Masala Twist, which quietly replaced The Curry Leaf at these premises in the summer, has certainly given itself a nice selling point, the 'twist' being a conscious approach to use local ingredients and natural flavourings. Any concerns that this could be a tad gimmicky begin to fade upon entrance, where genuine warmth exudes from the staff and it immediately feels like a restaurant run with pride put before profit margin – and it’s welcome to have venison and rabbit on an Indian menu; to see a chasni coloured by beetroot rather than by a fierce pink factory creation. To start, a lamb seekh kebab is well-seasoned and juicy, with whole toasted cumin seeds adding lovely depth. Duck tikka is a more intriguing proposition (this particular meat is perhaps too rich and sweet for the tandoor) but the accompanying tangy green sauce just about holds things together. There's an enticing selection of regional mains, from favourites (Goan fish curry, butter chicken) through to less familiar fare like Bombay bakra – slow-cooked, tomato-based and brightened up by little shreds of spinach and sharp mustard leaves. Each has the region it originates from in brackets, including the playful ‘mince and tatties (Glasgow)’, which raises an eyebrow but turns out to be an accomplished spread of keemah (lamb mince curry) with cubes of potato and an impressively lingering heat. A welcome addition to the city’s West End.
The colourful interior and walls adorned with Indian images make it tempting to pigeonhole Masala Twist as a typical curry house. But appearances are deceiving. With dishes from all across the subcontinent, and a host of original specialities, this place is a trailblazer of an unorthodox approach to Indian cuisine. It’s not uncommon for a curry shop to offer items reflecting local influence, such as the frequent haggis pakora or salmon tikka, but with minced kangaroo and a crocodile curry on the menu, Masala Twist is a great example of thinking outside the spice box. The sections ‘exotic meats’ and ‘regional classics’ feature highlights such as the junglee khargos, a fiery Rajasthani rabbit curry, and a perfect choice if you appreciate fresh, locally sourced ingredients. A less spicy and nuanced blend of flavours is the Bombay bakra, a lamb with onion and peppers curry on the brink of sweetness. For those of a more conservative taste, there is a wealth of classics to choose from, even though the playful culinary approach is bound to win over even the most cautious diners.
- Delivery: £1.50 G3, 11, 12, 20. £2.50 G1, G2, G13, G14. Deliver alcohol.
- Provides: Halal options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu, Free wi-fi
- Capacity: 80
- Largest group: 95
- Open since: 2011
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 5
- House wine: £13.95 per bottle