At first glance, you’d expect to be greeted by someone in a tuxedo and be required to wear a jacket. The palace-like feel of Roasted Masala, a new upper west side Indian restaurant is enchanting. It’s beautiful chandeliers, high ceilings, and gold accents make you feel regal yet very comfortable at the same time. You forget you just walked off the streets of NYC once you’re inside and know instantly you are in for an experience. The first lesson Roasted Masala teaches us is not to judge a book by its cover. What could have easily been an evening of fussy complicated food based on the decor alone, ended up feeling like you were having dinner with your friend’s Indian mom who came in town and cooked for the weekend.
There is a moment in the animated picture Ratatouille when the food critic takes a bite of his meal and is transported back to his childhood. Roasted Masala manages to create a similar homely experience in the middle of its upscale space designed by Stellar Design NYC. The food is simple, familiar, and comforting. This hidden treasure serves the northern Indian dishes of Chef Jawad Rehman’s grandfather. From a young age Chef Rehman found inspiration from the cuisine his granddad made for large and lavish Indian weddings.
Chef Rehman manages to capture these lavish flavors and humbly delivered them into each dish. Each item was served with beautiful edible food art ranging from radish flowers to shaved scallions. The menu features appetizers like Spinach Chaat, a lightly fried spinach fritter and Recheado Shrimp, spiced with curry leaves, vinegar, and Goan chili. Chicken Xacuti, cooked in roasted spices pureed with coconut; Goan Fish Curry, with melt in your mouth Chilean sea bass in a flavor packed coconut sauce and Xec Xec Crab meatballs infused with a specialty Roasted Masala sauce are amongst the entrees.
You’ll also find classic Indian breads like naan, roti and poori. In addition, Roasted Masala offers Kati Rolls, a popular street food in Bombay in a variety of flavors. Roasted Masala is a great option for groups with varied diets looking for a place that serves Indian comfort food worth leaving home for. Roasted Masala also features weekly rotating Indo-Chinese and tandoori specials and a fifty percent off lunch special.
By Brandy Cochrane, Plant Candy