Nosh Review: Chit Chaat Chai
One of the purest pleasures for any food lover is stumbling across a new restaurant. So you can probably imagine how delighted I was after taking a detoured stroll back home and passing a newly opened Chit Chaat Chai (2 weeks young!). An unassuming kitsch little place setting up shop in Wandsworth Town, London, the cool orange front and the promise of street food was enough to peak my interest. After a quick call to bae we found ourselves skipping the leftovers at home (bangers and mash if you’re interested) to have dinner at Chit Chaat Chai.
After my recent trip to Mumbai I could not wait to get some truly inspired flavours on my taste buds! We were warmly welcomed by Dhruv who took the time to explain the menu set up and cocktail choices and were left to our own devices. My first impressions were that Chit Chaat Chai was a labour of love; having started its life in a home kitchen, moving onto serving in the markets across the UK (even getting in the Salisbury news) and then deciding to open their first restaurant in Wandsworth.
A Sharing Atmosphere
We were the first patrons of the evening which was fortunate because 10 minutes into our visit and Chit Chaat Chai became packed with hungry customers. There were couples on dates, families, groups of friends and there was a real sense of openness with tables placed close together to encourage conversations between strangers mixed with curiosity as our table neighbours earnestly eyed our dishes.
Along with the incredible grub, the true character of the restaurant is represented with the carefully designed art and beautiful murals in every room. The walls were a reminder to the colourful days of Holi festival taking an essence of traditional India with a modern twist.
India meets Streetfood meets Tapas
The dishes take direct inspiration from Indian Street food and to promote the sharing nature Dhruv recommended 3 to 4 dishes per person. Of course me being me, I went completely over the top with the food order and opted to go for all the dishes which I had tried in India. These came in the form of:
- Chicken Kokatu Kati
- Chilli Paneer
- Yellow Tarkha Dhall
- Keema Pav
- Wada Pav Burger
- Chikpea Tikka
- Pani Puri
- Nan & Paratha.
They were exquisite. Chit Chaat Chai is true to it’s name and gives you a slice of Indian Streetfood for the hour or so you spend there. The dishes were perfectly proportioned, with with an intricate balance of spice and flavour and served in the common metal dishes of the street food vendors The outright winner for me was the Kotaku Kati, Chilli Paneer (its Indian Chinese food!) and the Keepa Pav (Indian Sloppy Joes) however everything else was right on point.
One of a Kind Drinks
Chit Chaat Chai even have specially designed drink menus that compliment the flavours of the Chaat. The cocktails are bespoke and not found anywhere else in London and through utilising indian fruits & spices including garam masala & coriander you really get a one-of-a-kind drink. My recommendation would be the Tequila Masala (love the pun).
Don’t Miss Out!
If you are ever down Wandsworth Town, I highly recommend popping in for a quick bite or even a lounge session. The atmosphere, cheap eats and bespoke drinks will leave you wanting more. Tania and Dhruv have truly encapsulated the warmth and friendliness of their personalities perfectly into the restaurant and Wandsworth Town is lucky to have a genuine slice of Little India on its doorstep.
Are you a fan of street food? Would you dare try the Cocktail with Indian Spices? Let me know your thoughts below!
“Street food is, I believe. the saviour of the human race.”