I don’t know if y’all have noticed but recently (since like, erm, two weeks ago) I’ve been busting out a schedule of ‘two posts a week’. So far it’s been working pretty nicely and seems like a manageable amount of posting for me at the mo (even though you are all desperate for more, I know, I know).
So, if you…I don’t know…wanna put it in your diary or summit then I’ll be continuing, to do my bezzie to post twice a week, probs on Mondays & Wednesday because the beginning of the week could probably do with a bit of hilariousness from me, right? RIGHT?
Cool, now that’s sorted we can move onto another lil restaurant review for you guys…
Going back a month or so, my feller and I were heading off to Disneyland Paris for a magical 3-day jaunt (these posts are in the works FYI so stay tuned!). And the day before we went my boyfriend (<<< that’s him, NOT ME) decided he needed to do a bit of pre-Disneyland Paris panic shopping on Oxford Street. These modern men eh?
Anyway getting to the point, I work nearby so seeing as we were both in the area we decided to go for dinner at Roti Chai. A place we’d been keen to try ever since sampling some of their wares at Taste of London – Winter, last year.
Tucked away round the back of Selfridges, Roti Chai isn’t an obvious find but despite this it was heaving on a Thursday night . As such we had to wait approx 10mins before we were shown to a table, which is a marked improvement on most central London restaurant waiting times (normally you’re chilling for at least an hour before you get a seat)
There restaurant is two levels with a more laid back approach on the ground floor “Street Food Kitchen” and a posher, more expensive set-up in the “Dining Room” below. We wined and dined in the upstairs Kitchen that evening.
And the wafts from the kitchen were giving a good indicator to a choice well made (I love nothing more than the smell of a good cuzza) but I did felt like the place had a bit of chain-y feel to it, despite not being one.
There’s just something about the relaxed, canteen style that made me feel like it’s a quick in & out type of restaurant which it kind of is and that’s fine but it made it feel a little less personal and a bit more like we were just filling a food hole rather than enjoying a meal out, do you know what I mean? It’s not much of an “experience” which I realise makes me sound like a prized twat.
Anyway impersonal impressions aside, we decided to go all out and get on the faaaackin’ beers son!
Well beer for him, bellini for me.
(I mean we were off on our holidays (3 days counts as a holiday right) the next day)
…and soon I forgot about the lack of ‘experience’ and started salivating over the menu.
For starters we had the Chicken Lollipops and the Papri Chaat which is that colourful yoghurty thing below…
The Chaat in particular was bloomin’ delicious
(I swear I use the word delicious everytime I describe food I like – can someone send me a thesaurus so I can get a few new words plz?)
The yoghurt, the coriander, the pomegranates, the spices, the whole shebang. It was a real winner.
And the Chicken Lollipops weren’t half bad either…
For mains we went for a smorgasbord (<<< love that word) of things starting with the Railway Lamb Curry…which was hella spicy. I mean, I’m getting more and more into spice but it was a proper corker on the tongue and made my lips do that tingle thing when you’re erm, is this just spicy or am I totes having an allergic reaction?! #lifeontheedge
Make sure you’ve got a nice big portion of Raita (that cooling yoghurt stuff that’s sometimes green) to mix it up with if you’re not a fan of hot, hot stuff.
Alongside our potential food hazard we had the chicken curry below, which was also really good. And that cauliflower ‘n’ potato ting which I think is an Aloo Gobi? Although I may be totally wrong, so forgive me if I’ve made that up.
It really was quite the spread. And we ate every last bit. Scraping the bowls with torn up roti & naan breads.
It really was a very nice meal and definitely filled a spot so if you’re wanting to escape the hoards of tourists and shopaholics on Oxford Street it’s worth sniffing out.
That said, I’m not sure I’d rush back now I’ve been.
There was nothing wrong with Roti Chai per se but there are so many good places in London to eat that now I’ve ticked it off my list I’d been much keener to try elsewhere than go back.
I’d personally champion Dishoom over Roti Chai every time and now that Dishoom have opened a branch in Carnaby well, you’ve got an alternative escape from the shoppers and tourists. I feel like they nail the quick bite to eat type of place without making it feel like a restaurant machine churning out meals and diners in the quickest time possible…it’s more of an experience (there’s that bloody word again.)
So although it was a nice meal (and never say never) it’s unlikely I’ll be back in the near future.
Have you been to Roti Chai? Are you a fan? Would you pick it over Dishoom?
I’ve also got a review coming soon on their sister restaurant Chai Ki which is in the new cross-rail part of Canary Wharf so you guys stay on the edges of your seats waiting for that one…I know you, literally, cannot wait…just remember MONDAY or WEDNESDAY.