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India Chaat and Sweets (Berkeley): Good meal

Joel Teller | Apr 11, 200406:53 PM

The location (corner of University and Sixth) has been home to a number of restaurants over the years. Now it's Indian.
We first went because we wanted to get some Indian sweets to take home (Vik's is closed in the evenings). When we walked in we realized it was also a restaurant. The sweets were excellent, and we picked up a menu that included (besides all the standard stuff) a section titled Mutton! Furthermore, each of the three curries listed under "Mutton" specified "Goat".
So six of went for dinner and were quite pleased. We got the goat!

The atmosphere is very nice -- a beautiful mural on the inside walls. Relatively quiet room, with pleasant service (not too professional though).
We started with chaat: bhel puri (best I've had) and padni chaat. These might have been the two best dishes. These cost $4.95 at dinner, $3.95 for lunch. There were about a dozen chaats offered.

We had Tandoori fish ($14.95, a whole trout, bone-in). Quite delicious though some thought it was over-cooked (not me).
Bhindi Masala ($8.95). Delicious okra curry.
Chana Dal ($8.95). Lentil curry, very nicely seasoned.
Saffaron [sic] Chicken ($10.95). Creamy, sweet saffron sauce (listed as a "Chef's Special"). Very rich.
Mutton Sag ($11.95). Goat meat in spinach. The goat had some bones in it, and was very nicely "gamy" -- just what we wanted. I thought it was salty, but the other dishes were not too salty so it went well with them.
We had a couple of raitas and some condiments. The curries came with excellent rice and nan. The nan was very good -- hot and crispy.
For dessert we had gulab jamun, rasmalai, carrot halwa, and some sort of nut ice cream. I thought the rasmalai was the best, and the halwa was also excellent.

When he took the order, the waiter asked what level of spice we wanted: mild, medium, spicy, or very spicy. Unfortunately we chose "medium" and we thought some of the dishes were underseasoned. It will be spicy next time!

We brought two bottles of wine and they provided adequate glasses. But they did not charge corkage (we opened and poured the wine ourselves). So, on top of the $95 bill, we left a huge tip. A very nice deal for six people.
And we bought a batch of Indian sweets to take home for today's lunch ($4 per pound).
I am not an expert on Indian food, though some in our group seemed to be, and they were pleased too.
I saw a number of Indian-looking people among the customers, including some families, always a good sign.

India Chaat and Sweets
824 University Avenue (corner of Sixth Street)
Berkeley
510-704-1200

Parking lot behind, on Sixth Street; easy street parking (at dinner-time).

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