Tucked away and elusively alluring, Masala Indian Cuisine is truly one of Bridlington’s hidden culinary gems.
Concealed beneath the glare of an admittedly daunting ‘TAKE-AWAY’ sign, inviting aromas of the east waft their way along Marlborough Terrace, enticing anyone who passes to sample the delights of the restaurant.
As my girlfriend and I descend the stairs to the below-ground establishment, we are reassured by the sight of a near-to-full dining area. The phones ring constantly, as dozens of hopeful customers attempt to order a Valentine’s Day take-away.
This raises our expectations.We are greeted by a member of the bar staff who seats us in the dining room, a warmly lit and cosy section of the building. The waiters busy themselves carrying sizzling dishes to eagerly awaiting customers and kindly enquire with diners, ensuring everything is up to scratch.
We order the stalwart of Indian appetisers – the papadum, and get round to shovelling on a spectrum of chutneys and sauces.
I’m in the mood for seafood so for my starter I choose the raja puree – a fragrant concoction of king prawns, onions, tomatoes and herbs and spices in dry sauce, all placed atop a savoury pancake.
I proceed to devour my insanely tasty starter while my co-diner watches on and awaits her main course.
My beer of choice for the night was Kingfisher lager, originally an Indian beer boasting nearly 40% of the country’s market share during the 1970s. It does well to soothe my palate after the intense and spicy starter. It is refreshing and flavourful, indicative that the pipes and barrels are properly maintained.
For my main course I am presented with a king prawn saag – king prawns infused with fresh spinach, garlic, coriander and onion; accompanied with a small side salad.The appearance of the dish is overwhelmingly green due to the quantity of spinach present in the recipe. It is not enough to deter me from piling right in, however, not knowing what exactly to expect.
The saag has a surprisingly char-grilled and burnt flavour to it. This is not a bad thing and it does well to complement the salty, meaty prawns and spices in the dish.
But the portion size is gargantuan. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however I do struggle to finish off little more than half of what is on my plate.
My girlfriend orders a standard chicken korma and regularly remarks on the succulent quality of the chicken and the well-balanced sauce.
There are few drawbacks, if any, to our dining experience at Masala.
The interior is fantastic and diners considering eating at Masala should not be put off by the exterior. Indeed this is less of a drawback and perhaps more of a locational disadvantage.
Like the majority of Indian restaurants and takeaways Masala offers a range of dishes across the spicy spectrum, and there is sure to be something for every curry-lover.
For an excellent dining out experience, Masala should be highly commended for its friendly staff, fabulous food and superb atmosphere.