Scores: Z 27/ H2
I am not sure why but after a couple of beers with some friends, Indian food always seems very appealing. Roti Chai is somewhere that I have eaten in quite a few times before; it is conveniently located in a slightly hidden mews basically behind the M&S on Western Oxford Street and is thus not that far from popular Mayfair and Marylebone drinking holes. The restaurant has two levels, the upstairs kitchen where the food is slightly more “street food” orientated and where main courses tend to be a one plate solution, and the (slightly more formal) downstairs dining room. Here the main courses seem more suitable for sharing. The restaurant has a slight industrial feel and upstairs is filled with kitsch posters and ‘canteen’ style seating. On this occasion, we decided to eat downstairs as we were particularly hungry and downstairs was reasonably busy but not as packed as upstairs.
We ordered 3 dishes from the starters section, which has quite a large selection. Chicken 65 (£6.50) is basically Indian chicken goujons, they are served with a tomato dipping sauce that is supposed to be ‘fiery’ but I found that it was not that hot. These were good but I think could have done with being slightly crispier and the sauce could perhaps have done with more punch. Gilafi seekh kebab (£7.70) was really good, the lamb was cooked well and was very moist. They were well spiced with a nice kick; the accompanying green chutney was also good and went well. Two Bengali crab and fish cakes (£8.50) were also good dishes; the crispy outside gave way to a soft inside that seemed to contain a responsible amount of seafood.
A main course of butter chicken (£14.60) was pretty good, the chicken was tender and the sauce was pretty well spiced, however, I have had better versions. Also for nearly £15 one could have done with a bit more chicken. Goan pork (vinha d’alhos) was served on a slate with some spiced potatoes on the side. Although some sauce was served over the pork an additional jug of was also provided for if you wanted more. The pork was good, well cooked with plenty of nice fattiness, although for me the sauce was not well enough spiced, I am not sure that I would order this dish again. Tarka dal was decent containing plenty of flavour although for me it may have been just a tad thin. We also ordered accompanying bread which was good as well.
I like this restaurant quite a lot, although there is better Indian food available in town. The starters are very good and the curries of a pretty good standard. It is a fun place and the staff tend to be friendly, no doubt I will return…