The trip I made to Tikka Grill was my first visit to Williamsburg in quite a while. I’ve never been one to drink the “hot neighborhood” Kool-Aid, but for a promising new restaurant, I will definitely drive over a bridge.
We stopped by on the Indian restaurant's seventh day in operation, which happened to be Halloween.
“Sorry, we only have chicken tikka masala,” owner Syed Hossain told the groups of adorable trick-or-treaters as they teetered in with their bags open.
The joke never got old thanks to the look of confusion on their little faces, but to be fair, if they actually didn’t have candy, that chicken would definitely have been a treat.
Through her homemade, spice-infused, flavor-filled cuisine, executive chef Mallika Khan, who hails from Bangladesh, has successfully executed a multitude of fantastic flavors into her unique dishes.
The menu at Tikka Grill features a wide variety of aromatic dishes that transform more traditional cooking methods and spices into dishes with a contemporary twist.
Order the chicken saag tikka, or skewered spring chicken with pureed spinach; Chennai lamb made with coconut, curry leaves, and sambhar powder; paanch poran jhinga, or tossed shrimp with five spices; or the jhinga balchao, made with shrimp, coconut, and garden herbs.
If you’re vegetarian or vegan, try the aloo gobi, or spiced potatoes with eggplant and cauliflower; pumpkin kala chana, or red pumpkin, black peas, and mustard seeds; or tarkari, made with fresh vegetables and paanch poran.
The naan bread is perfectly cooked to that special place between crispy and soft, and the garlic option packs just the right amount of punch.
The powder blue walls and floor-to-ceiling windows create the perfect environment for relaxing on a weekend afternoon — just be sure to ask for Syed, who, aside from sharing his fantastic sense of humor, will have a treasure stove of interesting stories to tell you.