After moving to Austin from Florida, Sanjay Parikh bought the Asian fusion restaurant Masala Wok in the Tech Ridge area. A few years later, Parikh opened a second Masala Wok dining room in Northwest Austin at the Shops at Arbor Walk, just south of The Domain.
Now, more than a decade after the second location opened its doors, the two kitchens are some of the longer tenured restaurants in the Northwest Austin area.
Parikh said the restaurant’s success was never guaranteed. The owner said he plowed through lean years out of the gate and again throughout the coronavirus pandemic, but a loyal customer base has kept his doors open and business thriving throughout the past decade, Parikh said.
“It’s tough to run a restaurant,” Parikh said. “Fortunately, with ... my family’s support and wisdom, those [early] three to four years of hard work paid off.”
Masala Wok offers diners highly customizable dishes that combine traditional Indian flavors and ingredients, such as curry and paneer, with dishes from across Asia. The restaurant’s menu includes biryani and fried rice dishes, Thai noodles, Indian street dishes and more.
Because of the variety of choices available from the menu, Parikh said Masala Wok is an ideal destination for customers with dietary restrictions, including vegans and diners with gluten intolerances.
“Our menu is pretty flexible,” Parikh commented. “We have quite a few dishes for dietary restrictions and whenever we can comply, we comply.”
Parikh said Masala Wok’s chicken tikka masala remains the most popular dish with diners, while the restaurant’s kung pao chicken and Thai dynamite bowl are some favorite Asian-inspired dishes.
Indian and Asian fusion is very popular in India, Parikh said, and he attributes some success of the restaurant to Indian customers rekindling their fondness for fusion cuisine.
“People love it because it reminds them of being back in India—the flavor, the spiciness and everything,” Parikh said.
Tech Ridge, 1100 Center Ridge Drive, Ste. 300, Austin | 512-251-9696
Shops at Arbor Walk, 10515 N. MoPac, Ste. A-155, Austin | 512-296-2977
Hours: Daily 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Northwest Austin restaurant Masala Wok has dished Asian fusion flavors for decade-plus
The lamb kheema fried rice ($12), an Indian biryani dish, is made with minced lamb and served with raita and shorba on the side. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)