As things continue to evolve during this coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, every industry is learning how to quickly adapt to change. From major events cancelling or postponing indefinitely to Broadway going dark until at least April 21, NYC may actually be able to finally get some sleep. With food and water leaving the shelves as quickly as the staff can get it stocked, NYC restaurants are an essential part making sure the city eats.
As of March 16 at 8pm, NYC restaurants and bars were forced to close their doors for dine-in service until further notice. However, take-out and delivery are still allowed and bars can now sell alcohol to-go. Delivery services such as DoorDash, Seamless & GrubHub have deferred commissions to help support restaurants without the current infrastructure to support a delivery and takeout exclusive model. Additionally, no contact delivery protocols have been put in place in an attempt to mitigate the spread of this virus.
At a time when even traveling locally has become challenging, it’s comforting to know that you can take a cultural fermata and support a new local business all in the same bite! Masti Indian Grill and Chaat Bar opened in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on January 22 with a mission to deliver authentic Indian street food and masterful British style Indian curries.
Husband and wife duo Linda Mahkovec and Ruhel Amin may be new to Brooklyn, but with 30 years under their belts in the culinary world, they definitely aren’t new to the industry. Ruhel is the restaurateur behind Harlem restaurants Mumbai Masala and River Thai. This new venture, Masti, diversifies the options currently available on the Brooklyn Indian dining scene.
Executive Chef Abdul Jabber prepares chaats and curries combining his personal roots in Bangladesh and his professional roots at London’s Famous Curry Bazaar. The menu includes starters like Achari Guchi Tikka, a traditional dish of pickled mushrooms; Chapli, spiced minced lamb patties with green chilies; and Kurkuri Bhindi, crispy okra with lemon and chaat masala.
The Pao Bhaji, a popular street food in Bombay, is highlighted as well and made with mashed tomatoes, cauliflower and potatoes, served with fresh hot oven baked bread. Curries are made fresh daily and can include chicken, lamb, bone-in goat, shrimp, vegetables, or paneer. You’ll find the classic Brick Lane Curry on the menu along with 15 other options to choose from. The Achari pickled curry with onion seeds, garlic, and fresh herbs and the Chettinad Curry made with black pepper from the house of Chettiyars are unique to Matsi and can’t be found anywhere else in NY.
The restaurant’s menu is designed to make it easy for diners to identify vegetarian and vegan dishes while also offering some creative chef specials that make you want to hold off on your regular order of samosas to ensure you have enough room to give them a try.
Matsi curry bar couldn’t have opened at a more perfect time. As actual cultural exploration comes to a halt, the possibilities for culinary exploration are wide open. You may not be able to experience the relaxed, homely dining environment of Masti Indian Grill and Chaat Bar any time soon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have their delicious food delivered to your home. Masti take out or delivery orders can be placed with the following delivery services seamless, trycaviar, postmates, doordash, delivery, grubhub.
By Brandy Cochrane, Plant Candy