Masala Art, spice masters of India's culinary craft
Masala Art still stands tall in Shanghai’s food scene, after 16 years in operation, and never falls short in serving the most authentic Northern Indian cuisine in town.
The restaurant has a much bigger and brighter dining space on Dagu Road now, than it did on its inception all of those years ago and, of course, the menu has expanded as well. Masala Art has managed to integrate all the classic Indian staples and street snacks with almost every dish available from the country’s northern part.
Service is attentive and unobtrusive, and all the staff are Indian and long time residents of the city. They are happy to guide you and introduce their country’s food.
The menu is large and organized into several categories, from tandoori specialties, curries to Indian breads and biryani. Stopping by for a night meal, I decided to go for the tandoori specialty, curry, appetizer and naan for two to share.
My dinner started with the Badami murg (79 yuan) which is boneless chicken cubes marinated with Indian almonds, dry coriander and fresh flavored spinach.
A range of sauces was presented to pair with the grilled meat. The mint sauce, a true mark of any great Indian restaurant, was somewhat bland though.
The chicken tandoori meat was fragrant and tasty while the mint sauce offered a hint of cooling and offered a spicy note. The mutton rogan josh (69 yuan), tender boneless lamb cubes spiced in traditional Kashmir red gravy, however, lacked any punch.
The appetizer aloo tikki chaat (crispy fried baby potatoes topped with tangy yoghurt and mint sauce) (59 yuan) was one of my favorites here. It featured an interesting mix of sweet yoghurt, sour tamarind sauce and a hint of pepper. But what will always draw me back to Masala Art is its offering of genuine Indian breads from naan, parantha, roti, kulcha to my favorite papadum.
Don’t forget to order a bottle of Indian beer. It’s ideal to pair with the restaurant’s flavorsome plates. If you come between noon and 6pm, you can try the snack menu.
Opening hours: 11am-10pm
Address: 397 Dagu Rd
Average price: 180 yuan