A few weeks back, my lovely friend Anna invited me to Roti Chai for dinner with our sisters'. Roti Chai is an Indian restaurant split into two separate restaurants, a dining room serving rather expensive curries and a sort of canteen serving street food. We opted for the street food as we wanted somewhere relaxed and student budget friendly.
We drank sharp but sweet lychee martinis from tea pots, which reminded me of many lost evenings
in World Bar in Queenstown. They also serve all the usual Indian beers and a good selection of wine.
Pea & Potato Samosas
To start we shared papri chaat; crispy wheat puffs smothered with yogurt and topped with pomegranate seeds, mint and a spicy sauce. These were really delicious, the rich yogurt with little bursts of sweet pomegranate and the crunchy wheat was a great combination. We also shared some spicy pea and potato samosas, served with a coriander sauce and chickpeas, also very yummy.
Hakka Chilli Paneer
My favourite dish was the hakka chilli paneer, stir fried with spring onions, chilli and coriander, with a light but firey sauce. The flavours and textures were much more exciting than the usual saag paneer served up in Indian restaurants. The cheese was fried until crisp but still soft and salty on the inside, with crunchy peppers and spring onion and spicy chilli heat it was an excellent dish.
We shared a lamb curry which was served with chapatis for dipping, the sauce was rich and the meat tender. We also ordered a fish curry, with a light but well spiced sauce, plenty of coriander on top and crispy fried fish. Whilst the curries were good, it's the street food that makes it worth a trip to Roti Chai.
We all really enjoyed our meal at Roti Chai. I'm a big fan of street food as the small portions allow you to try lots of little bits rather than just one big main course. Indian food available in the UK has too long been dominated by Anglicised curries heavy with oil and cream, so it's great to see more authentic and exciting dishes getting a look in. The service was friendly and quick and the canteen itself is bright and clean. It's certainly a welcome addition to the area, which is in dire need of cheap, quick and interesting food joints.