A new Indian eatery opens in Vinohrady

The interior retains elements of the previous, frilly Balkan restaurant, Modrá řeka, but the taste of India pervades Masala's small space. We assumed, with no beef on the menu (holy cow, 'tis true), that authenticity had landed but then noticed the samosas have dried fruit in them and the onion bhaji (both 45 CZK) is more of an onion ring, albeit with some Indian spice. However, Masala is new and Bobby, the proprietor, is aiming to create an Indian for the tastes of the people. And he understands customer service (he is from India by way of New Zealand) so what you want should be implemented -- he is very friendly and takes the time to talk to all guests.

We didn't try any tandoor dishes (but will -- location, price and taste all dictate another trip) and opted for a chicken vindaloo (150 CZK) and signature lamb rogan josh (195 CZK). The waitress assured us the spice was "Indian not Czech" and we feared for the morning after until the "not very hot" vindaloo arrived and it was actually delightfully spicy without kicking the taste buds out of our eyes. The rogan josh wasn't to either of our tastes but that doesn't mean it wasn't good.

The palak paneer (105 CZK) was superb, made with homemade (but elusive in quantity) cottage cheese and tasty spinach. Despite being stuffed to the gills -- one dish of rice is enough for two people and sharing naan isn't going to leave anyone hungry either -- we cleaned out the bowls of homemade ice cream (kulfi), in pistachio and mango flavours. Divine.

Smoking is permitted only at the bar. Bottled Gambrinus and a huge wine list join a variety of lassi and teas on the drinks menu. Bobby will, visas permitting, have regional guest chefs with their appropriate range of menus as and when this occurs. Masala deserves to do well so drop by to eat in or take away, tell Bobby what you think, and hopefully the other Indians in town will have to follow these standards.

Praha 2, Mánesova 13
722 90 76 66
Open 11:30 - 23:00

Credit cards, no smoking section, take away and delivery available
Metro: Muzeum
Tram: 11 to Italská

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