As noted in my Paktoonkhwa Restaurant post, Green St has changed. This is a round up of some of the better chaat places I've snacked at over the last few days.
The three places I've enjoyed the most are two stalls in Venus Mall (16 Carlton Terrace, Green St, London, E7) and Khana Khazana (249 Green St.)
R.D. Dabeli Pure Vegetarian is the first of the Venus Mall stalls. It's further towards the back of the mall and on the left than the place written about below. They didn't have vada pav when I went in and they only recently stopped doing pav bhaji, but (as the name would imply) they make dabeli. I didn't know what dabeli was until I wiki'ed it afterward and it's apparently a snack sandwich native to Kutch. Interestingly enough the owner of this still is a woman from Kutch. Good sign? Probably. The sandwich itself is similar to a pav bhaji in the buttery flavor of its bread and the pastiness of its filling, but the taste is quite different. The paste was thicker and studded with pomegranate. The finished product had a nice contrast of extremely soft role and filling with crunchy pomegranate seeds and chunks of red onion. Decent taste and price. Her bhel was only OK.
Pound Shop Pure Vegetarian is closer to the mall entrance and on the right. It's name and sign make it look like many of the (now probably 10+) mediocre chaat places along Green St, but some of their stuff has impressed me. His pani puri are some of the best I've had in London. Not quite on par with the old cart in East Ham, but close. Papri that aren't stale, good water and better filling at a pound for 5. His samosa chaat is decent.
Khana Khazana is further down Green St and it is literally impossible to miss. What used to be a sport's bar has now become a mini Indian food extravaganza. The menu inside looks quite standard and Punjabi, but a chaat bazaar of sorts lines the outside of the restaurant. The aloo tikki are fried fresh to order. Pakora are also fried to order. Practically everything but jalebi is fried to order (and if you're lucky those are fried to order as well as they're done in batches.) They also do fried fish by the kilo, but I haven't tried it yet. Aloo tikki chat (1 pound) is excellent with a still burning hot potato fritter covered in your usual selection of chaat related toppings. Their pani puri are better than average for the road with a greener water than at the above place. Overall, I prefer their water here, but the filling was bland by comparison. Finally, this is one of the only places I've ever seen pav bhaji on a menu in London. I get them from two places in Queens and TBH I prefer the version at both, but this was pretty good. The masala filling was a bit lacking in spice and it tasted more strongly of tomato than any other version I've had. The rolls were nice, grilled and buttered though. 2 for 3 quid and though it wasn't the best I've had I would get it again.
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