Jaz Rupall—owner and namesake of Jaz, a northern Indian restaurant opening in Hell’s Kitchen—was born and raised as a second generation British-Indian in Hertfordshire, England.
She spent many of her years as an Executive Assistant at a local Family Law firm based in London, but always dreamed of owning her own restaurant. In 2006, her husband, then a financial executive at BNP Paribas, was offered a transfer to New York and the couple jumped at the opportunity, moving their family to Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Longing for British-Indian home cooking, she discovered a local Indian restaurant on her way home from work, where she met future Director of Operations Syed Haider, who worked as a general manager.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Jaz found herself like many, working from home and cooking more of her favorite northern Indian dishes. The lack of in-person social events inspired her to begin hosting cooking classes and dinner parties at her apartment; under her guidance, each of the attendees made their own dish. She noticed as time went on that her guests were enjoying themselves, staying later, and her apartment was beginning to feel something of a restaurant itself. In May 2021, as things were beginning to return to some normalcy, she began looking for a location to make her restaurant dream a reality. She targeted Hell’s Kitchen for its proximity to the Upper West Side, Theater District, Times Square, and the heavy foot traffic. A few months later, her dream was realized with a restaurant location, at the corner of 9th avenue and 54th street.
At her restaurant, Jaz will continue to be the ultimate hostess, visiting tables, serving food, and providing food and wine recommendations. The menu, designed by Jaz and Haider, features authentic northern Indian cuisine with a comforting, home cooking twist retaining all of the northern Indian flavors.
To help bring her vision to life, Jaz hired Co-Executive Chefs Bachan Rawat (Bukhara Grill) to cook the restaurant’s curries and Arif Ahmed (Bombay Grill, Sapphire) to man the tandoor oven.
The menu begins with Appetizers, Shrimp Balchao, pan fried shrimp in a spicy onion-chili sauce; and Tandoori Platter which includes Chicken Tikka Masala, Ginger Chicken, Sheikh Kebab.
The main courses on the menu are divided among Vegetarian, Seafood, Chicken, Tandoor, Basmati, Lamb and Goat, providing a generous selection of dishes for each category.
Highlights include Bhindi Masala, a stir fried okra dish with tomatoes, cilantro, and spices; Mango Shrimp, jumbo shrimp marinated in a tangy mango sauce and grilled in a tandoor oven; Ginger Chicken, chicken breast marinated in a ginger yogurt sauce and cooked in a tandoor oven and, Lamb Chops, lamb marinated for 12-14 hours with ginger, garlic, herbs and spices, and cooked in a tandoor oven, seared on the outside and the interior cooked to medium rare perfection.
Accompanying the main courses are several Breads, each made fresh to order in the tandoor oven, including Peshawari Naan, a sweet naan made with almonds, raisins, and coconut stuffing; and Aloo Paratha, whole wheat bread stuffed with spiced potatoes; along with more classic naan selections.
Rounding out the menu are Desserts such as Gulab Jamun, an Indian dessert made with dry milk and cooked in honey syrup; and Kheer, a traditional north Indian rice pudding made with Basmati rice, sugar and full fat milk.
Jaz features a robust wine program curated by Haider that includes approachably priced selections by the glass and, by the bottle. Selections range from affordable to sophisticated, including reserves from Chateau Musar.
The restaurant also has a full bar program featuring Indian-inspired craft cocktails: Spicy Chili Margarita, made with Milagro Silver Tequila, chili liqueur, lime, spiced honey, cilantro, chili, and Tajin salt; Jal Jeera Mojito, vodka, club soda, lemon juice, Jal Jeer masala mix, tamarind chutney, and mint leaves; and Kiss From Jaz, Singhani 63 Bolivian Spirit, Campari, Combier rose liqueur, bitters, and Prosecco; as well as a variety of bottled beer including Kingfisher and Taj Mahal.
In the next few months, Jaz is aiming to resume her at-home cooking classes in the restaurant.
813 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10019