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.
Situated slap bang in the middle of Byres Road, once you’re inside and have surveyed the menu here, you'll soon realise this is not a typical Indian restaurant. It’s a curry house serving several dishes you won’t get from other Indian operators in the city, using kangaroo, camel and even crocodile meat. In terms of Scottish influence, haggis pakora is everywhere now – but what about mince and tatties curry? Exotic delicacies aside, there’s a lot to like about Masala Twist, and alongside the unusual options there are a lot of established favourites to choose from. Genial, good-humoured waiting staff are happy to advise on dishes – and quantity too, as the portions are enormous. To start, salmon tikki comes with two substantial fillets that are perfectly cooked. While the tandoori lamb is a tad overdone, on the flipside the piquant South Indian king prawn chettinad is excellent – heat from green chillies lingers long after it’s finished off – as is the garlicky Punjabi daal tadka. Great value lunch deals and a buffet make this a popular spot for many local residents, not just the student crowd.
- Delivery: £1.50 G3, 11, 12, 20. £2.50 G1, G2, G13, G14. Deliver alcohol.
- Private dining: 20-30
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Halal options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Contemporary Indian
- Capacity: 85
- Largest group: 95
- Open since: 2011
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 5
- House wine: £13.95 per bottle
- BYOB: Beers £3, Wine £9, Whisky £10.50 corkage