If you’re looking to spice up your lunch or dinner you should head over to Masala Indian Restaurant at 39-26 61st Street in Woodside. The only downside to this restaurant is trying to find parking, but that is an insignificant hiccup in your dining experience.
The service is quick and friendly, you are seated immediately and your water glass is filled and refilled. You are engulfed in comfort with the dim lighting, Indian music being played low, and the scent of intoxicating curry floating gently through the air.
There is a great menu with decent prices, a variety of red and white wines, and great lunch specials. The floor plan is open which allows you to see the bar and further back their wine selections. The kitchen is separated from view by two deep red curtains. The colorful art on the walls adds to the beautifully relaxing feel of the restaurant. The romantic feel is great for dining with friends or that special someone.
When you order a lunch special, which is a curry of your choice, you have the option of a soup or salad, and a plate of rice pilaf accompanies each special. The soup is very flavorful, if not a bit cilantro heavy, it is rich and has a slice of lime. Remember to stir your soup before enjoying it, because at the bottom is a great humus that adds texture and great flavor to it.
The salad has a great yogurt dressing that emphasizes the freshness of the vegetables. This salad is what spring is all about. This is not your boring everyday salad, there is, of course – lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers but you’ll find chickpeas scattered to add a great texture.
Both the chicken and the beef curry, are amazingly flavorful and are most importantly, fork tender. The chicken curry has a potent cilantro flavor, whereas the beef is a richer curry that has a bit more heat. Not to fret – the heat is not something you will need milk or bread to squelch.
The long grain pilaf is a great pairing, it really holds the curry sauce perfectly. The portions of the food were great for lunch; they were filling but not to the point of unbuttoning your pants. This food will satisfy even the pickiest eater.
Craving dessert? Taking the more familiar path you can choose the mango ice cream. It is smooth and satisfying and you almost feel like you are eating the fruit. This ice cream must be homemade, but if you are big on ice cream this is definitely something you need to try.
If you’re feeling more adventurous you should try the Gulab Jamun. This popular dessert is homemade fried cheese balls soaked in honey with a splash of rosewater. This dessert is a warming, heavenly bite. If no one told you they were cheese balls you would not have guessed it. They are sweet and amazingly soft and even if you haven’t had them before it transports you back to childhood. The sweet satisfying flavor is given freshness from the rosewater.
Two lunch specials, and two desserts cost about $24. Now tell me that is not a great deal. Great food at a great price what more can you ask for?
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