Our island may be a far cry from India and its sites but it is possible to get a taste of its cuisine at the Masalas Indian restaurant in Larnaca. Masalas, meaning a mixture of ground spices, has stodd the test of time, having been in operation on the Larnaca-Dhekelia road for 23 years.
Visiting with a group of friends from Limassol, we had high expectations!
Masalas has recently had a refurbishment. More than just a new coat of paint, the restaurant has had an entire facelift; upon entering everything looked brand new. The first thing we noticed was a very prominent statue of the Hindi God Vishnu. With white carved arches suggestive of the Taj Mahal, decorative lights, and new furnishings, the restaurant has a classy, sophisticated look and feel.
We were seated at a large round table, which made conversation with all possible, with the added bonus of a table top carousel, great for passing dishes around among diners during the course of the meal.
The menu had an impressive variety of dishes on it and most were available with a choice of either chicken, beef or lamb. The dishes are listed in order of spiciness, from the familiar, very mild Korma to the chef’s speciality the Showaddy and ‘very very hot’ Phall. We were also impressed to see that the restaurant offers Indian beer.
We all opted for the early bird special, a brilliant offer with poppadoms as a starter, followed by a choice of curry with pullau rice and either plain or garlic Naan. I am not a big spice fan so I ordered the Lamb Kashmiri, a mild, creamy curry with fruits and almonds. If you are not a fan of curry or foods with sauce, the menu also has grilled dishes that have been marinated in tasty Indian herbs and spices.
The poppadoms arrived with dips of spicy sauce, mango chutney, minty yoghurt and a bowl of chopped onions. The poppadums were nice and crisp and the sauces very tasty. We were all spinning the carousel to ensure the dips were in reaching distance for every bite!
It took quite a while for the main dishes to come out after the starter but when they did so they all came together. Two waiters came with trays full of little pots gently resting on a stand with a tea light candle underneath to keep the food warm. The table was filled with different types of Naan, bowls of rice and a variety of colourful curries.
Everybody was extremely happy with the choices they had made as the food was exceptionally good. Upon first sight you might think that the portion is a little on the small side but it is actually the perfect amount. One of my friends was so satisfied, he tempted me with his hot Showaddy. I daringly dipped the tip of a piece of Naan into the sauce. It was HOT. While I felt as though a volcano was erupting in my mouth my friend enjoyed every last mouthful. Some like it hot! Others, not so much.
After the meal, the thought of dessert was too much to bear so we had to pass. We had all had our fill. The evening was a success and my friends felt as though their journey down to Larnaca was well worth it.
SPECIALTY: Indian cuisine
WHERE: Masalas, Dhekelia Road, Larnaca
CONTACT: 24 644950
PRICE: €15-20 (€12.99 for the early bird offer, same menu €14.99 afterwards)