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The MasalaWala
The MasalaWala

The MasalaWala Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.themasalawala.com
  • Phone: (212) 358-9300
  • Hours of Operation:

    Lunch & Dinner:

    Daily: 12:00pm - 12:00am
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Indian, Southeast Asian
  • Executive Chef: Chhimi Dorje
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Cafe, Delivery, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: We cater to all types of occasions and celebrations. From intimate events to large family or corporate banquets, our specialty is providing you excellent quality dishes that will impress your guests. We also provide live cooking stations at request for Large Banquets or Corporate Events
  • Entertainment: Designed by award-winning architecture firm, Method Design

    Inside Indian culture the MasalaWala is the purveyor of spices whose colored and textured stalls are ubiquitously found across every market. The design of The MasalaWala restaurant in the Lower East Side of New York City was influenced by the local traditions from which it originated.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: East Houston Street
  • Public Transit: MTA Subway:
    2 Ave. (F)
    Delancey St. (F)
    Essex St. (J, M, Z)
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: There is a paid parking lot attached to the restaurant, while there are available metered spots around the Essex/E. Houston Street area
A word from The MasalaWala
The MasalaWala is more than just a merchant of spice…it’s an embodiment of the inventive soul that loves the art of discovering perfect proportions. A meal here is a heart-warming experience that delicately balances tradition with adventure, delicious taste with a healthy mindset, and time-tested technique with modern technology. At The MasalaWala, we think traditional Indian deserves a new twist. Think hip. Think fresh. Think creative yet casual. Because that’s what South Asian street food is all about – and we believe these fun little dishes are truly the best food South Asia has to offer! But you'll also find signature Indian curries and the most popular entrees for those days that call for classic comfort. The MasalaWala is our way of bringing local flavor across the globe, and wrapping it up in a cozy neighborhood restaurant that appeals to all five senses.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerIndian
Diner Reviews
  • "Simply delicious food. But the highlight is the owner. He was attentive, polite, funny and made us feel special. True Indian hospitality! This is a must try place..."
    Dined on 8/11/2014
  • "A comfortable restaurant with an appealing and attentive service and fantastic food.........would return anytime."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "Great dining in this restaurant. Will be back for seconds"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "The Masala Wala is incredibly delicious and I really respect the chefs who prepared my meal. Outstanding. I will say that the service is spotty at times and not necessarily attentive. It's just so delicious though, that I will undeniably be back."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "Best meal we had in NYC (we also went to Lupa, L'Ecole and Cafe Boloud). Food was good, service great and not crazy expensive."
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "The curry and the spices are really good here. Just love it. The naan is also very tasty."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Everything we tried was really delicious. The sauces were so tasty and with basmati rice, just perfect. The service was attentive and accommodating. Couldn't have asked for a better dinner to enjoy with great friends. "
    Dined on 5/8/2014
  • "Interesting food. Host is gracious. Prices are fair."
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "The food was absolutely delicious and the owner (?) was extremely personable and attentive. He kept talking to us and checking in. We had a great laugh with him and did I mention the food was fabulous! One of the best Indian restaurants in NYC. It is a tiny place but way worth the tight quarters. A must try and return! I will be back for sure. "
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Authentic South Asian cuisine with a warm and welcoming staff!"
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "We were greeted by the owner like of friends. Food was superior, service attentive and friendly. Small cozy restaurant with matybe 15 tables. Took home leftovers and devoured them the next day!"
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "The masalawal restaurant is a small but lovely restaurant. Owner and staff are friendly and helpful. On recommendation of our waiter we tried the Kolkate Gobi Manchurian as a starter and boy it was good. A 'bit' spicy but if you can handle a little bit of heat , this dish is a perfect way to start your dinner. The main course was also to our liking. So 4 thumbs up (mine & those from my wife) for the MasalaWala and his staff!c"
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "MasalaWala is a little square box, no bigger than a very modest sized living room, but still manages to have an open, airy look and feel. My adorable server claimed to be from Mumbai but his speech and manner were decidedly urban American hip hop -- apparently the dominant cultural influence at his Mumbai private school. "That's what's up" is his standard expression of pleasure or approval. I dined solo, and he kept me well engaged, which I appreciated. Add to that the extremely reasonable prices and delicious Indian fare (their Mulligatawny Soup, especially, is about as good as it gets) and you've got a very nice, casual evening out."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "My sisters and I came here for a girl's night out and were very pleased with everything. Our table was waiting for us, the server was adorable and very attentive. He recommended some appetizers that were perfect. We had two chicken and one lamb dish. The lamb curry was my favorite! My sister doesn't even like lamb that much, but loved this dish as well. We would have enjoyed the food even more had it been spicier. Great spot!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "I had a really nice time eating here. Wonderful food, wonderful staff. Good to take a friend to. Very relaxed and casual."
    Dined on 1/14/2014
  • "Food is delicious, very generously spiced, which is going to be excellent for some (like me), and dangerous for others. They do adjust the heat by request, though, so no need to worry."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "I have been here a few times now and it has excellent food time and time again for both lunch and dinner. The food is well prepared, the service is excellent and the prices are very reasonable. I highly recommend the Lamb Vindaloo which has a great amount of flavor with the spice! They are able to customize each dish in case there are allergies in your party. They are able to accommodate Gluten Free and Dairy Free requests for a number of items on the menu which makes ordering so much easier!"
    Dined on 12/30/2013
  • "I wasn't wowed by the chicken tikka masala, but then again I'm a tough sell! The cauliflower appetizer dish was AMAZING. Tasted like sesame chicken you order from a Chinese place. no joke. Definitely go here--such sweet people that run this restaurant and they clearly care."
    Dined on 11/9/2013
  • "Great little place, would have given it 5 stars except for the fact that it was very loud the night I went. There aren't any soft surfaces to cushion the accoustics, so the sound seemed a bit harsh to me and my husband. There are outside tables, but it was chilly the night we went. It may also be because we were sitting in the corner between the window and a brick wall. All in all, great food and service. We will definitely give it another try and hope for a quieter crowd!"
    Dined on 9/22/2013
  • "Owner/manager was very friendly, food was good. Intimate space."
    Dined on 9/20/2013
  • "Great food and great service!! Would highly recommend to others seeking authentic Indian food."
    Dined on 9/1/2013
  • "Delicious food, complimented by Mr. Masala Wala's tremendous hospitality. He gives great recommendations so I would ditch the menu and go with what he suggests. Only complaint was they were really quick with the food, which rushed us through the meal a bit."
    Dined on 8/31/2013
  • "The restaurant is small, but the wait staff is decent. The flavors are good, if a bit toned down. The owner came by to check on us with each course, which my b/f found annoying but I thought was charming."
    Dined on 8/30/2013
  • "Friendly service and authentic tasty Indian cuisine. Portions are ample and the food is delicious. A great find in LES."
    Dined on 8/24/2013
  • "This place is very small so I wouldn't recommend it for groups larger than 4. The servers were all very nice and the owner came over to the table several times to check on us. I was a little disappointed in the lamb vindaloo. The lamb itself was a little dry and the vindaloo wasn't as spicy as it is at most other places. I'm giving it 4 stars because even when it got a little crowed and people were waiting for tables we were not rushed and the service was very good. My date had the chicken tikka massala and really enjoyed it."
    Dined on 8/2/2013
  • "A bit too loud for my taste. Also, I felt the food had a bit more sugar than reqd."
    Dined on 8/1/2013
  • "Came here with a party of 7 people and could not have had a better time. The owner is the sweetest man ever and the food was delicious. Will definitely be back!"
    Dined on 5/30/2013
  • "Quick and easy though tight seating. Had cauliflower fritters (like sweet & sour pork), chicken tikka and shrimp in spinach. Very tasty. Owner also stopped by briefly."
    Dined on 4/12/2013
  • "Nice ambiance. Owner and servers were very hepful. Indian food was fantastic"
    Dined on 3/23/2013
  • "Really lovely Indian food - quite a few "different" dishes to your standard indian fare. Very charming service. Would definitely be back when in neighbourhood."
    Dined on 3/8/2013
  • "We had a birthday party with 16 people and the food and device was great."
    Dined on 3/5/2013
  • "Fantastic, fantastic experience. The MasalaWala was sublime."
    Dined on 3/2/2013
  • "We had a great food at this restaurant. It is well worth for the money spend."
    Dined on 2/20/2013
  • "Food tasted great, but left a 3-day lingering effect on both diners. Breadbasket was fabulous, Chicken Jalfreezi a sweeter sauce than expected. Cauliflower appetizer and Spicy chicken appetizers were nice starter. Owner was ever-present, somewhat of a character but very involved and engaged with every table. Small restaurant, we had reservations and were still seated next to the front door."
    Dined on 2/15/2013
  • "We've been here three times now, and it's definitely the best Indian restaurant we've found in the city. The prices are very reasonable, and the wine list is well-suited to spicy food. The chaats are especially good."
    Dined on 2/2/2013
  • "It's a small space so I would recommend making a reservation. We arrived around 8pm and there were about 1/3 of the tables open, but they filled up within minutes. The staff is very attentive and service was very quick. When our food wasn't up to our spicy standards they didn't hesitate to send it back and return it to us a minute later. The owner is very amiable and takes his time to say hello and check in with each table."
    Dined on 2/1/2013
  • "Excellent food. The owner was very friendly. I highly recommend!"
    Dined on 2/1/2013
  • "As my friends and I entered this small yet cozy Indian restaurant on a Friday evening, the setting is modern, clean, and dim lit. We found our long table, which was simply four small tables put together, against the wall with a "Reserved" place card on top. The owner was on-site and extremely friendly, maybe too friendly because he kept on checking up on us, which made us feel a little bit uncomfortable. However, he did make us all feel like we were guests in his own home so it was very welcoming to a certain extent I guess. My main course was the Goan Fish Curry. I thought the fish curry was a little heavy on the mustard seeds, but it is just personal taste. Overall, my party and I had a good time despite the mixed feelings."
    Dined on 2/1/2013
  • "Great food, great prices and wonderful service. We went for a birthday celebration on a Sunday evening with a party of nine. Upon arrival we met "The Masalawala" (the merchant of spices) who was so charming and funny. He recommended a few specialty dishes that were beyond delicious. The Kolkata Gobi Manchurian (cauliflower bites) and the Chingri Malaikari (shrimp dish) were fantastic along with the regulars, lamb korma, chicken tikka masala and jalfrezi. And, they brought out tasty, complimentary cake for the birthday girl! I would highly recommend this place for a fun night out with great food at a good price!"
    Dined on 1/20/2013
  • "Good food and very reasonable prices. I would recommend for a quick bite as it's quite small."
    Dined on 1/18/2013