Wide-ranging regional Indian flavors and an Eleven Madison Park-trained, globe-hopping chef come together at Hyderabadi Zaiqa, a new Indian Grill and Biryani restaurant open now in Hell’s Kitchen. 

jayesh and tarique outside
Jayesh Naik and Tarique Khan outside Hyderabadi Zaiqa. Photo: Sarah Beling

The eatery, located on W52nd Street between 8/9th Avenue features a comprehensive assortment of styles of South Asian cooking — from North Indian masalas to East Indian mustard-based sauces, and spicy Southern coconut-based dishes to coastal sour flavors, plus Silk Road influences of Biryani Basmati rice dishes. “We have every part of India on the menu,” said co-owner and Chef MD Tarique Khan. Hyderabadi replaces Indonesian cafe Warkop, which plans to reopen in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Chef Khan took a long and winding road to Hell’s Kitchen. Growing up in a Muslim family based in Rourkela in Odisha, India, he learned to cook Biryani from recipes developed by his mother and grandmothers. His culinary education included learning about “the three Cs: cardamom, cloves and cinnamon — so important,” he said, with many spices and marinating techniques influenced by the cultures of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Persia. 

After finishing his bachelor’s degree, Chef Khan traveled around the country working in corporate and hotel dining, eventually landing a plum job in the restaurants of Carnival Cruises. “I got to travel to 54 countries through the cruise — Europe, South America, the Caribbean,” said Chef Khan. “It was a great opportunity for me to learn more about international dining.” 

hyderabadi menu
The menu at Hyderabadi features cuisine from across India. Photo: Naty Caez

He moved to the States to break into the restaurant scene, first landing in Columbus, Ohio before going on to work in New Jersey and New York at such notable restaurants as Chelsea’s Sona (under the tutelage of Chef Hari Nayak), Hudson Yards’ Peak and Flatiron’s venerable Eleven Madison Park, where Chef Khan worked on the line and took every opportunity to learn about the world of super high-end dining. “At EMP, I learned so much about perfection and what it takes to earn a Michelin star,” he told W42ST. “Their work environment is so different from anything else around the world – it’s amazing. I worked with Chef Dan [Humm], I worked with Chef Dominique [Roy], and I learned so much about vegan food. I also really wanted to interact with the guests, and I got the opportunity to do that at EMP.” 

His experience there sparked a desire to open his own eatery, where he could give his guests the kind of welcoming experience he’d learned in fine dining, but without the premium expense. “Our concept is to give people great Indian food at an affordable price. For $15 or $20 they will fill their stomachs,” said Chef Khan. To do so, he turned to fellow hospitality veteran and former colleague Jayesh Naik. The two began searching for locations, “uptown, downtown, you name it,” said Chef Khan, without success. “Even though we had a combined 14 years of experience, people kept asking us if we already had a restaurant. We kept telling people that we are confident we know how to open a business.” 

Finally, a listing by Warkop’s landlord on Facebook Marketplace led to the pair applying to take over the W52nd Street storefront. After a long and arduous approval process, they opened in late June to an enthusiastic reception, as evidenced by a full lunch crowd during W42ST’s visit. 

Jayesh and Khan were thrilled to receive such a warm embrace from the Hell’s Kitchen community, and said that connecting with the neighborhood’s many foodies was their favorite part of opening on the West Side. “It’s all about the server-chef experience,” said Chef Khan. “We talk to people, answer questions about where each ingredient and dish comes from, and are always happy to make adjustments to the spice level,” he chuckled — many of the regional dishes are known for milder flavors. “We have something for everyone.” 

jayesh and tarique smiling
Hyderabadi Zaiqa co-owners Jayesh Naik and MD Tarique Khan. Photo: Sarah Beling

Looking ahead, the pair hope that they’ll be to expand on W52nd Street to include a sidewalk cafe, but if all goes well, open up a second location in Hell’s Kitchen that’s focused on more formal dining, said Chef Khan. But back at the first Hyderabadi Zaiqa, “We want to keep a smile on everyone’s faces and make them comfortable,” Chef Khan added. “Whoever comes to our restaurant, we treat them like our family members. We want you to feel like you’re eating at home.” 

hyderabadi exterior
Hyderabadi Zaiqa takes over the space that previosuly held Warkop. Photo: Naty Caez

Hyderabadi Zaiqa is located at 366 W52nd Street (between 8/9th Avenue) and is open Monday-Thursday 11:30am-10pm, Friday-Saturday 11:30am-11pm, and Sunday 11:30am-10pm 

Join the Conversation


  1. Welcome. The menu & the photos look great. My disability device will be unable to deal with the steep stairs.

  2. Extremely sorry respected sir/mam
    Yeah right now we don’t have but we have options for delivery , take out feel free to call us ,
    Thanks you very much for your positive feedback 🙏🙏

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