First Taste: Spice Kitchen In Mamaroneck

We ran up from the Mamaroneck train station after work to catch happy hour at new Spice Kitchen, the second location of a Pennsylvania-based Indian restaurant—but darn, we just missed it. Our minds still screamed happy hour, so we settled in with an Oregon Pinot Noir and ordered some of the same appetizers anyway: tangy eggplant and tandoori chicken wings. A sizzling mixed grill platter landed on the table next to us; geometric light panels on the wall changed from pink to blue. When our eggplant arrived, we knew this wasn’t your run-of-the-mill curry joint: a hollowed-out half-head of iceberg lettuce was piled high nachos-style with tasty crisped rounds of fried eggplant, held together with yogurt sauce and tamarind chutney (if this isn’t Indian happy hour, I don’t know what is). The tandoori wings were juicy, charred, and unabashedly spicy (the accompanying “special dip” turned out to be the same mint and tamarind sauces we’d received with our papadum). Scallops tikki, not on the happy hour menu, are akin to crab cakes; cheese and spinach naan (chosen over a coconut naan special) revealed prowess with the breads.

Starting with papadum (thin, crispy Indian cracker) and a mint virgin Mojito and mango lassi 

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Tandoori paneer tikki—grilled house special Indian cheese (paneer) marinated with assorted spices

The menu is notable for its big pie chart: eight sauces with your choice of main ingredient, a veritable color wheel of vindaloo, korma, Madras (coconut and red chili), Kadhai (pepper and onion), for every taste and spice predilection, complementing a full menu of set dishes. Then our eyes landed on the condiment section: mango chutney, $3; Indian pickle, $3. Torn between our reluctance to pay for pickles and our desire for a complete dining experience, we contemplated the countless mangoes that sacrifice their natural lifespans to land on our plates, some of which inevitably go to waste (when, as at one Manhattan takeout joint, we must pay 50 cents for enough pickles to last a year). Could we sponsor a jar of pickles and keep it there for next time? The verdict: sour pickles.

Desserts include wonderful house-made orange kulfi—a frozen orange filled with dense, nutty Indian ice cream, cut into slices and served with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Kids will enjoy the Chocolate Monkey, a thick shake with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and a hint of root beer.

About that happy hour (not currently shown on their website)—it’s 5 to 7 pm Tuesday through Thursday, 4:30 to 6:30 pm on Friday: selected half-price appetizers (the eggplant and wings, vegetable or chicken samosa, and mutter pudina tikki—fried potato balls) and $5 for certain wines, beers, and 10 cocktails, such as the Side Car (normally $14), Cuba Libre, and Negroni.

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The Manchurian—a signature Indo Chinese fusion of veggies and tofu in chili paste, soy sauce, onion, and ginger sauce

Spice Kitchen
122-124 Mamaroneck Ave
(914) 873-0250

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