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“Superb Indian” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The MasalaWala

The MasalaWala
179 Essex St, New York City, NY 10002-1547 (Lower East Side)
+1 212-358-9300
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Ranked #116 of 12,022 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Indian, Pakistani
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Delivery, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Lower East Side
Cross street: East Houston Street
Transit: MTA Subway: 2 Ave. (F) Delancey St. (F) Essex St. (J, M, Z)
Sedona, Arizona
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Superb Indian”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2013

This tiny restaurant, seriously off the beaten path, features marvelously prepared dishes from different Indian cuisines. Go with a bunch of people so you can share and compare. This is the best deal for Indian food in NYC, better than the Jackson Diner, and that's saying something. And there's street parking.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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212 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    149
    38
    14
    4
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Top Contributor
159 reviews 159 reviews
106 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
“Just what I wanted!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2013

When I planned my trip to NYC I knew ahead of time that I wanted to find a wonderful Indian restaurant so I checked Tripadvisor. Of the 175 Indian Restaurants in NYC, The MasalaWala was ranked as #3 (I couldn't afford to eat at the #1 & 2) and having checked their menu online I was sold. When I got off the plane at JFK I made my way to Manhattan, dropped off my stuff at the hostel, and then made my way directly to the restaurant. I was starving and very excited to finally try the food. I got there about 1:30 p.m on a Friday afternoon. First I was surprised at how very small the restaurant is, a lot smaller than I imagined! Secondly, I was very concerned that when I went in there wasn't a single occupied table. Where was everyone? What did this mean? A friend was on his way to meet me for lunch but I went ahead an ordered the Chai and an order of Vegetarian Samosas. While I waited I saw that they were doing a fair bit of business with carry out and delivery orders which made me feel a bit better. I figure they must be a lot busier at dinner time. As small as they are, at dinner you must really need a reservation! The Chai was lovely and the Samosas were divine. My friend arrived and as this was his first time having Indian it was lovely to have the personal attention of the owner and the wait-staff to answer his questions. I ordered the Chicken Tikka Masala, salad, Garlic Naan, Mango Lassi and we split another order of Samosas. All of it was wonderful, hot, and pleasently presented on modern white dishes. I was especially pleased that when we paid how affordable it was. I paid for all of the dishes mentioned and with taxes and tip it was only $27.96!! Of course this is lunch prices so dinner will be more expensive, but I left full and with leftovers to give to my friend! I highly recommend. If you are from a larger city with lots of Indian options then you may not be as impressed but I only have two Indian restaurants near me and they don't even come close to The MasalaWala!

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
“A must have foodi experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

My boyfriend and I were wondering the streets and came upon this little South Asian/Indian restaurant. There were no tables inside, but the owner made us very comfortable outside whilst we waited. We had two dishes, the Lamb Korma and a vegetable dish which were out of this world. The service was super friendly, and I'm yet to find another asian dish in America this good, and good for you. The dishes were rushed out, but as we were heading out and were extremely hungry it was perfect. I suggest if you want a quick and delicious meal, head here and get your asian on.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Austin, Texas
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Simply Divine Dining”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2013

Tastiest tikka, sinfully good saag, and nonpareil naan. Best service in lower manhattan. The space is small, but cozy and intimate. Best Indian food we've had in NYC and will definitely go back . Mr Masalawala is exceptionally friendly and visits each table to ensure a fine dining experience . Loved this place!!

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Baltimore, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Wonderful food!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013 via mobile

Delicate fusion of flavors. The vegetable biryani which accompanied the mixed tandori grill was unusually flavorful. When a restaurant is able to make this ubiquitous item on Indian food menus distinctive, you've found a special place. Don't miss the deep fried cauliflower appetizer -a little bit spicy. Our teen who usually dislikes vegetables loved it. Our shrimp dish had 5 large shrimp which were cooked with the proper amount of firmness. Even though all our New York activities were midtown on this trip, going to the lower east side for this meal was worth it. We will definitely go back.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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