What: Tapas style Indian food
Why: Easy access from the City for authentic Indian food
Where: 1 Crossrail Place, Canary Wharf, London E14
Our Favourite Thing: Malai Paneer - pan fried paneer with tomato lime chutney
Website: Click to visit
Chai Ki is the latest addition to Crossrail Place, a new development in the City complete with a rooftop garden and views of the dock and beyond. Founder Rohit Chugh has chosen an ideal location as it’s a popular area for hungry workers, with neighbours including Sticks’n’Sushi and The Breakfast Club. Chai Ki opened in August following the launch of Toddy Shop, the bar at Chai Ki, earlier this summer.
As soon as we enter I’m hit with a concoction of delicious smells which assures me that I will be eating well tonight. Opting to be a sensible adult for once I chose a non-alcoholic cocktail, Beach Kurma, which was jam-packed full of sugar but that’s how I like my drinks, the coconut water gave it a refreshing edge. If you did want to go down the alcohol route you can expect drinks like a Chai and Orange Martini and Mango Caipirinha.
Taking influence from Rohit’s childhood, Chai Ki’s dishes are designed to share allowing for the home-style eating he grew up with which means no starters but straight to the mains. In the Tandoor & Kadhai section you can expect dishes like Kandahari Quail and Goan Prawns, whilst over in the Meat & Seafood section, Butter Chicken and Fish Kuzhambu. My favourites were found in the vegetarian Chaat & Sabzi section though, with my number one being the Malai Paneer – pan fried paneer with a delicious tomato lime chutney. Following down the paneer route the Schezwan Paneer skewers were also great while the Galouti Kebab – seasonal vegetable kebab with minted cheese and apple beetroot chutney was a little spicy for my palate. Least favourite was easily the Sigri Aubergine – grilled aubergine steaks with smoked aubergine onion crush which reminded of BBQ sauce and didn’t quite fit with the rest of the meal.
On to desserts it would have been preferable to see some more authentic Indian treats like gulab jamun rather than cheesecake and custard tart although the cheesecake was good with an incredibly creamy texture. The meal was enjoyable though and great for after work dinner or a date, in the evening the low lighting gives it a relaxed feel ideal after a day in the office whilst in the day you can enjoy views of the river.
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