The One With Masala Indian Restaurant At Sheung Wan

I am blogging this right after my meal at Masala. This is considerably surprising, since I have a whole string of unblogged gastronomical encounters over the past few weeks. Those, and not this, should take priority.

I blame the lingering curry smell on my fingers. That, and of course the very lack of blog posts of recent days put me in a mild panic that I have lost my blogging mojo for good.

But no matter. You are here to read about my dinner experience at Masala.

Masala Indian Restaurant @ Sheung Wan

It was unusual for me to dine out alone on a weekday night. But for once I couldn’t be arsed enough to cook at home again, and I have a sudden craving for something spicy and non-Chinese (side note: I have been eating Chinese so much these days that I am surprised this post is not written in the language). I digressed. So at Masala, again another place mere minutes from my abode, I opted for the safer choice of a set dinner to see if it could un-Chinesefied me for a night.

Masala Indian Restaurant @ Sheung Wan

The dinner kicked off with a bowl of unimpressive and lukewarm.. err, something. I think it was pumpkin soup. Not that I didn’t enjoy it; but really how did a bowl of such sweet-and-sourness get onto an Indian menu? The dollops of what I could only describe as sour cream didn’t help matters.

Masala Indian Restaurant @ Sheung Wan

And then came the staples. The naan (a leavened, oven-baked flatbread) was easily the best of the lot; although it was suspiciously too-crispy for it to be fresh from the oven pot. But it was fragrant and buttery and warm. Dipped into into the curry (see below); it was delicious. And that explains the curry smell on my fingers which is now spreading across my Mac’s keyboard.

The rice. Hmmm…. it was cold, for one. What is it about Masala and cold dishes? Am I missing something? Totally unremarkable. And the salad, well, it was different from your usual fare; I guess the combination had an Indian twist to it which totally escaped me.

Then again, for someone who thinks a great Indian meal is one which cause sweaty forehead and dripping nose and unstoppable chewing, perhaps I shouldn’t be too quick to judge.

Masala Indian Restaurant @ Sheung Wan

The star of the night was easily the main dish, the lamb korma. I was asked if I wanted it spicy and it took me a moment before I realised Indian food in Hong Kong is not spicy by default. The lamb pieces are generally tender, juicy to the bite (though a couple of them were a tad too chewy), and then the spices! A totally authentic Indian experience; though if they used less coconut milk and more spicy herbs, it would have been perfect. Combine this with the buttery naan, oh my… my stomach just grumbled in appreciation.

Masala Indian Restaurant @ Sheung Wan

The owner was having a lively discussion with an Indian customer in English when I stepped in, and I was kinda privy to everything they said. It’s hard not to overhear things when you converse at such volume in a small restaurant devoid of any ambience per se. The staff, from what I can see, were mainly Indians, further proof that the food could only be authentic.

My total bill came up to HK$68 for the set dinner, HK$10 for the diet coke (I thought the set came with a drink?) and plus 10% service charge (didn’t the menu say there is no service charge, and what service?). I was too knackered by then to argue over the bill, plus TomEats dropped by to say hi and I was distracted by his large crab.

What I would order again? The lamb korma and the buttery naan, of course
What I would never touch again? The rice. It was a waste of calories
Would I come again? Probably when I have that random craving for Indian
Would I have dinner dates here? Nope, it wasn’t that kind of place
Would I have dinner gathering here? At the risk of being chastised? No.

Masala Indian Restaurant
10 Mercer Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

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4 Thoughts on “The One With Masala Indian Restaurant At Sheung Wan

  1. TomEats on 17 November, 2010 at 3:12 am said:

    Was good to see you there!

    There is another good (and seriously cheap) Indian place in the same cooked food market that ABC Kitchen is in. Well worth seeking out.

  2. @ TomEats – You mean the cooked food market right behind my building? I have never ventured there before; maybe I shall do that tonight!

  3. try Tandoor Indian Restaurant next time.. for it’s Dinner Buffets. a better class experience.

  4. @ Aaa – After Masala I have no cravings for Indians anymore. But the next time I want something spicy, I know where (and who) to look.

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