On the second floor of a nondescript building round the corner from the Dubliners pub you’ll find Masala Dining. It shares the second floor with some pubs and hostess bars and to be honest the interior is pretty unassuming. It’s nice and clean and everything is right on the button but it’s not going to wow you. The food, on the other hand, holy shit!
On our last visit we ordered the Pepper Chicken Tikka as a shared starter and some Papad on the side. The Papad were light and crisp as you’d expect and the Pepper Chicken was very good indeed. Lightly charred on the outside and tender on the inside it came with some cucumber and spiced onions and a light dusting of sesame. It’s an open kitchen so you can see the chefs cooking so it takes a while to come out – but that’s never a bad thing. We had some chilled bottles of Kingfisher beer while we waited.
For our mains we had Saag Chicken and Mutton Masala with Jasmine rice and Roti and Paratha bread. It might be a sin but we’re not big fans of Nan. It’s just too heavy and tends to cancel everything else out. Indian cuisine has some amazing bread so one of the reasons Masala Dining is so good is because they have a great selection including Chapati – one of my other favourites. The Roti is made from stoneground wholemeal flour and is light and chewy and the Paratha – which, to be honest, can be a bit oily, is perfect for mopping up thick curries. One of the other positives about Masala Dining is that it’s a halal restaurant so perfect for both Muslims and non-Muslims. It also has a great selection of vegetarian food and I can personally vouch for the mixed vegetable curry which is overflowing with fresh veg and can pack a mean, spicy kick.
The Saag was glorious. Slightly creamy and actually tasting of spinach it is a revelation. Lots of tender chicken too and a fair bit of heat it’s a great dish. My partner in crime opted for the Mutton Masala. Spicy and fused with veg and light and juicy mutton he never said a word for at least fifteen minutes – which must be a record for him.
The service at Masala Dining is perfect. The staff are very attentive but never intrusive. The background music is at a perfect level and generally you can see the passion and pride for Indian cuisine showcased on your plate. It’s a lovely place, wonderful and friendly staff and top quality food from one of the best Indian restaurants in the city.