City eats ~ Roti Chai, Portman Mews

Roti Chai is a great example of a successful street kitchen, following in the footsteps of the unstoppable Wahaca, and one of the leaders in a growing number of places offering an enjoyable, more casual and often cheaper way of dining out. It came onto my radar during Feast London last month, one of the vendors we wanted to try but a full stomach prevented it. I picked up a business card and noted its central location and how close it was to the office, so it was quite easy to find a few friends and a date in the diary.

You can’t book a table in the Street Kitchen unless there are more than six of you, so not wanting to miss out we booked ourselves into the Dining Room. The choice between the two beyond that is probably between price (the Dining Room is a bit more expensive), food options (the Street Kitchen is more casual), and atmosphere (it was busier in the Street Kitchen which did give it a nice buzz).

Roti Chai - Street kitchen

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The Dining Room was pretty lovely. A modern yet authentic Indian influenced decor.

Credit Photo: Paul Winch-Furness /

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The decision to book was a bit last minute so I was impressed to find that they had the online booking and a table ready. We took a seat and contemplated the menu. I’m always a fan of trying new things and sharing dishes, everyone agreed we should try a selection of the small plates. Between us we enjoyed Aloo tikki chaat, Malai chicken tikka, Bengali crab and fishcake, Gillafi seekh kebab and some Roti bread. We also had a really lovely pork dish from the selection of larger dishes (it’s not on the online menu.) Each dish was nicely presented, the flavours were spot on. A nice amount of spices without being too overwhelming.

I read some reviews complaining about the service but I have to say I thought it was great all evening. They topped up your drink without being a pest, the food came out within a reasonable amount of time and they were attentive without being pushy. I even got a call later in the evening asking if I had left my oyster card behind, I don’t think I’ve ever had a call about lost property!

If you can’t make it over to Portman Mews but Roti Chai sounds up your street, you may be interested to know that for a limited time you can find their Roti Chai Chaat Shack & Chai Bar at the Alchemy Bar at South Bank (more details here).

Are you a fan of Indian food? Have you tried Roti Chai?

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