Center City Philadelphia, PA - Oh my masala! I’m a big fan of Indian food and the Halal Guys. Masala Kitchen tastes like both of those fabulous things combined! Their specialty is healthy, fast casual Indian featuring Kati Rolls and platters- and yes they even have that yummy white sauce and spicy red hot sauce that I love.
The former Marabella Meatball Co. at 12th and Walnut has been transformed into Masala Kitchen. In January 2016, former owner, Vaishal Soni and chef, Arjum Thakur of Spice End moved on to Masala Kitchen (MK) to turn Indian cuisine into healthier, fast casual dining. They have Kati rolls, which feature some of our favorite Indian flavors wrapped up in a naan style bread for around $4-5/roll (2 are recommended for a meal). The platters are huge and all under $10!
I’ve always loved Indian food, but this was my first time trying a Kati Roll. Its a street-food dish originating from Kolkata, India. In its original form, it is a skewer-roasted kebab wrapped in a paratha bread. Since I heard no where else in the city serves this dish, I decided to try the Chicken Masala Roll and I LOVED it. Chicken Masala is chunks of chicken cooked in a creamy tomato sauce. The roll also has sliced red onion and the option to add egg. These Kati Rolls are surely the best way to eat Indian on the run. The paratha bread is thinner and softer than naan, very similar to a wrap. The chef is also working on developing gluten-free bread for customers. For now there are rice based dishes for gluten-free patrons and numerous vegetarian options.
For the strongest traditional Indian flavors try the Chicken Kheema Roll or the Paneer Platter (vegetarian). The Healthy Sprout Roll with beet root and crispy cabbage is also a great vegetarian option. Two rolls are recommended for a meal.
If you’re super hungry or super into the Halal Guys you MUST try a platter. The Chicken and Rice is most similar to Halal Guys and I tried the MK Special. Luckily they’ve got big squeeze bottles of the white and read sauce so I could load up my platter. The pita and rice helped me cool down after too much hot sauce. The shredded lettuce helped me pretend I was having a side salad and being healthy.
For dessert or a mid-day snack they have Mango and Rose Lassi. Lassi is a traditional yogurt based Indian drink. Mango is the traditional flavor, but trust me, try something new and grab a Rose Lassi. The chef makes it with fresh rose petals and its so unique and delicious. Plus its pink and who doesn’t love that?
I honestly can’t wait to come back, between the flavors and the prices, this spot is sure to be a big hit. Their delivery is available all over the city by a messenger on a cute electric bike, plus they’re open till midnight on weekdays and have late night hours till 3:30 am on Friday and Saturday! They also have a super affordable catering menu, and I might just have to drop on my boss’ desk....
Address: 1211 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107