Restaurant review: Masala 22By Vicky Smith
July 12, 2012
We are very lucky where I live in Caversham to have a great selection of restaurants, from Italian and Greek to Indian and Thai.
Bina, in Prospect Street, has been dishing up quality Indian food for more than 20 years and it’s one of the things that keeps me in Caversham on Friday nights when a curry craving hits me.
However, the folk at Bina have now decided to make their great food available to even more of Reading’s spice fans by opening a restaurant in Tilehurst, Masala 22.
Going on that age-old adage of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, the team has migrated the same menu to the new venture, offering all the Bina classics and specials that keep customers coming back for more.
We visited Masala 22 on a Friday night when customers included families with children, groups of friends and other couples.
The decor, including the eye-catching logo outside, is modern and includes some rather bright artwork.
Staff are friendly and accommodating, knowing when to take your order or fill up your drinks and when to back off and let you enjoy the flavours of the wonderful dishes. Any visit to an Indian restaurant would not be complete without papadoms and chutneys, and Masala 22’s selection was spot on, from the smooth mango chutney to the hot lime pickle.
For starters, we shared the sheek kebab (£3.95), made up of spiced minced lamb grilled on charcoal, and king prawn suka (£5.95). The prawns were beautifully cooked and the kebab had a perfect hint of charcoal and spice without overpowering the meat.
For main courses, we shared a murgh razala (£8.95), which is chicken with fresh herbs and spicy sauce, and murgh mirchwalla (£8.95), which packed a punch but was a lovely dish.
Fans of spice will not be disappointed as the dishes come highly flavoured so you don’t lose the complex tastes of Indian food.
On the other hand, for those who don’t like it hot, staff are happy to take the spice levels down a notch when you order if you’re concerned about the heat.
Our host also gave us a taste of the panfried fish of the day, which came served simply with salad, and cooked in delicate spices.
The menu has a wide selection of classic Indian dishes like korma, madras and rogan (all £6.50), but also tries to surprise Indian food fans with its recommendations and tandoori specialities.
The cost of main courses varies from about £6.95 to around £13 for duck and king prawn dishes. We left feeling stuffed, and happy to venture outside of Caversham again in the future.
The team at Bina has achieved a rare thing by taking a formula that works and making it brand new and exciting. Masala 22 is well worth a visit and its fab food will make you a fan for life.
- Telephone: 0118 9672710
- Website: www.masala22.co.uk
- Address: Masala 22
22 Hildens Drive