As we arrived at Chai Thali, which is located in the heart of Camden, but on a quieter street away from the crowds, I instantly loved the bright, colourful, vibrant and fun decor inside the restaurant. It is a mid ranged restaurant, casual and really fun. Perfect for catch ups or a date night.
There were booths named after Indian cities and a fantastic playlist of songs was adding to the already fantastic ambience in the large, spacious dining room. As we live in North London, we decided to drive to the restaurant and there was ample parking on neighbouring streets.
To start with, I had the Chai Spiced Mojito and Amit went for the Mumbai Madness upon recommendation from one of the owners. His was a blend of Vodka, Bacardi, Gin, Tequila, Cointreau, Cinnamon liqueur and garnished with Cinnamon stick and Mint sprigs. Mine was a mix of Captain Morgan Spiced rum, Chai syrup, Mint leaves, Lime wedges, Soda water, Star anise and Mint sprigs.
Both were really delicious and the perfect way to start off our meal. I love my Mojitos and this was a superb version of a classic.
The menu is fantastic and based around the small plates/sharing concept, which is really popular in London at the moment. It was really tough narrowing down our choices as everything sounded so good but our appetites are not massive and we didn’t want to over order! We decided on a few dishes, vowing to come back and try the rest.
To start with, we had the most unique version of Pau Bhaji I’ve had to date. This one was named Bhaaji pao fondue and was served in a way similar to a Swiss Cheese Fondue complete with pieces of bread and skewers. We absolutely loved this dish and it was delicious and so much fun to eat! Pau Bhaji is Amit’s favourite dish anyway and he totally rated this version of it. It is a great dish to order if there is a group of you and you want something really different.
Next up was one of my favourite dishes, which seems to have multiple names depending where in India you come from. I know them as Paani Poori and these were also served in a novel way with shot glasses containing the “paani” and the pooris nestling on the top. Another really fun dish!
The Maharaja prawns on the menu didn’t escape my glance and they were ordered and boy were they good! With a squeeze of lemon, they were decadent.
For a spicy kick we ordered the Bullet wings which were flavourful, marinated thoroughly but I felt the heat could still have gone up a little bit. I can eat my chilli thoigh and am possibly immune!
For mains, we decided to order one chicken dish, a Dhaaba Murg, and one vegetarian, a Daal Fry, to share, which we had with some plain and buttered naans.
Both were delicious but the Daal was extraordinary and just the ultimate comfort dish. It was made so decadently with the right texture, creaminess and umami to make you feel totally at ease and put a big smile on your face.
After all these fabulous savoury dishes, we braved dessert and were so glad we did as they were equally as scrumptious.
Amit went for a glass of masala chai, which was presented well coincidentally with his favourite Indian biscuits.
Gulab Jamun was my vice and it was heavenly, served with a vanilla ice cream on the side. The Gulab Jamuns were hot, sweet and lush!
We really enjoyed our meal and are already planning to go back to try some of the other dishes that caught our fancy. Although we were hosted, the prices are really reasonable and the choice of dishes are immense, especially if you love your classic street food dishes and are open to trying new novel dishes.
For more information on Chai Thali, or to book, visit their site here.