Rowdy Rooster Wants You to Fall in Love with Indian Fried Chicken

Roni Mazumdar and Chintan Pandya — behind New York City restaurants Adda, Dhamaka, and Semma — just launched their first quick-serve concept.

rowdy rooster
Chef Chintan Pandya (left), Kandi Haro (front of house) (center), and Roni Mazumdar (right)

Snigdha Sur


February 23, 2022

South Asians love their street food: from puchka and golgappe to vada pao and tandoori chicken. Now, the team behind restaurants Adda, Dhamaka, and Semma are out with their fourth concept: Rowdy Rooster (not to be confused with 2012 Bollywood film Rowdy Rathore). Their latest eatery serves up Indian fried chicken like you’ve never seen before — in large sandwiches, in smaller pao sandwiches, standalone. And there’s accompanying chutneys to boot, like scallion yogurt (Mazumdar’s favorite) as well as tamarind date.

“If you show up to a street cart that fries up chicken, this is exactly what you’re getting,” Mazumdar said.

But what makes Rowdy Rooster shine is not just its chicken, but also its wide-ranging vegetarian options: vada pao, eggplant pakora, regular pakora, chili cauliflower, even just a buttered pao. Mazumdar, at the end of their opening day on February 22, pointed out that they were completely sold out of the vada pao, buttered pao that encompasses a spicy potato mixture. I joked that the only thing missing was chai. (Don’t worry, patrons can get some delicious mango lassi, Thums Up, or Limca.)

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