I spent an hour one evening wandering around the streets of Covent Garden, looking for somewhere a little different to have a meal.
As I passed a little side street, a restaurant sign caught my eye. It was the Masala Zone restaurant in Covent Garden.
A quick look at the menu and the plates the diners were enjoying told me that this would be a different Indian meal experience. Lots of people seemed to have a large circular tray with various bowls of food. There appeared to be rice, a curry, naan and various dips and sides.
I joined the queue because the restaurant was full and there were half a dozen people in front of me. That was fine, I was a solo diner and I was in no rush.
But that’s where the experience took a turn for the worse.
Lots more people joined the queue behind me and to my surprise the staff started seating them first, even though none of us had reservations. I can understand them seating a group of four at a large table, rather than me taking up extra seats. But there were half a dozen seats at a counter and the staff started seating couples behind me at the counter, completely ignoring me.
I had been asked if I was OK with sitting at the counter and I had said yes. I have no problem with that. It’s usually a good experience eating with other diners.
More people left the counter seating and I thought, surely it won’t be long now. But I was wrong. Another couple behind me got seated at the counter. Time passed and eventually my patience ran out. Even though there were spare seats at the countwr, no-one came near me. So I took one last look at the menu, sighed, put it down and walked out.
I’m sorry Masala Zone, this is not how to treat your customers. I had been looking forward to a nice meal in your restaurant but I am not prepared to be repeatedly overlooked.
Your menu looked interesting, it’s just a shame I’ll never be able to recommend it and your restaurant as I didn’t get the opportunity to sample it.