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San Francisco Bay Area Indian Berkeley Lunch Buffet

Berkeley – Charming Chaat & Curries – Indian/Nepali- $6.99 lunch buffet

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Berkeley – Charming Chaat & Curries – Indian/Nepali- $6.99 lunch buffet

rworange | Jan 10, 2007 10:58 PM

Chaat & Curries on San Pablo at University has been open about a month. The owners are from Nepal though currently there are few Nepali options.

I had
- lamb curry
- mango lassi
- maybe garlic naan
- tawa roti

The lassi – deeply mango-colored from lots of fresh mango was very good ... not too tangy or sweet and full of mango flavor.

My order was a little confused, so I’m guessing that the garlic naan is what was wildly wonderful to me. It looked like a huge thick pancake folded in half. The inside yellow (from ghee?) and sprinkled with garlic and fresh cilantro. This was very nice.

The three roti looked more like convetional naan, pleasantly gummy and charred.

I asked what I should order that would make me come back again and after asking if I was vegetarian, the owner said the lamb or chicken. I went with the lamb though I don’t see it on the menu. There were about 8 pieces of lamb in a rich brown sauce that was mildly spicy. The fragrant rice with it was good with some little black seeds.

I am so not knowledgeable about Indian food, but this didn’t disappoint me like most does. I'm only close to clueless ... I know naan ... this was a little different... thicker than most and really did look something like an American hotcake - dinner plate-sized.

The food is what I imagine would be made in someone’s kitchen, it had a homey quality to it.

The small buffet changes daily and has about a dozen items inclusive of things like rice. The tandoori chicken looked good, not the usual dried out buffet chicken. It was sprinkled with fresh green herbs.

The restaurant is rather plain, but clean. It was the owner’s son who was so charming telling me stories about Nepal where the family is from. If I wasn’t chaating (heh) with him, I wouldn’t have known about the Nepali food at the restaurant.

They just opened so there is only one dish they identified as solely Napali – lamb boti (boneless cubed lamb skewered & cooked in the tandoori). How this differs from regular tandoori lamb, I couldn’t tell you.

Their definition of tandoori – Items cooked in a clay oven “tandori’ style. Each wrap contains onions, lentils & cucumbers and spiced potato fries.

They eventually will have momo’s, and the son’s eyes lighted up when he talked about them. However they are starting slow with the standards and hopefully will branch out.

Chaat is pretty basic: Aloo tikki, bhel puri, pani puri, dahi vada, samosa, samosa chaat, dahi papari chaat, papadam & vegetable pakora.

They are heavy on the vegetable curries. with 10 and only three chicken curries.

There was nothing fancy here. The food was just simply good.

Chaat & Curries Restaurant

2026 San Pablo Avenue (across the street from Lanesplitter near the Mexican market)
Berkeley, Ca
510-548-0285

Hours:

Daily

Lunch: 10 am – 3 pm
Dinner: 5 pm – 10 pm

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