I have been missing authentic Indian food since we moved here. None of the restaurants we’ve visited (Bombay Hall, India Palace, Mela) have hit the spot. After months of asking around, I’ve heard Mustafa come up over and over again. So, we took the opportunity to stop by for dinner. On the second floor of a building at Medical and and Fairhaven, Mustafa is a hidden gem. Without the word of mouth recommendations, we would have never heard about it. Sooo glad we did!
Mustafa Restaurant is an off-shoot of the original grocery store. The grocery store has pretty much everything you could want if you are planning on making your own Indian/Pakistani cuisine. We picked up a jar of a household necessity – tamarind chutney. The restaurant is connected to the grocery store by way of a little hallway. Before you enter the casual little restaurant area, you order at the counter by writing your choices on a paper menu (like a sushi place.) We were tricked into ordering way more than we could eat because the prices were so reasonable. We thought that given the prices, the portions would be pretty small.. like snack size. This was not the case at all, and so, we ended up with enough leftovers to last through dinner tomorrow as well!
We started with the onion pakora and vegetable samosas. Pakora is like a fritter… veggies, cheese, or even meats covered in a spicy batter and deep fried. These onion pakoras had a delicious batter on them, just the right amount of spicy. However, they seemed to be fried a bit before we arrived, so they were just warm and the batter was not as crispy as it should be – but still yummy, especially dipped in tamarind chutney! It’s been a long time since I had a good samosa so these definitely fit the bill! Freshly fried, these samosas had perfectly spiced veggie goodness inside. I liked the dough which was a bit on the thicker side and soft. J enjoyed the samosas, but prefers the way his mother makes them, with very thin dough and super, super crispy. In addition, we ordered two drinks — J had the sugar cane juice, which is pretty hard to find anywhere, and I went with the old standard, a mango lassi. Both delicious!
For main dishes, we ordered mutton curry, chicken curry and tandoori chicken. For those those of you that do not know (I didn’t until J told me), mutton is lamb that is older than 1 year old when it is slaughtered (the meat is halal, by the way.) The chicken and mutton curry tended toward the Pakistani style and were both very good. The mutton curry’s sauce was just a tad spicier than the chicken curry, so I thought this was especially yummy for dipping my naan. The tandoori chicken was good, but a couple of the pieces were a tad tough. A side note, don’t expect fancy presentation, you’ll notice from the pictures that all dishes are served in paper or styrofoam plates and bowls; plasticware, napkins, styro plates and cups are self serve from a little station near the front of the seating area.
After stuffing ourselves silly, we still have enough for dinner tomorrow. A word to the wise, just because the onion pakora is pretty cheap, you probably don’t need two orders for two people :) We’ll definitely be back… Mustafa satisfied my Indo-Pak food craving.
Solid casual, counter-style Indo-Pak food.