Saoji in SoJo | Restaurant Reviews | Salt Lake City Weekly

Saoji in SoJo 

MunchKart expands its command of Indian flavors with a new South Jordan storefront.

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ALEX SPRINGER
  • Alex Springer

I've been low-key searching for a fast-casual Indian restaurant that I could pursue a long-term relationship with for a while now, but I think I may be on to something. Fans of ComCom Kitchen (comcomkitchen.com) will likely have caught MunchKart (1776 W. 10610 South, 801-923-2377) during its presence at the local community commissary starting back in 2021; they were the ones whipping up spicy, curry-infused wraps and rice bowls, if you need a refresher. Recently, our friends at MunchKart have taken the plunge and opened up a nice little storefront in Central South Jordan this year and it's definitely worth checking out.

If you've been to South Jordan lately, you may have noticed that their Indian food scene is constantly on the move. Big names like Saffron Valley and Curry Pizza have set up shop within the city's boundaries, but there is also plenty of new blood vying for a piece of the curry market. This competitive ecosystem is perfect for the MunchKart team, since they're doing something familiar enough to get Indian food fans in the door and different enough to make themselves stand out.

MunchKart has kept its fast-casual style, which makes sense. They brew and stew around nine different curries, keeping them hot and ready to slap on a plate with some basmati rice and a few rounds of roti flatbread. Speaking of roti, all of their curries are available in taco form for more of a hands-on experience. Meals come in plates of one, two or three entrees, or family meals that come with larger portions of curries and sides.

I was quite peckish during my visit, so I went with the Bigger Plate ($15.99). As tasty as tikka masala is, it was honestly refreshing to not have it on the menu—it makes room for the rich, robust chicken saoji that is a must for fans of curry with a bit of kick. I also tried the chicken makhani or butter chicken, and the saag paneer.

This was my first experience with chicken saoji, and I have to say I was impressed. It's packed with plenty of dark, smoky notes that yield to the heat of chopped chilis. Stewing the chicken in this lovely, chocolate-brown curry makes sure that it too provides a deep breadth of flavor.

Fans of something on the mild side will dig the chicken makhana, with its creamy texture and buttery flavors. It's got a bit of welcome spice happening, and eating this alongside the saoji will amplify its heat levels just a bit, but this is an excellent example of a traditional Indian staple. The same can be said of the saag paneer, the dark green curry that is one of my favorite ways of consuming spinach. The paneer is chopped into small cubes and is plentiful with each serving—I always gripe about the limited amount of paneer that usually comes in curry, but MunchKart packs it all in nicely. In addition to the curries I tried out, MunchKart also offers korma with chicken or veggies, pav bhaji, pindi chole and dal tadka, each of which can be purchased a la carte for $4.99.

Those after a quick bite will appreciate MunchKart's inclusion of vada pav ($8.29) and pav bhaji ($8.99), two nods to Indian street food that are most welcome on the menu. It's easy to fall in love with vada pav, a golden fried potato patty stuffed into a soft roll that is excellent with a bit of chutney. I like any dish where I get to dip some bread into a bowl of thick, flavorful sauce, which is what makes the pav bhaji one of my favorites. The simplicity of sopping up a savory mélange of flavors with a soft roll sends me right into my gastronomic happy place.

If you're the kind of person who eats spicy curry on a day when the temperature is in the triple digits, you'll want to make sure to complement your meal with something cool. I'd suggest a creamy mango lassi ($3.99) with the meal or you can wrap things up with a cup of aamrakhanda, a soothing mango yogurt that is just right for these hellish summer days.

Overall, my experience at MunchKart had me feeling very excited. With the excellent menu of Indian favorites, a fast-casual approach that maximizes customer service, a cozy storefront and plenty of potential to evolve their concept, I am looking forward to visiting more often. In addition to the robust flavors of their curries, there's a sense of market savvy that makes me think MunchKart will be sticking to its guns while evolving its concept. In the meantime, I'm just excited to have a fast-casual Indian joint that whips up quality entrees and sides for days when I need to drown my sorrows in an intoxicating bath of saoji curry.

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