Review: Cafe Massala

cafe massala in Long Melford

cafe massala in Long Melford - Credit: Archant

Nicki Dixon enjoys a catch up with her best friend Kirsti at Cafe Massala in Long Melford and discovers the perfect dessert for two Everton fans.

cafe massala in Long Melford

cafe massala in Long Melford - Credit: Archant

cafe massala in Long Melford

cafe massala in Long Melford - Credit: Archant

This beautiful 350-year-old building is slap bang in the middle of the glorious village of Long Melford.

cafe massala in Long Melford

cafe massala in Long Melford - Credit: Archant

The village’s main street, Hall Street boasts an outstanding array of shops, pubs and restaurants and Cafe Massala sits in the middle.

Cafe Marsala, Long Melford. Food review for EA Life.

Cafe Marsala, Long Melford. Food review for EA Life.

Old yes, old fashioned? No.

The interior has been brought bang up to date with modern furniture and rather hypnotic bubble tanks with colour changing lighting.

We sat in the window seats with a view out onto the village’s main street. Great for us two people watchers!

It’s a fab place to catch up and chat and there is plenty of room between tables, giving a feeling of personal space.

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Indian food always appeals to me, a non meat eater, as it has so much scope and in all the curry houses I have visited, vegetarians are not treated as second class citizens or afterthoughts - Cafe Massala included.

Shah, our host for the evening was very keen to accommodate my tastes, and Kirsti’s who told him she didn’t like anything too spicy.

You could almost hear the cogs turning in his head as he suggested we order a starter off the menu and leave the rest to him.

Kirsti went for the onion bhajee to start and got three of them with salad while I went for the vegetable samosas, which were piping hot, spicy enough and crispy when pierced with a knife which is how they should be.

Our main courses arrived beautifully presented and smelling delicious.

For Kirsti, Shah cooked xacuti chicken, a breast stuffed with mince and spinach but instead of it being the traditionally hot dish, he had tamed it and given her a more korma like sauce - her favourite.

In front of me was a shimla mirch - a roasted green pepper stuffed with spiced vegetables alongside vegetable koftas in the tastiest balti sauce I have had in a long time.

All the favourites we as a nation have come to love are on the Cafe Massala menu.

Starters such as tandoori chicken, sheek kebab, meat samosa and chicken pakora will tempt and mains are varied to suit all tastes, whether you are a mild curry lover or prefer something with a bit more of a kick.

Tandoori specialities include chicken, or lamb, along with a Tandoori mixed grill and king prawns.

Specialities of the house are delights such as green chicken chilli massala which can be medium or hot, and nawabi lamb - a lamb shank roasted slowly and served in a medium spiced sauce.

Mild Malaysian dishes jostle for favour on the menu and are cooked with fruits and a mild, creamy thick sauce and you can choose from vegetable, chicken, lamb or king prawn.

The fairly hot Sri Lankan dishes are the jalfrezis with chicken, lamb, king prawn and veg as choices while the chef’s specials include the classic chicken tikka massala.

Side dishes are plentiful with the staple poppadums a must.

We had mushroom rice, tarka dall (lentils) and a fabulous garlic naan between us.

Shah insisted on showing me to the kitchen where I inspected the oven used to bake the naan breads.

The breads are placed on the wall of the incredibly hot oven until they are cooked, that’s how you get the lovely bubbly bits in them.

Now I never normally have a dessert in an Indian restaurant, I am usually too stuffed but something told me to look at the menu....and there it was - Toffee Twilight.

How could two Everton fans refuse such a treat? (for the non football fans among you, Everton’s nickname is The Toffees).

Vanilla and toffee ice cream, dairy toffee pieces and topped with toffee sauce.

A perfect end to a wonderful meal.

What a lovely place, with a five star food hygiene rating. The huge window we sat in gave us a lovely view out onto Long Melford’s Hall Street.

We didn’t feel rushed and were made very welcome by the team.

It’s the perfect place for a good old natter with your best friend, a family do or a cosy meal for two.

Contact Cafe Massala at, 01787 378658, Foundry House, Hall Street, Long Melford.