Wok the Talk

masala wok1

By Malay Vyas

SUGAR LAND: The word Wok evokes more than just the image of a cooking vessel, suddenly there is aroma, sizzle, heat and taste at the same time. Add the word Masala and now there’s an immediate hunger pang for something spicy, wholesome and mouth-watering. And yet when you walk through the doors of Masala Wok, you realize that this is no ordinary Indian restaurant. Far from it, Masala Wok is ‘Casual, Asian, Indian’. There are absolutely no buffets here, haven’t been at any in the last 11 years since the first Masala Wok restaurant opened in Richardson, Texas in 2003. Houstonians didn’t have to wait too long, a year later Masala Wok on Westheimer and Briarpark bringing the unique flavor of ‘Indo-Chinese’ food to the bustling space city.


But its not just “Indo-Chinese” as the correspondents of IAN discovered last weekend. Opened less than a year ago, the Masala Wok restaurant in Sugar Land, the menu now offers a wider variety of Asian cuisine to serve the discerning palate. The smartly dressed staff at the ordering desk is very knowledgeable and more then willing to recommend entrées based on your taste. The ambiance at the Sugar Land store is elegant and casual at the same time.  There are family style booths for a comfortable sit down meal as well as bar stools and elevated tables for the young at heart. The interior walls really bring out the fusion as the murals depict skylines of various Indian cities as well as Asian architecture. There’s even a small lounge with sofas arranged for a more relaxed feel. Masala Wok even offers Free Wifi and has a robust rewards program for repeat customers who get $10 off on every $100 spent at any Masala Wok locations. The rewards program works off your phone number so there are no cards to carry.


The original idea of “Masala Wok” was to offer quality south-asian food at a quick pace. This in itself was a radical ‘out-of-the-box’ strategy in a land where Indian food is automatically linked to large buffet spread of curries and naans. The menu at Masala Wok was built around noodles and fried rice. The current menu has evolved to offering Indian and Asian Entrees on two separate pages. To an avid foodie like this author, it was a novelty to order Chicken Tikka Masala from page 1 to Kung Pao chicken on page 2. The expanse of the menu defined the vision – casual, Asian, Indian. masalawok 3

The success is in the science behind the recipes. Every recipe is broken down to the ingredients and their exact measurements. This brings consistency of taste across different locations. The management at Masala Wok revamps their menu every year – the popular dishes are enhanced while newer innovations are added. The chicken tikka masala rules the menu across the board at every location, the reason? Its been fine tuned a number of times. For 2014, new entrees include the Mughlai sauce, the green curry, the Mongolian dish and pepper noodles. Each of these new dishes have been welcomed by the regular clients at various Masala Wok locations. The recipes are backed by an efficient operations and logistics plan that ensures freshness of the ingredients and availability of raw materials at all locations. The menu even has a Kids’ section – another first for an “Indian” restaurant but then Masala Wok is not your typical “Indian” restaurant – the continually evolving menu has entrées that measure upto perfection.


 Such perfection doesn’t depend on media or press advertisements but rather let the Wok do the talk… and talked it has to its clients through the language of food.

The Masala Wok now talks at two locations in Houston and one more coming up shortly in Katy, Texas.