As you know by now, every Thursday night hubby and I try to check out a new restaurant in the city we are in. Currently we are in London, so one of our favorite cuisines to indulge in is Indian food. Last Thursday, we headed over to Roti Chai in Marble Arch. This restaurant is located off of a little side street next to a large pub and right next to the Marble Arch tube station.
C R O W D
Just looking through the windows, I could tell that it was packed even for a Thursday evening. Thankfully we reserved our space ahead of time. Make sure to make one here before you go!
D E C O R
Honestly from my view, I couldn’t see much. But what I saw when we left looked colorful if not memorable. The only piece of décor I remember vividly is the ceiling, as it is dimensional and uses the high ceiling space well. We sat right next to the kitchen, and I had a decorated metal piece on my right side with the wall on my back, so I felt pretty boxed in. Not happy about that since my elbows kept hitting this metal on my right side. My husband found my irritation + hanger pretty hilarious of course, but once the food arrived, my spirits lifted.
F O O D
I didn’t recognize many dishes on the menu, but that’s what makes Indian food so exciting. The flavor is always there, even with a new dish. For appetizers I ordered a Paneer Pakora (fried cottage cheese with a chili dipping sauce), and he ordered Pav Bhaji (a mixture of vegetables with bread). We agreed that mine tasted better (as usual, *hair flip*), but his still ranks highly.
For the main, I ordered the Punjabi Duo, which was a Chana Masala (chickpeas curry) and an Aloo Gobi (potato and cauliflower curry). He ordered a Palak Paneer (a spinach-based curry with cottage cheese cubes) with one whole-wheat roti. Our food tasted great. I could eat that over and over again. The portion sizes are ideal, and I didn’t even need any rice because of the filling curries and appetizer. Hubby loved the Palak Paneer and said he will happily order it again.
For dessert, we obviously had to end our meal with chai. Though enjoyable, we both decided it was significantly too cinnamon-y. I don’t know if maybe my taste buds are becoming more British, but I just can’t do really sweet things anymore. What I love about true chai is that the mixture of spices and the dash of sugar lets you enjoy every single flavor as it crosses over your tongue. But when a drink is inundated with sugar or cinnamon, it loses touches of the cardamom and ginger.
S E R V I C E
The service is quick and efficient here. I wouldn’t describe our waiter as very friendly, but I will say he got the job done. One way that they could improve in services is to offer takeaway boxes. *gasp, I know* One of my favorite things in the whole wide world is having leftover Indian food to enjoy the next day. I’m not sure what they’re trying to do with no takeaway boxes, but let me tell you, that does not sit well with me. So much so that I’m not sure I would ever go there again. Maybe that’s a little dramatic. Maybe not. Each of us have our own criteria for an excellent restaurant, and for me, one criterion is the ability to feel at home and not feel pressured to eat all the food I have ordered.
P R I C E
Pricewise this place is actually more expensive than our other favorite Indian restaurants in London. The main meals are reasonable, but I feel like the appetizers are a bit too pricey.
I would definitely recommend this restaurant for a delicious Indian meal. Just finish all of your food at the table and make sure you don’t get seated next to the kitchen.