A chat cafe blossoms in Hartsdale – Masala Kraft Cafe

This weekend here by most standards was just way too hot for Indian food, and really not something that you would be thinking of, however when the spice is right, it still makes for a lovely meal. Masala Kraft Cafe, ended up being the object of our destination.
We were actually in Scarsdale on Central Park Ave, to run a couple of errands and I realized that it would be too late to get home and have a timely lunch. This was naturally intensified by the fact that I really did not want to be in front of a hot stove. Additionally, I was quite intrigued after I read this review. We do have decent chats and snacks on some of the menu’s of local restaurants but really no real “chat house” around here. A chat house really is an indianized variation of a bistro but generally lighter fare.
Masala Kraft cafe was a totally pleasant surprise. The restaurant was bright and sunny in its appearance – the set up was very tasteful and done in cheery but pleasant tones – earth red, light mustard yellow and the plates and serving ware were in shades of black and white. Very visually appealing!

The menu was very interesting and had a good blend of south India dosa (traditional rice and lentil) crepes and chats ( a north indian melange of yogurt, chutneys and crispy crackers and vegetables). We tried a couple of these,

The papri chat shown above and the sev puri chaat shown below. The chats tasted very fresh, loved the fresh chickpeas and the delicate notes of the light sev. The sev puri chat in particular was nice because unlike some variations it did not have an overdose of potatoes.

The dosa had some innovative offering like cheese dosa (I though my kids were the only ones who liked Cheese dosas) and in particular, we got a salad dosa, that had a light filling of beet, arugula and avocado. See this is where the menu offers some innovative notes without getting ridiculous. There were some fun sandwiches and falafels on the menu as well. I did not quite understand the Tiramisu on the menu but, I am sure it had plenty of takers.
The dosas came with a choice of chutney – coconut, mint, and tomato. We tried the coconut and tomato, these were both very good. They also came with sambhar (spicy lentil soup). While we did not try the special, it was a creamy paneer curry to placate some of tikka masala lovers. They plan of having an ongoing special as a full meal, closer to what some people associate with an Indian restaurant. We tried the mango lassi and the thandai. I was very pleased with the latter.

What was a disappointment was their mini samosas. These were too salty, strangely spiced and greasy. Anyhow, what you see below if their TV menu, saves on paper. The restaurant is self-service and low maintenance without compromizing on elegance.
The picture below is the very lively and friendly waitress doing the “Macarena” with my daughter. Well, I can certainly not complain about them being kid friendly. In fact, my daughter wanted to be back today. I am delighted about this addition to the food landscape and I am sure we will be back soon!

Masala Kraft Cafe on Urbanspoon

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