Northwest Austin restaurant Masala Wok has dished Asian fusion flavors for decade-plus

lamb kheema fried rice
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)

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)

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Customers can substitute a handful of proteins in Masala Wok's chili chicken dish ($10.50), served with rice or stir-fry vegetables. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The chicken lollipops ($6.50) are served with a Szechuan pepper dipping sauce. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Masala Wok owner Sanjay Parikh first bought the Northwest Austin restaurant in 2007 before expanding. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
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.

Masala Wok

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.
By Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the editor for the Northwest Austin edition.