Have the calamari, just do it. And the cheesecake. Because these two dishes were ridiculous. And yes, I am a little over-excited – that is just what those two dishes do.
Now, back to calm. Chai Ki is where we are – the new Indian fusion restaurant and toddy bar at Crossrail Place, the little sister of Roti Chai near Marble Arch.
A few dishes were maybe sweeter than my palate would have liked but this is generally somewhere you can order anything on the menu and feel you’re being adventurous while not making the effort – like the foodie version of a hibernating Bear Grylls.
The idea here – as we were told on the night by owner Rohit Chugh , who was walking around chatting with customers – is to bring dishes the dishes that he knew growing up in the UK with Indian parents.
“My mum would experiment - put a bit of masala in the baked beans, things like that,” he told us. Immediately this made me want to try that strange, but delicious sounding combo.
This approach allows a more versatile menu – so the masala fries (£3.50) can sit happily alongside the fiery hakka chilli paneer (£7.20) and the meaty, BBQ-spiced Koliwada calamari (£8.20) doesn’t seem confused beside the chicken tikka naan (£7.90).
As the approach is to also emulate the toddy shops of Kerala, the cocktails have been given a lot of time and care as well, with the best one to match with the dishes (especially the spicy ones) being the Green Eyed Monster (£9.50), which, with its huge slice of cucumber, is very refreshing.