Monday, May 08, 2017

Restaurant review: CHAI THALI (Camden)

A few weeks ago, me and my friends from my old work had a much-needed catch-up at Chai Thali. One of my friends, Sarah, had said it was a restaurant that specialized in Indian tapas, at which I was pretty much sold.

To start, we had the enticingly presented paani poori (pictured above). Packaged in cute little shotglass-alikes, they were puffs of wheat filled with potatoes, with the containers below them containing sweet and sour tamarind shots, with which to pour into the wheatpuffs. The liquid and the solids complemented each other well, but it was pretty messy to eat, and for £5, difficult to justify each puff at £1.

The Indian pizza slices, pictured on the left of the picture above, were pretty bland. It was super-fun to try the bhaaji pao fondue, which consisted of vegetables and cheese, with croutons to sample  the delicious flavour with. And finally, the item on the right of the picture was an explosion of flavour and consisted of all the elements of Indian food that I adore.

For my main meal, I had a chicken biryani, which was astounding, and I wolfed down. The caramelised onions (one of my favourite ingredients) were cooked to perfection and made me very, very happy. Whereas the starters looked good, but on the whole, didn't live up to their interesting presentation, the curries were much more no-frills in terms of aesthetics, but tasted all the better for it.

To drink, I had the 'No Harm', a mocktail consisting of lychee juice, pomegranate juice, ginger syrup, mint and pomegranate garnish. It was elegantly presented, contained some exotic ingredients and an amiable accompaniment to my meal, if somewhat flattered by its £4.50 price tag.

Overall, the food in Chai Thali was good, and the mains were very reasonably priced, especially in comparison to Dishoom, which would charge twice as much for a curry. The individual tapas components, unfortunately, were less fairly priced, but, given the fun we had sharing the food together, it seems churlish to complain too much.

Grade; B+


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