Eating out: Roti Chai, London (again!)
I took Karl out for a birthday dinner this evening and, although it didn’t quite go as planned, it all turned out quite well in the end.
We’d hoped to go to MEATMarket for burgers and cocktails. It’s the second restaurant by the guys behind MEATLiquor, and I expected it to be in much the same vein - a dimly lot diner with cool artwork, great food (including onion rings big enough to wear as bangles) and fab cocktails. I clearly hadn’t done my research.
MEATMarket is more of a “get in and out in half an hour” kind of place. It overlooks the jubilee market in covent garden and has very little seating. It’s for those dining on the go and offers takeaway options too. It’s definitely not a place for a birthday treat, no matter how great the burgers, and there was barely a cocktail to be seen. Onion rings didn’t even feature. I was gutted.
We hopped on the bus to MEATLiquor instead, only to find the queues (which it is renowned for) snaking down the road. Now as I said, the burgers are great. But this isn’t a pop-up, it’s here to stay and open every day, for lunch and dinner. Inside, seats are plentiful. I really don’t understand why people are still queueing up for the place, especially with so many other great options nearby.
Too hungry to wait, we resorted to Plan C and strolled down to Roti Chai instead, for some Indian streetfood. Third time lucky! I’ve been once before and was impressed with the food and, thankfully, Karl loved it too. We ordered chicken lollipop (spicy, breadcrumbed chicken drumsticks), chilli paneer, raita, chickpea curry, lamb and potato curry, rotis and a dish of onions, chillies and lemon to have on the side. It was a proper little feast worthy of a birthday celebration.
We washed it all down with a couple of cocktails, including this lychee martini which came in a teapot.
And for dessert we had kulfi - little Indian ice creams. I went for pistachio and Karl had mango.
And we both went home happy and full.
PS: I’ve learned my lesson. Never choose a ‘no bookings’ restaurant for a birthday dinner, no matter how cool it thinks it is.