In a town where every corner tells a story, a new Indian restaurant has graced the scene on 150 Valley Road to capture the heart of Mumbai. Taking the place of the former Mediterranean eatery, Zachy on the Go, Mumbai Maskaa’s menu serves a journey through Mumbai’s diverse culinary landscape with dishes ranging from the traditional Indian vada pav and naans to international flavors including Thai delicacy and Chinese dishes. With roots in the city of Mumbai, the owner and chef Simpson Rodrigues brings the taste of its flavors straight to Montclair. The restaurant officially opened for takeout on Monday, October 2nd, and welcomed indoor dining on Wednesday, October 18th. Read more to learn about Mumbai Maskaa, the new Indian restaurant open now in Montclair.
About the Owner
Owner and chef Simpson Rodrigues has roots in the city of Mumbai, a place he described as “a financial hub” where people from all over India visit at some point in their lifetime. After completing his degree in culinary studies at Mumbai University and gaining experience in management and cuisine, it was a long-time dream to open a restaurant of his own, delivering the flavors of his upbringing. That dream became reality in 2015 with his first restaurant, Biryani Express, in North Carolina. In 2017, he extended this culinary journey to Harrison, New Jersey, with a second Biryani Express location. After the closure of these businesses, he had a vision to further his career in the restaurant business.
Being a local himself, Simpson has a special connection to the Montclair area, having lived in Clifton. He recognized the town’s passion for food and adventure in trying diverse cuisines. With Montclair in mind, he embarked on a two-year journey to bring his culinary vision to life, achieving it with the support of a skilled culinary team, including chefs Makarant Mhantre and Desmond Correia.
All About Mumbai Maskaa
The restaurant’s aim is to cater to both the local Indian community seeking the flavors of home and adventurous diners eager to explore new cuisine, making Mumbai Maskaa a go-to destination for everyone. The journey begins as one enters the restaurant, where the ambiance is a harmonious blend of modern sophistication and classical charm.
As described by Simpson, the menu is “a love letter to the city of Mumbai.” Upon entering the restaurant, one will be immersed in a world where centuries-old recipes are intertwined to create a mosaic of flavors, and each dish narrates Mumbai’s rich and colorful history. The mixed cuisine represents India as a whole, showcasing how people from different parts of the country bring their unique flavors and twists to Mumbai.
The menu features an array of options, from traditional biryanis to buttery naans that melt in one’s mouth. The menu also features other Asian cuisines by serving a blend of traditions, such as Thai delicacies, Chinese dishes, and Mumbai specialties. The vegan and vegetarian options include dishes such as saag paneer, cottage cheese cubes cooked in spinach-based gravy, anjeer shaam savera, handmade dumplings stuffed with potato, cottage cheese, and fig, and chana masala, boiled chickpeas cooked in onion, tomato, and spices. MG recommends trying the cheese samosa, which is a fried pastry dough filled with cheese and spices to start off the meal.
Mumbai Maskaa’s commitment to authenticity shines through its use of locally sourced ingredients and traditional Indian cooking techniques. All of the spices are directly sourced from Mumbai, and Simpson explained that he will continue to source ingredients from there for as long as possible.
“The crops, cutlery, and cookery are imported from Mumbai to give the proper Mumbai experience to diners over here. The spices are especially imported from Mumbai, you cannot find a lot of them here, and I will continue to try and get ingredients from there for as long as we are in business,” Simpson said. Rooted in tradition, the spices have been at the heart of Indian cuisine for centuries. But for those who prefer milder flavors, the menu options range from mild to spicy, to challenge those taste buds.
When it comes to customer expectations and feedback, Simpson hopes that customers will experience a sense of fresh flavors crafted in the food and immerse themselves in the true feeling of what it means to be in Mumbai.“Our dishes take time, but it’s gonna be fresh. I want customers to feel the freshness of the food and have a full dining experience so they can experience exactly how we get it in Mumbai,” Simpson said.