Masala Grill & Bar sits on the corner of Wrocław’s main market square. Known locally as simply, rynek. The restaurant tantalizes passersby with the aroma of pungent spices. Colorful kaleidoscope vibrant chairs and lights contrast with cooler, contemporary grey walls. The Northern Indian decor is curated with a masterful restraint. Hidden gems await in the menu.
Borrowed Indian Sun
It seemed Wrocław borrowed some of India’s sun on the hot afternoon I visited. The charming staff oversaw a sleepy dining room, guests lolled in the heat of the summer afternoon and their dishes. My waitress was quick to point out the vegan options on the menu (which were also marked). An Indian chef will always be a vegan’s friend. Masala’s team didn’t disappoint. Masala offers a lunch set which gives you a taste of many dishes. My version included a lightly dressed salad, basmati rice, and Dal Tadka. This was set off by buckwheat naan and washed down with chili-infused ‘hot and spicy’ lemonade.
The selling point of this selection has to be the visual allure. Arriving on a tire sized tray it’s a veritable feast. The chefs flirt with our palates, with such scope they tease us with spice, acidity, earthiness, and sweetness. The salad was a crisp start with fresh vegetables handled simply. The dressing offered just enough acidity to wake up the taste buds. The basmati rice was lightly seasoned and begged to be mixed with the creamy, aromatic dal. The dal itself was a lesson in the efficient use of spice.
The rich, warming spice mix played beautifully with the earthy flavor of the lentils. A silky sauce enveloped the tomatoes, onions, peppers, and fresh herbs. However, the real star of the show for me was the buckwheat naan. Each bite was a tender, nutty elevation of the humble grain. I quenched my thirst on an unusual concoction of citrus and spice. The lemonade was a bright mix of lemons, limes, and just enough sugar. The real kicker came as I reached the bottom of my glass, where the chili was lurking. The combination was surprising but very refreshing.
Authentic Northern Indian Cuisine
During my visit, I had the pleasure of meeting the owner, Mr. Kartikey Johri. As a member of the honorary consulate of India in Poland, it’s obvious his passion for his country and culture hasn’t waned on leaving. He is the mastermind behind the restaurant. His attention to detail and care is impressive. He is also a very cultured man, with a huge interest in poetry. The creative mentality he nurtures in his staff has led to the success of this sophisticated restaurant.
Masala offers an authentic taste of Northern India. They cook all their food in tandoor ovens, which reach up to 400 degrees! For the more adventurous eater, they even offer ‘real deal’ dishes such as goat and spinach soup. For herbivores and omnivores alike it comes highly recommended. If you’re looking for high-quality Indian food, you’ve found your spot.
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