High-end Indian restaurant Roasted Masala has thrown its chef’s hat into the Upper West Side dining scene, and with it, a pinch of coriander, cumin, and turmeric.
Roasted Masala, located at 914 Columbus Avenue between 104th and 105th street, opened on Dec. 21. The restaurant serves sit down lunch and dinner—white tablecloth style—with an option for takeout. Roasted Masala is open seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., closing between 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
The restaurant connects high-end plates with traditional family style dishes that can be shared by the table. The expansive menu has several main courses featuring a variety of choices, including chicken, beef, goat, lamb, seafood, vegan, and vegetarian. The menu also includes several types of traditional breads, such as dosas or naan.
Members of the management staff Jawad Rehman and Samson Severes are proud of the originality and quality of their menu, claiming several of their dishes are unique in New York. Some of their most prized dishes include the beef nihari, malai kofta, and lamb cafreal.
While currently working to condense the menu that features over 100 options, Severes and Rehman note that the dishes and cuisine are drawn from the management team’s different Indian backgrounds.. The menu is a combination of modern dishes not typically found in high-end restaurants and traditional dishes typically eaten on special occasions.
Rehman and Severes bring a combined 18 years of experience in the restaurant industry to their first restaurant venture. The partners chose the venue for its reasonable rent and location.
“It was a very fine balance between what we were getting for our money, [and we’ve] had experience working on the West Side. It is generally a very good neighborhood,” said Rehman.
Even after two years of searching for a perfect location for the restaurant, the owners were determined to refurbish. The renovated interior took six weeks to perfect before opening. The bar and bathrooms were redecorated, but the large seating interior was left largely untouched. Freshly painted gray walls have golden mirrors hanging off them and gold foil pressed into them, pulling the eye upwards to the high ceilings and—following the ritzy color schematic—golden chandeliers.
Unlike some restaurants, Roasted Masala cooks every meal from scratch.
A meal at Roasted Masala will cost upwards of $25 a person, with shareable appetizers ranging from $7 to $14 a plate. Main courses cost from $14 for chicken and vegan dishes to $25 for seafood dishes. Desserts and specialty plates cost around $6 each. The lunch menu is a limited selection from the dinner menu, but from 11:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. is 50 percent off.
While the eatery is a 15-minute walk from campus, Rehman and Severes are confident that the restaurant’s quality will draw people to dine at Roasted Masala.
“I think if the food is good, people will come from Broadway and Amsterdam ... We’re always looking for good food, so I’m sure that’s going to do the trick for [the restaurant].”