Get a taste for the vibrancy of contemporary India at Masala Theory
Vibrant, fun, quirky, hip and modern – these are five words Masala Theory owner Yashpal Erda uses to describe contemporary India.
But, when he first arrived and visited the Indian restaurants across the city, he never truly felt the India he knew and grew up in was properly represented through the restaurants’ menus or atmospheres.
So, after graduating, he set out to bring his own version of India to Australia, and in February 2017, Yashpal and his team opened up one of the first Indian fusion restaurants in Sydney.
“The reason I started Masala Theory was because I was really not impressed with Indian restaurants here,” he explained.
Currently, the Indian culture is very modern, and my impression was that Indian restaurants in Sydney were not depicting the real Indian culture.
“There was also a lot to Indian food that I thought could still be exposed to the people here, and I wanted people to experience a variety of Indian foods rather than the usual dishes you would find in Indian restaurants such as Vindaloo or Rogan Josh.”
After attending a wedding in India, Yashpal was inspired by the trends in fashion among the other young Indians around him, a theme that he has maintained not only in the food, but also through the restaurant’s colourful décor.
“I saw people wearing traditional clothes, but they were wearing it with Ray-Bans and sunnies, and it was all very ‘hipster-y’, so I thought this would be a perfect theme for my restaurant, which is why it’s very pop and very chic,” he said.
“Some of the dishes are fusion, and for example, we have something called ‘Curry Bombs’ on the menu, and it is basically a fusion version of a dish called Pani Puri, and this has become a top seller among our customers.
It’s also a very special dish to all Indians because you can’t find this anywhere else in the world, so I wanted to make sure people to get exposure to different Indian foods through different flavours and different fusions.
Drawing from his Parsi and Gujarati heritage, Yashpal continues to ensure his restaurant-goers experience flavours other than the typical North and South Indian menus that they are familiar with.
To make this even easier, some of the Masala Theory menu items are even given names that would make them more relatable to their customers, including ‘Masala Theory’s Three Sister’s Chaat’ or the ‘Prawntini’.
“Everything you see on our menu is made fresh in our restaurant, except for the breads, and this is why we have such a focused and small menu,” Yashpal explained.
So, we can concentrate on the flavours and on the finished dish, and from our perspective, having a small menu means we can give out the best flavours and the highest quality of the dish.
Masala Theory is located at 545 Crown Street, Surry Hills 2010.