TimeOut London Eating & Drinking 2008
Bewitchingly exotic, Masa is a glitzy beacon on an otherwise drab suburban precinct. Inside, below, a substantial central chandelier, you'll find heavy wooden furniture, shiny tiled flooring, a satellite TV, maroon and wooden panelled walls, a cushion bestrewn area at the back (for the taking a tea) and a shiny open kitchen. The food is fabulous, picture a marriage between the best of the Middle Eastern and Pakistan cuisine, with a few Balkan salads thrown in as bridesmaids. Hence the the bread (resembling roti, hot from a tandoor) and the rice rice fluffy pilaus) are sublime: juicy seared kebabs likewise. Yet the enticing menu holds much more Try the mantoo pasta dumplings filled with minced lamb and sweetly flavoured onions, covered with a mince and split-pea sauce; or a starter of bourani-e-afghani (a tangy, moussaka like dish of aubergine in a tomato sauce with quroot - reconstitute yoghurt); or a side dish of chickpeas and new potatoes in a minty relish. For dessert there are ice-creams, baklava or fereeni (a rosewater-based pudding). Slinky, black-clad staff low prices, a BYO policy and most entirely Afghan clientele add to the allure.