Cuisine: Indian Street Food
Swank Level: 4/5
Although situated in a rather strange location on Portman Mews South, a street which I had never noticed before despite its proximity to Oxford Street, Roti Chai is an inviting restaurant with an enticing front window, as well as an exciting interior.
Created by Rohit Chugh, Rot Chai has the aim of bringing quality all day Indian street food to the bustle of central London.
There are two floors to this restaurant, each with a different purpose. The ground floor ‘street kitchen’ is a large bright space situated for casual and quick dining. The menu here offers a lively selection of Indian street food and drinks and the alert young staff keep up the pace with their service. The more extensive menu with the larger main courses is available in the newly opened downstairs ‘dining room’.
This space in open in the evenings only and has a much more seductive layout, with darker wall colours, glamorous lighting and even its own bar. Both level offer a different but equally good dining experience depending on how hungry and how much time the diner has, but is the menu at the street kitchen on the ground floor that really appeals to my tastes.
The menu in the street kitchen space is one in which I would happily order seconds all day long. Covering all the popular urban Indian snacks from across the sub-continent, the Bhel Puris here are moist with beautiful tamarind chutney, the samosas come in large portions and the Gujurati Dhorkras taste almost as good as my home made ones.
Regular readers of my blog will know that my most favourite food is the humble Indian Chaat, and the Papri Chaat at Roti Chai meet my needs with its luscious drownings of yogurt and fresh and zingy tamarind chutney over crunchy what crisps, potatoes and chick peas.
In the downstairs ‘Dining Room’, there is a selection of street food dishes available as starters, though not all of them are offered, so it may be problem if you wanted to try the Bhel Puri.
The menu then extends into larger main courses. These are all curry dishes and include ‘Railway Lamb Curry’, Paneer Pasanda’ and of course the staple ‘Butter Chicken. There are also different types of breads and rice on the menu to accompany the main, as well as a selection of Indian desserts.
|My amazing Papri Chaat|
The dishes in the street food kitchen all range from about £3 to £7 depending on the size of the dish. The Bhel Puri is £4.20 and the Papri Chaat is £4.80, both good prices for really good dishes. The ‘Bun Kebabs’, essentially mini burgers are on the slightly higher price range.
The main courses in the ‘Dining Room’ are much more expensive in comparison. A 'Seasonal Green Thoran Curry' will cost £9.20 whilst the meaty dishes such as 'Awandhi Lamb Quorma' costs £16.80. Your final bill will be even higher if you indulge in the Indian-inspired cocktails.
With this in mind the Street Kitchen is a much more financially appropriate and valuable for money too.
It’s the food and prices at the ground floor Street Kitchen that give Roti Chai 4/5 on my scale. Although much swankier, the menu in the ‘Dining Space’ on the lower floor doesn't appeal to me as much to my tastes.
However I would definitely make this one of my regular places to visit for some glorious street food.