The Indian restaurant scene is a funny old industry. After decades of faux Indian food designed in Birmingham for the British palette, we now have a boat load of restaurants promising ‘authentic Indian cuisine’. The reality is that most of these mid-level ‘authentic restaurants’ are pumping out the same Tikka Masala’s and Rogan Josh’s as before, but under a different name and with fancier plates. Restaurants serving real Indian food either sit at the top end of the pricing scale or at the bottom. Mirch Masala is one of those that sits at the bottom and we are mightily thankful for it.
Let’s cut straight to the chase here. There are six branches of the restaurant throughout London and they are all pretty much the same; simple clean interior with no décor to speak of and a ‘bring your own’ booze policy. What this means is that the food is a) seriously cheap as they don’t have to worry about paying for fancy cutlery and ornaments and b) the food has to be good, as that’s all diners have to focus on. Turn up on an average Friday or Saturday night and you will be faced with the clearest indication that they know how to cook a good curry – crowds of Indian families and in particular, Indian mothers thankful that they don’t have to cook that day!
On both accounts, Mirch Masala passes with flying colours. The food is predominantly Punjabi/Pakistani in style, which means powerful and intense curries served in proper balti’s; if you’re afraid of garlic, don’t go anywhere near this place. The menu is full of everything from amazing kebabs to earthy Karahis. As all proper Indians restaurant should, Mirch Masala also provides an extensive list of delicious vegetarian dishes. Some of my favourite dishes include Seekh Kebabs, Grilled Lamb Chops, Chicken Deigi curry and their Karahi Lamb. They also do some of the finest Naans anywhere, including a Keema Naan which is a decent sized snack in itself!
Cuisine type – Seafood
Dinner for 2 (ex. drinks) – £24
Soft drinks – under £1
Alcohol – bring your own
www.mirchmasalarestaurant.co.uk for your nearest venue