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Restaurants & Bars 15

Chaat Cafe - 3rd Street - San Francisco

Sixy Beast | Jan 31, 200509:36 AM

[skip to the link at the bottom to read the same report with pictures]

Papri Chaat Home made chips, lentil dumpling, garbanzo beans, potatoes, yoghurt, chutneys and spices $3.50
This was my favourite. It's such a contrasty dish. Cold creamy yoghurt, very hot spices, sweet fruity chutneys, savoury beans, soft lentil dumpling and crunchy puri chips. In my opinion, it's delicious. It's quite a mysterious, sloppy dish, you can't really see what you are eating, you just have to trust the taste combination. Fred tried a mouthful. The polite way to describe his reaction would be to say it wasn't to his taste, primarily because it mixes sweetness with spice in a dish he expected to be savoury. If you feel the same way, or you don't like a lot of dairy, this dish isn't for you.

Bhel Puri Rice puffs, noodles, potatoes, green chili, onions, cilantro, tossed with tamarind and mint chutney $3.50
Bhel puri has long been a favourite of mine. This version really disappointed. The ratio of rice and noodles to potato was way too high, throwing the balance off kilter. I could only find three small potato cubes throughout the whole dish. I liked the high level of spice, but the menial amount of the fresh ingredients (noticeably the herbs and onions plus the chutneys) that could have really perked up this tall pile of crunchiness, were too few and far between.

Spicy Seekh Kabob Wrap ground lamb seasoned with green chili, ginger and spices, wrapped in a naan with grilled onions and mint chutney $5.49
This was Fred's choice. He rarely orders anything other than this lamb 'sausage' when he is in an Indian restaurant. The kabob itself was excellent. I am generally not too keen on them but really liked this version which was spicy and well scented with a delightful mix of intriguing flavours. It was extremely hot, though, so bear that in mind if you prefer milder food.

A feature of the Chaat Cafe franchise is that they make 'wraps' but use naan as the wrapper. These were the worst naans either of us have ever tasted. (Fred's was part of his dish and I had an extra one on the side for $1.50.) They were tasteless, chewy and squidgy. Absolutely no crispiness was detected whatsoever. It was if they had been premade and heated in a microwave. I can't tell you how disappointing this was. If they were able to make real, piping hot, fresh, crispy-edged, blistered naan, this would be a place I might return to. As it is, I think we'll stick with the cheaper, Tenderloin, curry joints like Naan & Curry where you can get an enormous, crispy, perfect naan, twice the size for just a dollar.

Link: http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/200...

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