Mysttik Masala Brings Momos to Midtown East
Luncher Brad gave us the scoop a couple weeks ago that Mysttik Masala, an Astoria-born Indian franchise, had a cart in Midtown (44th St btw 1+2nd). Brad reported good things about the cart’s food, so I figured it was worth digging a little deeper into its offerings.
Mysttik Masala’s menu features both Indian and Nepalese/Tibetan fare. On the Indian side of things, each day brings a few different specials, with options for vegetarians and carnivores alike. The vegetarian platters sell for $6, while the meat-based choices are $7-8. They’ve also got a few regular items like chaat and samosas.
On my first trip to the cart, I went with the lamb curry, which is served with rice, daal, and a vegetable. Asked if I wanted it spicy, I of course said yes, meaning my dish received a healthy squeeze of hot sauce. I was excited to try the curry dish, but what I got was a mix of good and bad.
Let’s dispense with the bad right off: there’s nowhere near enough lamb on the plate to justify an $8 price tag. I counted four decent sized chunks, plus a few pieces of potato (separate from the vegetable side, which was also potatoes). The same can be said for the daal, which I actually struggled to locate, but eventually found evidence of it on the rice.
I was also disappointed to see that a foil-wrapped item in my bag wasn’t naan, but a small salad (my fault for not looking closely at the menu), and a pretty meager one at that.
So there’s not enough lamb curry, but how did it taste. Happily, I can report that its pretty good stuff. the Indian flavors in both the potatoes and lamb curry were spot on, and the rice was well-seasoned too. Especially nice was the generous amount of fresh cilantro sprinkled on top of the rice, which added freshness to the dish.
Compared to other Indian options in Midtown East, I’m not quite sure Mysttik Masala stacks up, especially when you consider the amount of meat you get. You might pay more for lamb curry at Nirvana, but you get a good amount of tender lamb and daal, plus naan to boot.
But that’s why Mysttik Masala is a bit deceiving. Their Indian food is the most prominent, but its the Nepalese/Tibetan option – momos – that are their can’t-miss offerings.
Mysttik Masala features three type of momos, which are basically dumplings: vegetable, chicken, and meat (not sure what type). They’re also made fresh each morning, so there’s a limited amount each day.
I chose the chicken, and was blown away. The round dumplings were doused in squirts of hot sauce and a yellow sauce, which the internet tells me might be a sesame momo sauce, and covered in chopped cilantro. Inside each round dumpling was a mixture of moist chicken and herbs.
The chicken is not ground, as in some dumpling, but chopped into small pieces, leaving its texture intact. Combined with the yellow sauce, the momos tasted like a fusion of Indian and Chinese flavors, which is a very good thing.
Unlike the lamb curry, Mysttik Masala gives you a good amount of momos. A $6 order nets you eight decent-sized dumplings, enough to satisfy to satisfy even the hungriest Luncher. And if you don’t think its enough, you can throw in an order of samosas (two for $3 for veg, two for $4 for chicken) and still stay under the ML limit.
So that’s the story on the Mysttik Masala Cart. You can find better and bigger deals on Indian food in Midtown East, but the momos are second to none.
Mysttik Masala Cart, Parked on 44th St (btw 1+2nd), 646-377-7817