Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
Opened June 1st by veteran restaurateurs Salim Rahman (Tajmahal, Bay Leaf, Tikka Indian Grill) and Amin Ruhel (Tripti, Dipali), Mumbai Masala Indian Grill is a new eatery in the Hamilton Heights and Sugar Hill areas of New York City. I am always excited to try new restaurants, even more when they just opened and our visit at Mumbai Masala Indian Grill did not disappoint us.
I like the feel of the restaurant that has a certain warmth, thanks to the exposed brick and admired the handmade lotus flower lamps and the large photos on one of the walls that added a touch of exoticism. The interesting thing about the three large photos in the dining room is their meaning: first you get women in a market in Mumbai, then spices (masala) and then rickshaw in Dhaka, the capital of Bengladesh (Salim told me he is from there).
Menu wise, you get an array of dishes from all over India. They started off by bringing us some papadam with red onion, green and tamarind sauce. I never had a papadam like this: it was very light and literally melting in my mouth. With it we had some lassi: sweet for Jodi, mango for me, the latter being my favorite.
For appetizers, we tried two dishes. The first one was chili gobi, some cauliflower with onions and bell pepper. This was fantastic: it was like a sweet and sour vegetarian dish. At that point, I should mention that Salim explained to us that most of their food is not precooked; it might be marinated, but not precooked, so, compared to other places, it may take more time to come, but also, it probably allows them to adjust the amount of spiciness to a level expected by their customers.
The second appetizer was samosa chaat, a street food dish that is sweet and savory, and so refreshing, with some bits of crispy samosa shell, chickpeas, tamarind, yogurt and chutneys.
Then came the entrees and it was a festival of flavors. First was the tandoor veg (smaller size for us as we were trying several dishes). It was composed of paneer, as well as grilled vegetables, cooked in a tandoor oven. A pretty good dish with a nice grill flavor.
Then, two different dal that they offer as main dishes or sides: dal makhni (black lentils in a creamy sauce that have been slow cooked) and dal tadka (yellow lentils with cumin and coriander).
I am not sure which one I preferred, both being fantastic: tasty, creamy, they were amazing with some of the bread we had (luchi, a deep fried bread, and plain naan brushed with butter).
Then, the main entree was chicken tikka masala, one of my favorite Indian dishes. It was really good: creamy, the chicken was perfectly cooked.
Last was dessert. Not surprisingly, I got gulab jamun, milk balls that are deep fried and then dipped in a sugar syrup:
And kheer that is rice pudding.
It was overall a fantastic meal: the food at Mumbai Masala Indian Grill is very good and I truly appreciated that it was not overly spicy, yet very flavorful. They have a nice choice of dishes that would satisfy non-vegetarian, vegetarian as well as vegan diners. It is a nice place, located in an area where people never think about going when looking for dining options. Well, now you have a good reason to go there!
Enjoy (I did)!
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Mumbai Masala Indian Grill - 1768 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10031