Indian Twist chef and owner Jimmy Aujla is no newcomer to Downtown Tucson’s food scene. With a former residency as the original Indian Twist at The Boxyard Tucson, Aujla delighted metropolitan residents and visitors with his culinary creations and vibrant hospitality as a pop-up stand.
Now he’s back with a restaurant all his own.
Derivative of the name of his Fort Lowell and Swan Road location, this new venture at 621 N. Fourth Ave. will be called Zyka Twist, with zyka translating to “flavor.”
His new space is moving into the former Thunder Bacon Burger Co. spot, in the heart of Fourth Avenue, featuring his take on authentic North Indian cuisine. While the menu still needs to be finalized, Aujla is for sure adding a few of his favorites to the menu.
“My specialty is in North Indian food,” he said. “I’ll be serving dishes like Tikka Masala, Chicken Biryani, and Chicken Curry.”
Aujla’s culinary training can be traced back to his days volunteering at a Sikh temple in the Odisha city of Bhubaneswar when he was 12 years old.
By 1996, he was navigating his way through the 300-seat establishment of the former Maharaja, a longtime Seattle, Washington Indian favorite. After continuing his work in the food industry in Oregon and California, he brought his family to the Old Pueblo in 2014, later opening Indian Twist on Cample Lowell Road.
Read our June 2022 article, “Jimmy Aujla’s culinary experience, care & style shine at Indian Twist.”
To add to the excitement of more Indian food options downtown, he plans to add another twist to Zyka — an outdoor tandoor experience.
“The goal is to have two concepts. Zyka Twist will be the indoor restaurant and Tikka Lounge outdoors,” said Aujla. “We’ll eventually have a tandoor where all the food for the outside will be served.”
You can experience all of the flavors Zyka Twist has to offer beginning on Monday, March 6 at 11 a.m. As mentioned earlier, the finalized menu is still in the works but will have it buttoned up by Monday’s grand opening. Also, stay tuned for a release of the official hours of operation.
Zyka Twist is located at 621 N. Fourth Ave. To keep up with the latest on hours, menus, and more, follow Zyka Twist on Facebook. Also, his first concept, Indian Twist, is located at 4660 E. Camp Lowell Rd. For more information, visit indiantwistaz.com.
Kim Johnston is a former preschool educator, turned mom, turned foodie with a strong passion for helping small businesses in her community. With early aspirations of becoming a writer, she attended the University of Arizona to study English literature and...