Location: 95 MacDougal Street
Items: 2 appetizers, 2 Tandoori plates, 2 curries, 1 bread, 1 dessert
Best Dish: Indian food is easy to get in NY but good Naan isn’t and the naan here is excellent. It is fresh and served warm. You must also help yourself to any of the curries the spice mix used is all flavor without the tongue blasting heat you would expect from Indian food.
Overall: Great food and friendly atmosphere
Indian food is a surprisingly plentiful cuisine in the heart of NYC. With small places cropping up all over the city it came as no surprise to find Mirch Masala among the new curry palaces in our fair city. We ventured to this quaint eatery just last week for dinner. Initially the space was as quiet as one would expect on a Monday night but not long after my arrival other diners started filing in filling the space with happy excited diners. The space is small, and easily filled so when visiting try to arrive early or call first if you have a party over 3 people. Despite the tiny space the kitchen produces some big flavors with bold, aromatic spices and an assortment of fresh herbs. We normally start with a round of cocktails but Mirch Masala does not serve such things, thankfully the space does allow diners to bring their own wine and beer. We enjoyed a bottle of Maison Louis Latour, Pinot Noir with our meal. Despite having the red wine we kept our meal mainly to fish and chickens, we were feeling rebellious.
We started with the “Chicken Reshmi Roll” and “Chicken Samosas”. The roll is made of minced chicken, spices and red onions rolled into fresh homemade Paratha bread. It is more or less an Indian twist on a classic chicken roll, and it is delicious. The chicken is moist and tender and the roll is buttery and fresh.
Samosas are one of my favorite Indian snacks. The Samosas at Mirch are amazing. The outer crust is crispy and the inside is filled with potatoes, minced chicken raisins and cashew nuts. The samosas and the roll were served with chutneys for dipping.
For our next course we tasted the “Malai Chicken Tikka”. The Malai chicken is comprised of boneless morsels of chicken that have been marinated in sour cream, lemon juice, ginger and carlic. The chicken is so tender and juicy it can be eaten alone, but we loved it with a serving of chutney and creamy raita (yogurt sauce).
We also had one of their savory tandoori dishes. We love seafood so we skipped the poultry and lamb and went right for the prawns. Succulent tiger prawns are marinated in lemon juice, strained yogurt ginger and garlic paste with an assortment of spices.
We couldn’t leave Mirch without sampling the exquisite curries offered. We enjoyed the classic “Chicken Tikka Masala” a lightly spiced blend of boneless chicken in a savory tomato based sauce.
The “Bombay Fish Masala was our next curry. Fresh fish filet was simmered in a tangy curry sauce with coconut, ginger garlic and Indian spices. The sauce was perfectly paired with a generous helping of basmati rice.
In addition to rice we also enjoyed fresh garlic naan. The bread was warm and delicious we dipped it into the two curries for an extra tasty bite.
We couldn’t leave without having some dessert. Kulfi is an Indian homemade ice cream that was once only served to royalty. My companion and I certainly felt like nobility sampling the rich creamy confection. We ordered both mango and pistachio.
Mirch Masala is a small BYOB eatery that truly caters to its customers. Despite the close quarters the space is warm and inviting with a communal atmosphere. The staff is friendly and ready to offer a pleasant smile as well as advice on the right dishes for you palate. What Mirch lacks in size it provides in service and quality. Visit http://www.masalamac.com/ and place an online order for a sweet discount, or drop by their location for a great meal at a reasonable price.