We've been to Masala Magic several times over the last few years. In the past the food was good but not fantastic. Recently a new owner, named Assad, took over the restaurant and we found a dramatic, positive difference in the food and service. Equally as important, he hired a new chef that clearly is amazing.
It had been a while since we ate here so we decided to head over and see if we could catch the lunch buffet they serve every day. It was almost 2 o'clock so I was a little concerned that we would end up with cold food that had been sitting a long time. Not so. The food was all fresh and piping hot.
Everything we had was fantastic. I'm not sure of the names of all the dishes but there was Tandoori chicken, two other chicken dishes in sauce, a goat curry, spinach, okra, two types of rice, a cauliflower dish and a dish made with peas and sauce with cubes of paneer, as well as several others. Each dish was clearly handmade, rather than the “out of a can” one sometimes finds in Indian places, and tasted fresh, exploding with authentic flavor.
There were also the usual side sauces: Raita, Tamarind chutney, mint sauce and salty/spicy mixed pickle, all of which I believe were handmade from scratch rather than decanted from jars.
The Naan bread - all we could eat - was fresh and hot and perfectly fired in a clay oven, absolutely tip-top. We also tried the salty lassi, which was bursting with flavors of cumin and other spices, extraordinarily different and better than any other savory lassi I had ever had. We’ve seen them bring out mango lassi as well, and it appeared to be made on the spot with fresh mangos. Unlike in other places, they did not skimp on the lassi, refilling my glass of it when I wished without extra charge.
We’ve now eaten there several times in the last couple of weeks and each time the quality has been superb, with no hiccups or problems. If there ever was an issue, I know that the owner would instantly make it right.
Bottom line: I’ve had better Indian food at only one place in the world, at a world-class restaurant in Tokyo with a 5-star Bombay chef. If you have the time and money, feel free to fly to Japan. Otherwise, just drive on over to Masala Magic near Potomac Mills, and tell them Dave and Beth sent you. Assad knows us now, and soon he’ll know you.
PS, We recommend the buffet as the best value and also thought you'd like to know they have a free poker tournament every Thursday night at 7PM.
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