Wednesday night two of us dove into the chaat menu at Olety's Chaat, better known as Real Ice Cream in Sunnyvale. For some reason, we ended up with three items based on potato patties and no puri-type chaat. But, they were a study in contrasts.
At first glance, the chole tikki (on the right) seems indistinguishable from the ragada pattis ensemble (on the left) but for the accompanying dahi (yogurt). Look again, the legumes under the pattis are pale-colored peas (yellow peas? pigeon peas?). The flavor was much sweeter and fresher with less overt spicing. The chole was quite good itself with a firm bite and masala spices cooled by the yogurt. The fried potato patties crowning each plate each were identical as were the toppings (sev, cilantro, red onions, tamarind, and green chutney). Between the two, we preferred the ragada pattis, mostly because it presented a more unusual flavor, though we liked the chole very much too. The tamarind sauce was applied with a light hand, making the chaat less sweet here leaning more toward the hot, salty and savory side of the spectrum.
Image of chaat -
Signs in the window indicated that pav vada (vada pav?) was a new item. When I ordered it at the counter, the proprietress said, "do you like garlic? the vada has garlic in it." We both nodded our assent and wondered silently why a "warning" might be necessary. Served on a toasty, light french roll (similar to the type used for banh mi) buttered and sprinkled with red seasoned salt, no kidding that these vadas were garlicky! Also potato based, these deep-fried balls were shot through with garlic and green herbs that made them much tastier and savory than the alu tikki-style. Dipped in the two sauces, each bite packed a wallop of flavor.
The red and the green chutneys were well-done. The tamarind sauce was not as sweet as some, lending a brighter, tangy note. The green sauce was quite hot with green chilis.
We split a large mango milkshake, $4.50. Made with alphonso mango puree, this is one of my favorite mango ice creams around. Posters promoted falooda as a new menu item here, but we were too stuffed to try one.
These three dishes and the shake were amazingly filling. Total tab for two of us was only $17. This was my first experience with the chaat menu here and I'll be back to try more.
What are your favorites here?