Aug. 12, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
A new restaurant offering a modern twist on Indian cuisine will have its grand opening in Long Island City next week.
The restaurant, called Rang, will officially open Monday at 11-03 44th Ave. and will focus on small bites such as Indian kebabs and samosas.
The business is moving into a space inside a repurposed warehouse building on the corner of 44th Avenue and 11th Street. The restaurant’s grand opening will coincide with Indian Independence Day, which is on Aug. 15.
Rang will be the fourth restaurant owned by chef Abishek Sharma, who is originally from India and grew up in Flushing. Sharma’s three other establishments — Madam Ji, Swagat and Badshah To-Go – are all located in Manhattan.
The 44th Avenue eatery’s small plates are designed for food-lovers who enjoy sampling several different Indian dishes at a single sitting. The dishes are made with traditional Indian spices and flavorings.
Some of the small bites on offer include the corn and crispy okra chaat, kerala fried chicken and the vegetable samosa. The small bites also include the long horn pepper pakora, which is stuffed with masala potatoes and covered in a batter made using beer from local brewery LIC ICONYC.
Sharma also operates a food catering business for special events and says it influenced the design of Rang’s small bite menu. Sharma said that the business taught him that many diners enjoy sampling a variety of dishes at once.
Nevertheless, Rang also offers a range of entrees or larger bites including a chicken curry called Badshah’s Murgh Curry, which comes with bone-in chicken, potatoes, garam masala and phulka. Other large plates include smoked salmon; goat stew; and chana masala, which consists of chickpeas and tomato curry.
The restaurant, which seats around 14 people, also offers a range of wine, beer, cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks.
Sharma said he was attracted to Long Island City because of its booming population.
“With the rapidly growing community in Long Island City, there is definitely a market for Indian food, especially considering the fact that there aren’t too many hip, young Indian restaurants in the area,” Sharma said.
Sharma said he learned to be a chef under the tutelage of his father Lala Sharma. The family moved to the U.S. in 1994 and his dad worked in the restaurant industry in New York for many years. The father-and-son duo also worked together for about 10 years.
Opening hours for Rang are from noon to 3 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.