A few weeks ago, we caught wind of Desi Shack, a new Indian-Pakistani fast-food joint opening up just north of the main "Curry Hill" drag that's already home to dozens of South Asian restaurants. The restaurant is totally up and running now, pumping out "skewer-grilled" meats and vegetables in a customizable mix-and-match format with various rices and chutneys. As one Midtown Luncher put it, "the menu looks like an Indian Chipotle." (Danny Meyer is probably going to want some royalties, too.)
Co-owner Yasmin Ibrahim, who quit a life in the corporate world to open the place with her Pakistani husband, says the "design your own meal" concept is more popular in the US than it is in desi countries, but a little cross-cultural exchange can't hurt. "We both come from a corporate/ business background and thought it would be great to have this type of cuisine that we really like in a quick 'design your meal' format and easy to take back to the office," she explains.
Early reviews have been mixed: Midtown Lunch loved the samosas but called the chicken tikka with basmati rice "one big unsatisfying mess," while Yelpers bitch about the small portion size but generally like the food. So if you work near Grand Central and need a quick, not-terribly-authentic Indian lunch fix, give it a shot.
Here's the full menu: