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Massala (Restaurant)

Picture of Massala in Epsom & Cobham, London

19 Anyards Road, Epsom & Cobham, London, KT11 2LW
Cuisine: Indian
Tel: 01932 865 005 | Email to Massala | Transport: Cockfosters | Write review

Massala Review

Best for: An evening away from the city (Surrey) , exquisitely interesting curries.

Great: Indian cuisine that will make you explode

When I was first told that I was going to Cobham to sample some kick-ass Indian food courtesy of Massala restaurant, I didn’t really know where it was. Consulting the boyfriend, he informed me that it was only half an hour away, in Surrey. Definitely worth the trip, I thought, and the lack of alcohol, as I would inevitably be the one driving.
 
Reaching Cobham in speedy fashion, it brings me great joy to be out of the city for the evening. The area is quiet and postcard perfect. We arrive early and nearly go into the take-away a few doors down by mistake. Entering the right premises, we see that we’re the first customers of the evening.

Earlier in the week I had the pleasure of attending Sheba on Brick Lane; quite a curry week for me. Sheba was a typical curry house: bright colours; slightly dingy; but full of charm. Massala, however, is a different kettle of fish. It is a sophisticated and well presented establishment and I’m pleased I wore a dress for the occasion. A t-shirt and jeans combo wouldn’t suit for such a polished restaurant.
 
The boyfriend peruses the menu, as he’s the expert on curry, whereas I am a mere novice, in his eyes. I ask if it varies from normal curry restaurants and he says it does. The menu mentions what region the dishes originate from; each is innovative and different. As poppadoms and chutneys turn up, served on a white china platter, the chef comes out to introduces himself. He explains that he will prepare a range of dishes for us, including his favourites and specialities. Wow, how wonderful. Even the boyfriend looks chuffed.
 
Slowly, more customers begin entering the restaurant. It’s a relief not to feel like we have the whole place doting on us.
 
The starters, designed to be shared, come out one at a time. The first is the Gilafiseek Lamb, minced and lightly spiced. The accompanying mint sauce calms down the heat a touch. We gobble it up quickly and try our best not to look like plebs, but the boyfriend fails, spilling sauce down his top and on to the table.

As soon as we’re finished with one starter, the next few arrive; Tandoori Paneer Khaas and Jhinga Merunisha. The latter is a huge juicy prawn of greatness, with delicate spices that are light on the palate. Thinking the starters finished, we sit back, exhale, and wonder how we’re going to make room for the mains, just moments before a small flat onion bhaji wings it way over to our table. We suck in our guts and reach for the forks. It’s light, crispy, and not in the least greasy. It’s the most interesting bhajj I’ve ever had. The boyfriend agrees, sipping on his glass of red.
 
With a small breathing gap, the curries are plonked down in pristine white crockery. We have four to take down and the boyfriend looks very determined. He normally powers through curries and takes no prisoners, so he sees this as a challenge. I cautiously try the Laal Maans, which is the hottest dish on the menu, and find the lamb to be beautifully tender, yet burn-the-tongue-off hot. The boyfriend laughs in the face of this curry and ploughs on happily. My preference, however, is the Monk Fish Malabar, which is quite hot but has a certain sweetness to it.
 
As the boyfriend mops up every last morsel with his naan bread, I sit back and relax. He finishes the wine and asks for a Cobra beer. I suspect he’s nearly drunk, but don’t question his state.
 
Just when we thought we could finally sit and digest our meal, two desserts appear at our table. I think I actually might explode and even the boyfriend looks at it with a twinge of pain in his eyes. I poke at the Gajar Jamun (curd cheese dumplings with syrup) and try a bit. The flavours are intense and it is a texture I am not familiar with. Having become acquainted, I devour it shamelessly.
 
Feeling really rather stuffed with top notch food, we waddle out of Massala and head for the car, luckily parked right outside. I place the boyfriend in the passenger seat and he says he’s going to have a quick nap. Immediately starts to snore, loudly. I drive away with the lasting impression that Cobham is a lovely place and is definitely worth the trek for exquisitely interesting curries.
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Customer Reviews for Massala

Average (based on 5 votes): 5 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Massala.

“Just read your review and felt compelled to add my own comments. I live in Cobham and have dined at Massala a number of times. I can only say that we are very lucky to have this restaurant on our doorsteps. I have dined in fine restaurants across the planet, and more Indian restaurants than I can possibly ever remember, including most of the Michelin starred restaurants in London. Massala ranks amongst the best of them, at a fraction of their prices. I had lamb chops recently in Tamarind London at an eye watering price of £27 plus service. I had these recently in Massala at under £9 and I think the quality of the lamb was better at Massala. The nan bread at Massala is probably the best I have ever tasted. I love the taste of charcoal on it. The gourmet platter is what I think you also had, and that is just out of thiw world. The trouble is on some Fridays or Saturdays, you cannot get a table unless you have booked, and my fear is that everyone might just find out about it.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Henry, Cobham (7 years 11 months 12 days ago)

“This is a great neighbourhood restaurant. Food is a much higher quality than most Indian restaurants, and the ingredients are obviously very fresh. The chef at Massala is obviously passionate and enthusiastic about making really good, genuine Indian food. The prices are very reasonable and the atmosphere on a Wednesday evening was fun and convivial. I had a great time here and will definitely go back.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Francesca Casey, Cobham (8 years 26 days ago)

“Quite frankly the best Indian restaurant hands down ever visited. Beats the likes of major michelin starred heavy weights in London with refined spicing and generous portion control. If you live anywhere near this place, i strongly recommend a visit! (Or takeaway!).”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Stuart Ross, Radlett (8 years 1 months ago)

Show all user reviews for Massala

“We had a the most wonderful evening at Massala, despite a large party of fifteen dominating the restaurant the staff were attentive and went out of their way to ensure my wife and I received the very best service and were totally un-daunted, our courses arriving with impeccable timing- the standard of service clearly didn't waver at all. The Monk Fish Malabar as a main was worth a revisit in its own right with an impeccable flavour and melt in the moth consistency, truly unlike any seafood dish I’ve experienced in an Indian restaurant. The selection of naan breads were hot, fresh and deliciously soft and our waiter informed us that they are all cooked fresh to order in the kitchen- and the quality here was evident! Great too was the pan fried Okra ordered as a side with a remarkably smoky flavour, and the Kulfi which came as a delicious surprise at the end of the meal as compliments of the chef thanking us for with-standing any noise and distraction from the party- totally unnecessary as there was no need! But such a gesture completely exemplifies the character of the restaurant. I shall most definitely be returning and recommending Massala to friends and family.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Richard B, Claygate (8 years 1 months ago)

“I went to Massala for the first time last Friday and must say that I really enjoyed my time. The staff was attentive, the restaurant very beautifully decorated but what's most important, the food was absolutely delicious. I will definitely recommend the restaurant to all my friends and curry lovers.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Andrea, London (8 years 1 months ago)

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Food

Massala has taken authentic, ancient recipes and adapted them using the best ingredients, herbs and spices to create the finest Indian cuisine. Everything is cooked in a special charcoal fired clay Tandoor oven giving dishes a unique taste and flavour, whilst allowing the meats to remain succulent and tender. Massala consciously uses fresh produce wherever possible and does not use any artificial colourings, flavourings or GM foods. All food is cooked specially to order, and the dishes will taste like nothing you have tasted before.

Updated 17/09/2010

Massala Opening Hours

Monday: 12:00pm - 2:30pm
5:00pm - 11:45pm
Friday: 12:00pm - 2:30pm
5:00pm - 11:45pm
Tuesday: 12:00pm - 2:30pm
5:00pm - 11:45pm
Saturday: 12:00pm - 2:30pm
5:00pm - 11:45pm
Wednesday: 12:00pm - 2:30pm
5:00pm - 11:45pm
Sunday: 12:00pm - 2:30pm
5:00pm - 11:45pm
Thursday: 12:00pm - 2:30pm
5:00pm - 11:45pm
   

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Venue ID: 22039

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