Roti Chai, Oxford Street
A little bit of India hidden in the crazy hustle and bustle of central London. Indian street food with a pinch of sophistication. This place is neatly tucked away in the backstreet of the Oxford Street area (more towards Marble Arch). It’s quite a big place inside and it has a different feel to it completely. Comparing the huge population of Arabs in the area anyway, it feels odd walking into Little India when you expect a bit of Beirut or Dubai instead. This place offers a range of Indian/Pakistani/South Indian choice of food with the all important desi masala chai.
So what we had:
Papri Chaat: These was quite actually. Good balance of flavours but not enough of the tamarind/imli sauce stuff. We had to steal some of the sauce from the ‘Tikka Bun’. Obviously not comparable to original street food but wasn’t bad at all for a restaurant! I’ve had Papri Chaat from a place down in Green Street, and this was actually better and bigger! The Papris, the shells …. I think it’s the papris (my knowledge of Indian Street is amateur in comparison to Azzizi really!) anyway they were really filled with potato. The yoghurt wasn’t too thick and the crunchiness made it all the better.
Bun Chilli Chicken: Basically a burger… with chicken tikka instead of a lamb patty! This burger was actually really good. It was served with the imli/tamarind sauce which I personally love. I love this stuff. It has a sweet but slightly sharp taste and it really compliments the spicy-ness of the tikka. The chicken was well cooked and the yoghurt chutney help play down all those intense flavours. The bun was also surprisingly really good, I could’ve just eaten the bread on its own.
Dark chocolate tart: This was served with a delicious cinnamon cream which actually worked really well. You can’t go wrong with a chocolate tart, I guess we were just surprised that it didn’t have mirch (chilli) in it either!
Chai masala: So I asked the guy to make sure it was extra hot, otherwise they would’ve brought tepid milky tea. There is nothing worse in a tea-lovers world than lukewarm tea. It needs to be steaming when it comes to me. This chai masala was very rich but not too dense that it would make you feel heavy. You could definitely taste the cinnamon and the masala, possibly pepper. I would’ve liked the glasses to be bigger too.
Drinks: Kovalam beach, lychees, coconut, guava and ginger. This drink was really good, quite light and soothing. Maha Mojito, was more like a watered down Mojito- it’s rare to find a good virgin Mojito!
Food – 3.5/5
Service – 3.5/5 – You really need to get the attention of one of the waiters. There are quite a few buzzing around but the place is busy.
Value – 3.5/5 – I guess for the location, this place is reasonably priced but it is a bit overpriced generally. The size of the chai really does let this place down. If you anything like me when it comes to tea, I could’ve easily had two glasses!
Venue – 3.5/5 – Heart of an extremely buzzing place but it is off the main road and I did get confused finding it (it’s happened to me twice now!) It’s the road opposite the Thistle Hotel nearer to Marble Arch than Bonds Street, on the corner there’s a pub and it’s past that if you walk down the road.
SAS factor – 4/5 – sophisticated Indian street food and good masala chai.
Non halal meat is not served here but alcohol is.
Total – 18/25
Reviewed by Salt
3 Portman Mews South | London | W1H 6HS t: 020 7408 0101