I'm very chili-intolerant nowadays, I found it to be too spicy for me. Of course Marc thought it wasn't spicy enough. The lamb pieces were nice though and it smelt so good I wish I could've eaten more. I mixed bits of this sauce with my butter chicken to create an uber hybrid.
To me, an Indian feast is not complete without naan bread. If there's enough naan bread, I don't even need rice. I liked the naan bread here. It had a great garlic butter flavour and nicely charred exterior. This plus butter chicken sauce went down as such a heavenly combination that soon, I was out of both.
The rice was plain basmati. I don't normally eat rice but I'll have some if I run out of naan just to give the curry sauce something to coat onto. It might be a psychological thing but I'm so used to seeing saffron rice in Indian restaurants that the lack of yellow colouring seemed weird to me. I know that in most cases, it's just food die and minimal traces of actual saffron but you can call me crazy.
Our dessert was a ball each of the gulab jamun in sweet syrup. Most versions I've tried in the past are yellowish but this was more white. It tasted alright though I wouldn't have been able to handle more than one.
I loved the butter chicken and naan bread at Masala Art Indian Restaurant. The dining atmosphere was quiet and chilled though there was a bit of traffic on the busy road that made it more desirable to sit inside than out. Our waiter was really nice and the food arrived promptly.