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At the edge of Jeonju’s Hanok Village, known for traditional Korean food and houses, is one of a few restaurants that is distinctly NON-Korean:  Masala, a Delhi-style Indian shop with an expansive menu, warm staff, and spicy curries.  Such a restaurant is in some ways out of place in this area where tourists seek Korean fare. However, it serves as a welcome rest for those tiring of bibimbap and the like, and is a standard go-to for area expats.

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Location aside, the menu makes Masala worth a trip, whether visiting from out of town or just driving from across town. The restaurant’s Korean owner and Indian chef (from Delhi) worked together for many years in restaurants in Seoul before opening this eatery, learning beforehand exactly what to tweak and provide.  One feature the owner devised was a lavish set menu of meat skewers, with jumbo shrimp, mushrooms, fish and more options coated in Indian spices and served alongside a selection of curries.  These sets are no doubt the most visually impressive and mouth-watering dishes on the menu, despite the relatively higher price (still only 15-30,000 per person).

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For those wanting something more standard or simple, the Jeonju Masala of course also offers pages upon pages of curries, including 3 halal lamb curries and a full page of vegetarian options (10-15,000, on average).  Arguably, the best choice is the simple butter chicken, which is undeniably outstanding.  As for the spice level, some say the spiciest of the spicy dishes don’t “kick” as much as they ought to, but the flavor mostly makes up for this.

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To visit Masala or peruse their menu, seek them out at www.facebook.com/JeonjuMasala.

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