- Telephone 0141 339 3777
- Opening times Daily: noon–11pm.
- Food served Mon–Sun noon–11pm.
- Pre-theatre times Mon–Sun 3–6.30pm
- Average price £6.95 (buffet); £15 (evening meal)
- Pre-theatre price £9.95
- Website www.masalatwist.co.uk
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.
This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.
With startling offerings such as jaisalmeri camel curry and kangaroo-e-seekh alongside all the established classics, this Byres Road favourite certainly lives up to its name. Its décor a smile-inducing mix of Birds Custard-yellow sofas and walls decked out with vintage Indian portraits and trinkets, the feeling is very much that you’ve arrived in the living room of an eccentric aunt – something the beamingly friendly welcome backs up. Start with smoky aubergine fritters slicked in chilli sauce or irresistible fusion food in the form of haggis pakora. From the mains, go local with a zyakedar hiran venison curry (a surprisingly tricky dish to find in Scotland) or Scottish monkfish served Goan-style in a sweet stew laced with coconut and mustard seeds. Pair them with some of the more unusual sides – saffron and clove-infused basmati or a melting cheese naan. With other Scottish classics such as mince and tatties given the Indian spice treatment, Masala Twist manages the difficult task of pulling off novelty cuisine that makes you want to lick your plate clean.
- High point: Classic Scottish ingredients with that promised twist
- Low point: Punjabi chicken a bit lacklustre
- Delivery: £1.50 G3, 11, 12, 20. £2.50 G1, G2, G13, G14. Deliver alcohol.
- Private dining: Up to 50 covers
- 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