Big flavors and a multiplicity of Asian influences inform the fare at the new Masala Wok & Grill in Selden, newly opened in the former quarters of Kiran Palace.
The menu reads: “Indo Pak style Chinese Thai grill restaurant,” which sounds about right. There's an informal counter service eatery on one side, an attractive dining room on the other. That space is open to anybody who orders off the roster of “quick bites” (curries, biryanis and the like) from the counter, priced $3.99 to $8.99 and geared to students at nearby Suffolk Community College and Stony Brook University. Owner Shivaji Pathak said there’s Wi-Fi in both rooms.
At dinner, recently, I was impressed with the “spicy lemon coriander soup” ($4.95) which was complex and citrusy, if not quite fiery enough. “Hakka chilly chicken,” ($10.95) boneless pieces pan-fried with herbs and chilies, had amazing flavor. Requested extra spicy, it came medium-hot. pad Thai with shrimp ($11.95) was exemplary and I could not get enough of the crisp, addictive paratha ($2), whole wheat Indian flatbread.
Although the restaurant’s name might sound similar to that of a Hicksville spot, Pathak declared the place a totally independent operation.
Masala Wok & Grill is at 1228 Middle Country Rd., Selden, 631-320-3255