Mysttik Masaala Offers Indian, Tibetan and Nepali From a Cart
On my walk to Clarke Standard, I’d noticed a line that snaked out the door and curved around the building… and when I peeked inside, there was even more line to go! What was this amazing place that so many Midtown workers were spending precious lunch minutes waiting to consume? … It was Dishes. Yes, Dishes – so I continued on my merry way, except I noticed a cart outside this line that also attracted its share of people… the Mysttik Masaala cart, which boasts Indian, Tibetan and Nepali items. The menu and more after the jump
There’s a rotating menu of fairly standard Indian items listed on the cart itself, then a paper menu in the window that tells you what’s up for the day. I’m not well-versed in Indian food, but recognized chicken tikka masala as the dish my best friend gets whenever we eat Indian (I get butter chicken or korma; I’m a huge fan of Anglo-Indian food). As I was ordering, however, I decided I should try some momos as well – those famed dumplings – but they were out of both veggie and chicken. Sadface… so I added on an order of aloo tikki instead, which the guy informed me were like potato cakes. $4 for 2
He tossed the two potato croquettes into a paper bag which quickly soaked through from the grease. The croquettes were super dense and heavy – heavier than they looked – but spiced nicely, and pretty tasty. But even better? Those packages of tamarind sauce on the side, which holy heck was so good. I thought “Indian ketchup?” because I wanted to start eating it straight from the package (don’t look at me like that; who here didn’t eat ketchup straight from the package as a kid?). I wished I had more when the potatoes were done. This was a good, but heavy – both from grease and just density of potatoes – snack. I initially thought it was a little pricy for the size, but given how full one could get off it…
And then my chicken tikka masala lunch box – now THIS is a lot of food. I mean, A LOT. After scooping each item into its own individual little section, then ladling some lentils on top of my rice, he also ladled more chicken tikka masala and sauce onto the rice. What. Yep – more food. The little bit of stew-vegetable stuff in the top right was actually heavily spiced and a little too spicy for me, while the chicken sadly was fairly overcooked and had that dry/stringy texture as a result. The sauce was too thin to be of much use on my rice or anything, but the flavors were right.
I mean… Indian food for under $10 from a cart, you get what you pay for. It is definitely not amazing but if you’re really adamant about spending less than $10 for lunch but want Indian food, this is probably your place. I was super stuffed after eating everything (okay, I left some rice), which means you big eaters will be satisfied with it.
THE + (what people who like this will say)
- Indian food for less than $10!
- I like the variety offered and not knowing what’s going to be that day’s choices
- I celebrate Rishi too!
THE – (what people who don’t like this place will say)
- I would prefer to pay more for better quality Indian food
- I like to know what I can/will order before I go to a place
- It’s too spicy
Mysttik Masaala – northeast corner of Park Avenue and 54th Street, outside Dishes (I don’t think they have a Twitter, though someone told me they have other locations)