Sunday, 18 September 2011

roti chai

i really wanted to like roti chai. to start with, i love the indian touches to a very modern indian canteen. in addition, much thought had been put into the presentation of the food. in customary indian style it is bright and cheerful. the menu looked good too. it's got the customary street foods; bhel puri, papri chaat and samosas. the katori (literally, a small container) with it's kabuli channa, tarka dhal and roti appealed to us. we sub-continentals love our dhal's, chaat's and bun kebab's. 

o, n and i picked a combination from the street, katori and buns. from the street menu we had the papri chaat, parsi chicken farcha and hakka chili paneer. from the buns we had the bun tikki and from the katori section we had the kabuli channa with the roti selection. starting on the street the papri chaat was too sanitised and sophisticated.chaat isn't sophisticated. it's bold and gutsy with crunch and masala. at roti chai it is too mild. the papri element of it was lost under the yoghurt rendering too little crunch. we liked the parsi chicken farcha though. it was perfectly battered fried, served piping hot. the curried ketchup made an excellent dipping sauce. the hakka chilli paneer lived up to it's indo-chinese description. the lively greens with the mouth-burning chili soothed by the paneer was good. 
parsi chicken farcha
i had high hopes for the bun tikki but sadly the aloo tikki was too mild. it was also too done up for bun tikki coming of more as a vegetarian burger. from the katori, the kabuli channa did not stand out much. it had a dominate note of spice which is a bit strange for indian cuisine that benefits from the varied spice profile offered by cumin, coriander, ginger and garlic. none of these appeared in the kabuli channa. however, where the kabuli channa lacked, the roti selection shone. the menu isn't descriptive about this. there was a white naan, a wholewheat roti and a potato stuffed naan all three of which were excellent. 
to finish, we had a round of masala chai. o liked it but i felt that it missed both the intensity of spice and brew of indian chai. i loved the way it was served though, in little glasses. 
the variable experience of the menu makes it very difficult for me to sum up the roti chai experience. o and n clearly liked it. for me, the price along with the some ups and mostly downs mean that i am unlikely to return. 

Roti Chai on Urbanspoon 


  1. Aah...You're the first that I've read who doesn't have a positive review, interesting indeed. Seems they have some excellent and some bad items on the menu. I might follow your good picks and just stick to that when I try it for the first time.

  2. hi there. thanks for dropping by. i just think there are better places with more value for money. it's just too pricey to justify dining there. there is another blogger on urbanspoon who did not like rotichai much either.