Massala, 19 Anyards Road, Cobham, Surrey, KT11 2LW Tel: 01932 865005 www.massalacobham.com
Massala is a relatively new Indian restaurant, having opened its doors to customers just three months ago. Situated in one of the pleasant shopping streets of Cobham, it is a short taxi ride from the rather quirkily named Cobham & Stoke D’Abernon station, which is on the route from Waterloo to Guildford. As we arrived we were greeted at the door by the restaurant’s friendly staff and were shown into the main dining area. The restaurant’s decor is predominantly in white, but there are feature walls painted in a much bolder maroon and a few artefacts are displayed on the walls, but these have been kept to a minimum, adding to an overall elegantly tasteful feel.
Though we love Indian food, often when we go to an Indian restaurant for the first time we will choose a mixed platter if there is one on offer, particularly for starters. Massala has a gourmet platter as one of its starter options, so we decided to go for that. In all we had five elements. These comprised: onion and potato bhajia, which were flat, wonderfully tasty and crisp but with a softness in the middle and among some of the best I have tasted. Aloo Tikki, crisp potato patties with ginger and cashew, had a lovely flavour that was enhanced by a mint and tamarind sauce. Methi Michchi Tikka were hunks of full flavoured salmon that had been marinated to give a tasty coating and cooked perfectly in a clay oven. The Jhinga Merunisha were excellent jumbo prawns, again that were marinated and cooked in a clay oven; and Gilafiseek lamb, a kebab of minced meat that was tender and given zingy flavour from its coating of finely chopped vegetables, ginger and hot spices. These five elements gave our taste buds a serious workout, vibrant flavours that left our mouths tingling, they were all seriously good.
For mains we chose the Murg Tikka Lababdar, a chicken dish, together with the Roast Lamb Laziz. The chicken was in juicy chunks that were very tender. it was cooked in a fenugreek, onion and tomato massala sauce with some coriander and cream, which enhanced the flavour of the meat wonderfully. It gave us a great sauce in which to dip our light garlic coriander nan and for our fluffy pilau rice. The lamb was another great dish, the thickly sliced lamb having been cooked slowly in its spicy sauce giving us another flavour dimension with which to entertain our palates. With these we had sides of Sukhi Meloni Subzi, very well cooked mixed vegetables that were al dente and set off beautifully by their fresh tasting sauce and a Pindi Chana, a great tasting chick pea dish that had a good clean spicy zing to it.
We managed dessert, just, having chosen Kulfi, which was much lighter than most Indian ice cream I have tasted, it was delightfully flavoured with aromatic spice and made a great accompaniment to share with our second dish Gulab Jamun, those lovely soft curd cheese dumplings soaked in a light syrup.
Massala’s wines start at just under £14 per bottle for the house red and white, we had a good dry South African chenin blanc, that was well priced at a little under £17 a bottle. The front of house team worked very well together at Massala, attending to our needs perfectly throughout our time there. Massala is an excellent Indian restaurant with great dishes on their menu, certainly worth making an effort to seek out and undertaking a bit of a journey for. We would definitely recommend it.