Munch India

3015 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley
(510) 564-7000

Recent Reviews

Nicolas Jarvis

I get to eat here a lot since I work right next to it. I love how the customer service is always excellent and they keep the place well kept consistently. Rates are reasonable and they serve sizeable portions.

Mike D.

I have no clue why people are giving it high reviews, come on people it is not that good. Here are pros and cons, about Munch India: Pros: 1. The the inside looks great, nice feel. Cons: 1. This place is way way way over priced for just OK Indian food. 2. The taste of the dishes were very bland, they smelled good, but once in your month, it's has no real flavor. Perhaps they are only catering to the "Hi-Fi" class. 3. The stupidest is the reservation, it's OMG, I truly believe they think they are a Michelin Star restaurant. This business won't last long, they are probably just breaking even at this point. Perhaps sticking to your truck business would be better. There are some Indian restaurants that are much better and the prices are much better, unless you're one of those that wants expensive 5 course meal without any caviar at their price point.

Allison B.

Delicious and special little place. Love, love. I don't understand the negative reviews about arriving w/o a reservation and being turned away. The website is very specific that it's a reservation only restaurant. Seems pretty straightforward: Make a reservation.

Adwait A.

What kind of place takes customers by reservations only? Ughhhhhhhhhhhh. They should change their name to "Indian food by reservation only". We drive all the way, and they didn't even open the door!

Ruth Flores Rivas

Best culinary experience and great service. Definitely recommend.

Dotto W.

We were there December 31st for their lavish preset Menu. The food was fabulous and the service great and each dish of the 6 course meal was fabulous. My little one is a fussy eater and even she absolutely loved it. GREAT JOB!!.

Tevye K.

This place is an adorably modest culinary delight! Really innovative chef creating carefully envisioned fresh local Indian with a California twist. Menu changes often, based on ingredient sourcing, which is just such a welcome delight for an ethnic restaurant. Definitely will make this one of my hidden treasures.

Willette I.

FYI - you actually have to plan ahead to eat here. Reservations are a must and same day reservations must be made by 4pm that day. But if you can work around that little premeditated issue the food here is good. Definitely on the expensive side but if you need a change of pace from the regular dishes most Indian restaurants serve, it's a great place! We were there last Wednesday night and ordered: Rajkoti Parat Sabzi - eggplant, potatoes, zucchini layered in an amazing hearty sauce (my favorite) Nawabi Kofta - vegetable balls simmered in a tangy tomato sauce (very good) Top sirloin kebab- we ordered medium but it was served medium well done. It was tasty but a little dry. Side of basmati rice Dessert - Rasmalai - a nice change of pace. It is served chilled, not too sweet with a little graininess to the cheese. All in all, something different to experience in the world of Indian cuisine. It won't be for everyone with its high price point but you must remember that they are a small business trying to make their way in this tough environment. PRO TIP: they don't serve alcohol but you can bring your own wine! They don't charge for a corkage fee!

Abigail D.

The seasonings used here are exceptionally tasty. I liked everything except the overcooked chicken kabob, and the relentless upselling from the server.

Susie S.

There's some extra HEAT in the kitchen at this delicious and cozy new eatery. FOOD and SERVICE 5 Stars: Two young ladies serving are stellar NOT SO DELICIOUS -- 0 stars: What we witnessed and endured throughout our meal while seated at the table near the door alongside the open kitchen. Disturbing and disruptive to our delicious meal, the two alone in the kitchen, chef/owner, Nick Ahmed, was loudly and angrily reprimanding his poor and distressed wife, Diana Afroza, in English, in a verbally abusive (#metoo) way. Pervasive, something about the way the pots should be cleaned. Upon providing feedback to him that it made us uncomfortable, he became verbally abusive with me, raising his voice, and reprimanding me that it was none of my business. Feeling unsafe around his rage, I exited quickly. :( ENTER WITH CAUTION: and avoid the table at the door, but be ready for a delicious meal at a hefty-but-worth-it- price. Mr. Ahmed's hot-headedness and HEAT in the kitchen is not only in the skillets....

Nandita B.

Munch india is authentic, yet elegant and serves delicious and beautifully created food. This small and humble restaurant has only 6 tables and is strictly reservation only. They have an ever changing limited menu so I suppose they must be sourcing finite quantities of ingredients (and hence the strict reservation policy). I urge you to make that reservation and enjoy the fantastic food prepared by the creative chefs. The moment you walk in, you feel like you are in someones living room with an open kitchen. The decor is bright and colorful. Service is slow as they only have one-two servers but it's attentive. Our server was welcoming and immediately got us water and the menu. She also made some recommendations for the evening and we placed the entire order in one go. Food came in courses (and not all at once). Be patient. As a lot of it is freshly prepared, it will take a bit longer than other places. I loved their plates. So earthy. And I was pleasantly surprised that our silverware was replaced between courses. Okay now onto the food. I enjoyed everything. All the food was given detailed attention. Flavors were wonderful and the quality of the ingredients was excellent. 1. Mixed kebab platter - 2 chicken and 2 lamb mini skewers - simple, and tasty. The chutneys and the onions were a great accompaniment. 2. Baingan/ eggplant - don't remember the exact name but damn this was one kick-ass eggplant preparation. Well spiced and flavored. 3. Pan seared Black cod - omg! This was exceptional. The fish was beyond soft and melt in your mouth. I never thought that it would go well with Indian spices but it was brilliant. 4. The paratha, and pulav both paired well with our food. 5. Mango lassi - all you lassi lovers wont be able to get enough. Thick, mango-y, sweet and tart. So happy that east bay has this gem of an Indian restaurant.

Brian Strauss

Pungent fresh and fresh ground spices. We loved the dal and beef patties. The grilled poussin (little chicken) with yogurt and saffron was to die for.

Boris Mazniker

One of the best Indian restaurants in the area. Eggplant was perfectly cooked, rice was flavorful, and meat - tender. It's a tiny place, so reserve in advance.

Mariana Alberola

Every single bite was delightful.

Blackwidow K.

This is really good Indian food. Mind you, not you American Indian food. When I first came to USA in 1990 and tasted the Indian food here. I was not happy as this is not the Indian food I know in Asia. But Munch India definitely has that taste that I'm familiar with. Tamarind sauce is sooooo good. The husband and wife team is excellent! Waitresses are very polite, good service and this is definitely where I go for good fine Indian food.

Nina L.

Food is absolutely exquisite, the presentation is amazing, so Elegant. The ambiance is great and the service impeccable. Even the dinnerware is to die for.

Abdul P.

Had dinner atMunch the other and by far this is the best Indian food I've ever had although it was also the most expensive Indian food ever ordered. Despite the fact the food is so very good they are gouging their customers by charging everything a la carte. C'mon now when you pay $39.00 for a fish dish you expect it to come with either naan bread or rice and condiments but at Munch they charge between $4.00 and $7.00 for these items. Their okra dish is fantastic but six piecesof Okra for $22.00 is rather steep. I will only go back to Munch if someone else is payng for it and even then I'd complain at the prices. Excellent food & service but outrageoulsy priced.

Sacha M.

Simply the best Indian food I've ever eaten. The presentation was beautiful. The service warm and friendly. The flavors of every dish meant to be savored and enjoyed. A visual and delicious exquisite feast, and each dish was obviously made with great care and delight. What a jewel! Make a reservation.

Matt P.

Delicious, unique food. Make sure to reserve in advance - you can't walk in. Every dish we tried was great.

Adrian R.

Amazing Indian food, just like my mom makes. Not your curry in a hurry college take out, but slow simmered dishes bursting of flavor. Also appreciate the high quality ingredients and friendly staff. BYOB makes Munch more affordable than other upscale restaurants.

Julie C.

I've been eating Indian food for many decades. My husband and I ate at Munch India tonight. It is not cheap, but it is the Best. Indian. Food. I've. Ever. Eaten. Truly. Lamb Kebab, Basmati rice, Mango Lassi, all utterly delicious. Aloo Parathi hot for my palate, but still good. Excellent service.

Jack H.

A friend of Indian descent invited us to join him for dinner at Munch. Great choice! The food was excellent, with a shrimp samosa (I didn't record the Indian name but it was one of two appetizer choices) being one of the best appetizers I have ever had. Service was good with apparent family members doing the honors. We had three shared main dishes, a lamb kebab, a chicken leg and thigh dish, and a vegetable medley. All were superb and apparently cooked to order, as it did take a while for them to come out. Portion sizes were reasonable so we didn't have leftovers but had enough to eat. Four stars because the place is BYOB, plus a bottle opener or corkscrew. They are very careful about not serving any alcoholic beverages since they don't have a license. I'm not an Indian food expert but this was the best Indian meal I can remember. Top recommendation. Also, it's walking distance from the Ashby Avenue BART station. Reservations only, so call ahead.

Cloud M.

* I love the gourmet restaurant environment they created for the interior: the glass, the open kitchen, the small and intimate ambiance. * The food is impeccable! I had a great experience overall. The rice was permeated with fragrance and freshness. And the four layers of the entree are just extraordinary. And the handkerchief bread tastes authentic.

Michelle S.

Love this place and would give it 5 stars, but I've been trying to make reservations for later this month, and couldn't do it because the dates further out than 7/13 were closed down. Sent them an email 10 days ago, and got no response. I may have left a voicemail too. It is now impossible to make reservations more than 2 days away. Someone is not keeping up with the reservations page, and since they are now a reservations only restaurant, that's very frustrating.

Sanjay Lakhotia

Its is the best Indian food in the Bay Area by far. The owners strive for quality and unique regional menus. The basics like dal and chutney are even prepared with a lot of care not to mention their amazing specialties.

Adrian A.

Slightly upscale, well-executed, pan-Indian spot. Reservations only with a revolving menu. I keep thinking back to the mutton curry. Hopefully they have something Goanese or Sri Lankan next time I go!

Jesse Barber

This place is awesome! Great food, great service, really cute ambiance. Will definitely go again!

Megan H.

Located on Shattuck, a little ways away from Downtown Berkeley, Munch India just has a simple sign on the door. You may easily walk past it, but if you open the door, you can see straight into the kitchen as you enter the homey space with a capacity of just twenty seats. The aromas from the spices and ingredients waft into your nose and you know what you are about to eat may be the very best Indian meal you have ever had! It sure was that for me! What we had~ Kachori Chaat (moong dal stuffed crispy puffed bread, topped with tomato kachumber and savory yogurt) For appetizers, we started with the kachori chaat. They also serve momos, but, unfortunately, they were out. The bread had the perfect texture and chew to it and was fried just right-I especially loved that there was a filling inside. It added more depth of flavor to the dish! Lababdar Palak Chole (slow-cooked sweet and sour chickpeas, topped with crispy spinach wafers) This was my favorite dish of the night! The sauce for the chickpeas was the perfect balance of sweet and spicy (I have a low spice tolerance, but this was just right for me)! Atop the chickpeas laid a bed of crispy spinach-this was sort of like Japanese tempura, but breaded much lighter. It definitely had a nice crunch to it. The best way to eat this dish is to put the chickpeas atop basmati rice so that it absorbs all the sauce and you have different textures in your mouth! Murgh Kumbh Aur Saag (seared airline cut chicken breast filled with a mushroom and spinach mixture, served with a tangy mushroom sauce) This chicken was so pretty-the color just reflected how perfectly cooked and tender it was! I highly recommend drizzling the chicken with the tamarind chutney for a slightly sweet, tart flavor! I couldn't get enough of this sauce; it was delicious, and I had never tried tamarind before! Basmati Vegetable Pulao The waitress recommended ordering a side of basmati rice to share, and that was one of the best decisions we made. It was perfectly buttery and moist, and the vegetables were oh-so-soft! The rice goes well with any main entree dish! Phulka (Indian Flatbread) This flatbread is fairly thin which is good because you don't fill up on bread before your main meal! I recommend dipping it in the cucumber raita! Mango Lassi Finish off your meal with a mango lassi, or drink it with your meal! Either works! The mango lassi has the perfect consistency, not too thick or thin, and perfect amount of sweetness. This mango yogurt drink is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth! It comes served in a glass with a metal straw-thank you for being conscious of our environment! This, indeed, was the best Indian food I have ever had! The sauces and spices brought so much unique flavor to each dish, and I will most definitely come dine here again. Halfway through the meal, my friend and I had already decided we needed to come back-we were clean-platers! I highly recommend Munch India! Come here to learn about and expand your palate for Indian food! You will have no regrets! Only downside was that the service was slow and they have a special reservation system/prix fixe menu.

Immo C.

Munch India, what a find in the East Bay! Original, tasty dishes, beautifully prepared, attentive but not intrusive staff that knows the food and how to explain it to the novice, different dishes every night, excellent, actually enjoyable vegetarian dishes that even a non-vegetarian can enjoy and a quiet, small setting in a cozy, familiar atmosphere. We, three people, never felt rushed, the bill came only AFTER we asked (a nice friendly touch unknown to other American establishments) and we were left undisturbed to enjoy the great food in peace. WOW! One word to all those complainers about arriving at a closed restaurant. The Munch India states clearly on the website that reservations ARE A MUST! So, please don't arrive without one and don't complain that you did not get any food. You can only yourself to blame.

Kristine V.

On their front door, the hours are posted that they are open until 9:30. The door was closed and locked at 9pm. Wouldn't have wasted my time coming over had I known they close whenever they feel like it. Seems to be a trend now that I read the other reviews. Also, when calling, the call goes directly to a recording, where you are unable to speak to anyone to ask if they are open, or leave a message.

Suzette Davidson

This place has Excellent food. Great. You do need to make a reservation. The place is small.

Kim Waigel

THE Best Indian restaurant I have ever tried. The place is small but cosy, the kitchen is open so you can see the preparation. The menu is rather small but changes frequently. Do not forget to book! A definite must go in Berkeley.

Vivi Mage

Wonderful experience. Delicious food, great service.

Kevin F.

The best Indian food around. Will amend to five stars when they start taking cash, not a fan of cashless businesses.

Neha K.

Please go and eat at this place! I've known about them for some time, but didn't go because I'm lazy and I usually end up going to the restaurants in my gourmet ghetto neighborhood. When I finally ate at Munch India, I ended up going again within just a few weeks. They have a small menu, but the food is just the right medium between home cooked and restaurant style cooking. Not overly greasy or fatty, delicately flavoured, and very satisfying. Their dosa-blinis with caviar were to die for. They change the menu often, so the second time I went, they didn't have those. But if they're on the menu, and if you like dosas and/or caviar, do yourself a favour and order it. It's just that tiny bit out of the way of where you'd expect to go when you go out to eat in Berkeley, and the place itself is very small and can feel cramped. But the food more than makes up for these things. And while they don't serve alcohol, I think they're okay with byob.

Tom S.

This new Indian neighborhood place should be supported. Wonderful food, perfectly spiced, beautifully presented and passionate owners who know and care about cooking. Good selection of vegetarian and meat main courses. We shared the prawn main and a cauliflower dish with peppers. No beer or wine yet. Bring your own. Should have a beer and wine license within the next two months. Definitely will return.

David Bowles

Amazing cuisine done just right! I knew we were in for a treat when I walked in and saw the large spice jars all along the kitchen shelf. Menu is small but changes often.

Anisha M

Saying this is my favorite Indian restaurant seems like an understatement. Eating here makes me feel understood. Like I'm home.

Raymond Carbonneau Robles

Authentic, delicious, and well curated!

Arthur C.

Munch India is the kind of place you'll take a special someone on a night out. I went on a quiet Saturday and as I glanced around at the other couples in the small, cozy dining room, I'd say the food was wonderfully presented and served, as if someone with class would have said, "this will do just fine, thank you!" For my own sustenance, I ordered some cod, which is easy to prepare, but tricky to do just right. It was lightly and evenly seared, and taken off the grill exactly after it was done, so that it's fresh texture and delicate flakiness would be preserved. A foamed soy sauce complemented the other aromas quite well, and the main course paired well with the rice suggested by the server. Munch India adds to East Bay's list of establishments that elevate ethnic food above the usual hungry bites order of business. We're used to Thai food all done the same way, for example, but it's harder to find the kind of place that will do it thoughtfully, the way the Michelin-rated Kin Khao did in the city, and the way Funky Elephant is doing in the Gilman Area of town. Munch India does the same here, and it's easy to get to, being on the way home from the city for all the residents of Elmwood, South Berkeley, and a fair portion of the Berkeley hills. But you'd hardly know it was there, being tucked away in a cute residential corner of the neighborhood, and without a loud menu up front. In all the ways, the experience of coming here really piles on the charm!