Dinner At Masala Tandoori In Ashington
One of the strange quirks of British living is that even the smallest of towns have a curry house and Ashington in Northumberland has a little gem called Masala. From the front it is fairly unremarkable and although the interior isn’t perhaps at the cutting edge of interior design it is very clean and smart, and let me tell you dear reader, the curries are absolutely delicious. And being perfectly honest I’d rather have a great Ruby Murray in last season’s decor than a mediocre offering in a trendy eatery, wouldn’t you?
The Man Bird and I have visited here several times over the last few years, but not since the blog began, so we thought that that situation needed rectifying. On Sunday and Tuesday evenings they do a special deal of 6 courses for £10.95 per person. Certain dishes are restricted from this offer, but you can have them at a small supplemental charge.
We had a poppadom each (which is the first course) as we decided what we wanted for our starters. I decided to have Prawn Cocktail to start and The Man had Chicken Chatt. The Chicken Chatt was piping hot and just spicy enough to give your taste buds a wakeup call without sending them into a state of shock, and there was a plentiful amount of chicken in the sauce too. My Prawn Cocktail was nicely presented with an old school garnish of a whole Cherry on top; there were plenty of prawns in it and the lettuce was chilled and crispy, the tomatoes fresh and firm and there was a nice amount of cocktail sauce on it.
After a short while our main courses came out and we eagerly tucked in. My own Green Bengal Chicken Tikka was lovely; the rich tomato based sauce had a great zesty lime tang to it that made the dish really clean tasting on the palate. The Chicken was chunky and moist and there was plenty of it, so I was very happy with my choice. I had picked the Lemon Pilau rice as my accompaniment and the two citrus flavours worked really well together. His Nibs plumped for the Chicken Tikka Kakrie, and again there was plenty of moist flavoursome meat in it. The onions in the dish had retained just a slight firmness which gave the dish a nice texture in the mouth, and his choice of Onion Pilau rice again worked in harmony with the flavour of the curry. I like the fact that just because you’re eating from a specials menu doesn’t mean your portion size is compromised, you still get a belly busting portion.
Despite our best efforts we just couldn’t quite manage the ice cream course, so we skipped straight onto the coffees. At Masala the coffees are given a cream floater top, rather than just plain old milk from a jug which is something a bit different. The staff are always smartly dressed and very polite, and our server last night was a very new starter called Jack. He had a lovely manner about him and was very obliging and as he learns new skills and his confidence grows he’ll be fantastic.
If you live local to Ashington, or are passing through for whatever reason, you could do a lot worse than pop in to Masala for a curry. Hot Wings to this talented team.