Hina Shah and her husband, Mahendra Shah, have been bringing the tastes of Mumbai to Queens since 2008.
Hina Shah, who was a housewife in Mumbai and worked in the diamond industry for five years in the United States before opening up the Bellerose eatery, Mumbai Xpress, handles the cooking while Mahendra Shah is in charge of the finances and accounting.
Shah and her husband decided to open Mumbai Xpress, at 256-05 Hillside Ave. in Floral Park, “because nobody [in the neighborhood] has our food,” she said.
“Whenever I came home from work, there were no restaurants like this,” she said. “No fast food. I said, ‘Let’s try.’ And I started my business. I like to cook.”
“I saw the location and I like this location,” she said. “It’s a mixed crowd — Indian, Chinese, Punjabi — all that.”
There are about 130 items on the menu of Mumbai Xpress and most dishes take less than 10 minutes to prepare.
“It’s like Indian fast food,” Hina Shah said. “Everybody’s like crazy for it.”
Among the eatery’s most popular dishes are the Mumbai grilled sandwich, which consists of two layers: potato and Amul cheese and onions and green peppers on two slices of bread, the paneer schewzwan sandwich (tomato, green peppers, onion and American cheese on bread) and tokri chaat (a potato ball with lentils and sprouts inside, dipped in yogurt and spicy sauces).
Since opening in May 2008, Mumbai Xpress is on its fourth menu and is constantly adding dishes, Hina Shah said.
Two of the newer options are muthiya, cracked wheat bread stuffed with vegetables, including green squash, and khichyu, or steamed rice flour.
“We made it for us, so my husband said, ‘Let’s try it for the customers, maybe they’ll like it.’ It got a good response,” she said.
Three years into the business, Shah said she has plans of expanding to another location in Queens.
“I want to, but God knows,” she said.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz
©2011 Community News Group
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