On a recent trip to Bradford with two colleagues, we weren't really expecting too much in the food line, but knew we wanted to avoid hotel food, and were hoping to be able to find a decent Indian/Bangladeshi restaurant. On a brief foray from the hotel near Centenary Square, we came upon a Middle Eastern restaurant and Shisha Lounge on Centenary Square itself and struck by the ornate metal door in Middle Eastern style, we decided to try it out. I didn't really expect the food to be up to London standards. Fortunately, I was wrong and even better; the prices weren't London prices either.
Masti Restaurant and Shisha Lounge
Tel: 01274 743 744
Past the ornate door is quite an ordinary-looking, high-ceilinged room done up in creamy marble-like stone. To the right, is a shisha lounge, basically a U-shape of comfortable chairs and cushions in beautiful colours on which to smoke shisha (flavoured tobacco) through hookahs (pipes). To the left and directly in front is a counter, selling ice-cream and various other delicacies. Directly in front is an ornate, mosaic-tiled fountain and the rest of the space is dedicated to different sizes of table. There are toilets, which my colleague said were very clean, although I didn't use them myself.
Staff and service
The staff were very polite and service was generally very good, although there was quite a gap in between our starters and main course. However, we forgave them for this, because at the end when paying, the manager asked us if we had any feedback and apologised profusely when he heard we'd been kept waiting. Apparently, the restaurant had only been open for two weeks and the cooks were still finding their feet. As we weren't in a particular hurry anyway, we weren't really concerned.
The restaurant is dry. We were slightly horrified to begin with (I mean going on business and not getting a free drink out of the company?!), but managed to get over it and tried the delicious fruit smoothies that they make freshly on site, of which there is a great variety. I had a detox one (wishful thinking). There was no still mineral water, but we were given jugs of tap water, which was fine.
This was something else. Absolutely melt in the mouth fantastic. We ordered a selection of four mezze for starters, which included humous and lamb, tabouleh (the national Lebanese salad) and some kind of Middle Eastern dumplings. All were delicious. The food is not particularly from one country; rather a mixture. For the main course, my boss and I ordered Moroccan tagines - his was chicken, mine, lamb meatballs, which came with naan bread. Another colleague ordered chicken kebabs accompanied by a salad and couscous. Everything was beautifully flavoured - the lamb meatball tagine had a slight kick to it, which was delicious without being too spicy; the chicken tagine just melted in the mouth; and the kebabs were done to perfection. The naan bread had obviously been freshly cooked as well.
For starters, a main course and drink each, the price came to just over £50 for three people. For the quality of food, I think this was excellent. But then I live in London, where £50 for two people is nothing short of miraculous.
If you live in Bradford, try this restaurant. With the sole exception of the time waited between courses (and this seemed to be just us), I have nothing but praise for this place. It was clean, fresh, had delicious food and the staff were polite. And if you are desperate for a drink, there is a bar right next door. I was impressed from the minute I walked in and judging by the number of Middle Eastern customers in the restaurant, they liked it too. There are long tables available for large groups of people, of which there were three when we were there and smaller ones for groups like us. Highly recommended. Can't wait to go back to Bradford so that I can go back.