By Andreas Vou
For all the new types of restaurants opening around the Larnaca area, Indian food does not seem to have taken off in the same way that others have. That’s why it’s was worth trying one of those Indian restaurants that has remained popular for decades – they must be doing something right.
Many Larnaca locals at this time of the year tend to slowly shift from the familiar beaches in the centre of town to the more pristine ones in Ayia Napa and Protaras. Around halfway between Larnaca and Ayia Napa is Dhekelia. While a drop in tourism in the area has had a detrimental effect on most businesses there, Masalas Indian Restaurant has stood the test of time and remains the go-to spot when it comes to this particular cuisine.
The establishment does not possess the same charm or coziness of Indian restaurants elsewhere, but rather a more wedding hall type of seating arrangement. Standing separately from other establishments on the Dhekelia road, Masalas has a rather strong presence and its inviting walkway which leads to the front entrance gives it a feel of a luxury but the indoor setting may not be what one expects.
When it comes to the important part, the food, though there is a vast menu.
After ordering an assortment of dips and poppadoms, the best option on the menu looked to be the Chicken Bhuna Masala, a very common, simple curry but with distinct differences according to the restaurant it is produced in. There were succulent chunks of chicken while the sauce of sautéed onions, tomato and a variety of other herbs were just spicy enough to give you a kick and mild enough to be able to process the various flavours.
There always seems to be some sort of offer available which is worth taking advantage of. The pick of the bunch has to be the ‘happy hour’ where, between 6pm and 7.15pm from Sunday to Friday, one can order an assortment of dips, a prawn or chicken curry of choice with rice along with either naan or garlic bread as a side for €11.99. The same such set menu is also available every night for just under €15 which sets up a very reasonable price cap on a filling meal.
There tends to be variations from one Indian restaurant to another but the food at Masalas was excellent. That said, the service is not of that high standard with the waiters taking a rather long time to take orders and with a very distant attitude. While it is not my preference to have overly chatty service, it’s always nice to feel as though one cares about the food they serve and the basic requirements of the customer.
To drink, there is a wide assortment of local wines from Ayios Onoufrios to Tsangarides Mataro as well as imported, both red and white, like Monteverdi Pinot Grigio from Italy and Moschofilero Boutari from Greece ranging between €15 and €30 per bottle. Of course, there are also common spirits and a number of beers available.
The overall experience was a good one and the main thing which stands out is the good food which cannot be disputed, especially in a place where good Indian food is a rarity.
SPECIALTY: Curry (set meal) €15 (€11.99 meal offer)
WHERE: Dhekelia Road, Larnaca
CONTACT: 24 644950