Paradise Biryani Pointe takes over Masalas Indian Diner
There’s a new Indian restaurant at 7301 West 91st Street, replacing the venue first known, in 2008, as Masalas Authentic Indian Diner. In 2013, under different ownership, it became Masalas Indian Bistro.
Now it’s a completely different restaurant (with the same interior decor) called Paradise Biryani Pointe. You may have already eaten at a restaurant by that name if you’ve traveled to Denver or Columbus, Ohio, or 38 other cities in the United States. Since founding the Indian cuisine chain in 2008, New Jersey-based Raj Gowlikar has franchised dozens of the restaurants, including the three-month-old operation at 91st Street and Metcalf.
In typical chain-restaurant fashion, this Paradise Biryani Pointe has a single-page, limited menu of Indian dishes (there are also nine Indo-Chinese choices, including chicken fried rice and hot and sour soup). The last incarnation of Masalas Indian Bistro had 18 pages of dishes to choose from.
There are all the favorite dishes here from the Indian restaurant repertoire, some of them better than others. (Warning: The vegetable pakoras were a lukewarm lump of fried battered strings of onion and pepper.) The chicken tikka masala was excellent.
The signature dish here is the classic rice dish, biryani — a mixture of basmati rice, herbs, spices, prepared either with meat (goat or chicken) or meatless (egg or vegetable).The dishes are beautifully presented, in silvery metal bowls, garnished with hard-boiled egg, lemon, fresh onion and cilantro, and sided with a slightly spicy, creamy raita.
The entree prices range from $9.99 to $12.99. A lunch buffet is served daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The dinner hours are from 5 to 10 p.m. daily. The venue does serve beer, wine and select cocktails in addition to chai, mango lassi, coffee and soda.