I love Indian and Pakistani street food but I don’t like going all the way to East London, Wembley or Southall unless I have to (and desperate!).
So it was a lovely surprise when I found Roti Chai had opened its doors right next to Selfridges (Marble Arch, London). I love the name- reminds me of home. Sigh! Roti or chappati is the Urdu/Hindi word for a flour bread and chai means tea.
The street this place is located on is not a thorough fare but I was surprised to find it was busy every time I’ve been here. When it comes to new food places, word does travel fast. It also surprises me how similar London is to Lahore in terms of food. People go crazy over every new food place. There’s just so much choice that even I feel overwhelmed!
You must be thinking, let’s talk about food already! I’d heard and read about some popular items on the menu so decided to give them a go. I ordered the lollipop chicken, bun kebab, bhel puri, railway lamb curry, papri chaat… Don’t worry these were sampled over a couple of visits and I didn’t pig out in one sitting! Verdict? 6/10! Did anything stand out? Not really.
It was all really normal food for me. For the quantity, I found this place overpriced. And the taste wasn’t that outstanding. For people who are new to this cuisine, it may stand out and something they’d like. But for me it wasn’t worth the hype.
The plus point about this place is that I don’t have to travel far from home to eat Desi (Indian/Pakistani) food. I do love the interior and the whole branding of this place. I love the t-shirts their employees wear (chai waala emblazoned at the front and back) and the small shop at the entrance where you can buy some popular Indian food items. For any Indians living in London, I’m sure they must rekindle some old hometown memories.
So next time you’re around Central London and want to take a break from all the burger, pizza and sushi places popping all over town- give this place a go. Who knows, your experience may be better than mine!
They also have a “Dining Room” downstairs where you can arrange a nice dinner with friends and it’s a bit more formal with a different menu. They do tend to get quite busy so always good to call beforehand and check if you need to book a table.
Check out their website for menu and other information: Roti Chai
And lastly, I know I haven’t posted anything since the new year and I apologise! But there was a lot happening and sometimes we just need to find the right balance. I can’t wait to share all the amazing places I’ve been to. Till the next one my lovelies xx