On yesterday's visit to Vik's I finally ventured outside of my normal bhatura cholle and ordered (for take-out) the pakori chaat, the chicken kathi kabab, the uttapam, a sweet rolled in coconut, and a fresh coconut (the cashier machetes the coconut in front of you and sticks a straw in it so you can drink the juice).
The sweet (as always ended up being too sugary for me), but the rest of the food was phenomenal. My favorite dish ended up being the uttapam which was actually my last minute replacement for the dhokla. The uttapam is a fairly thick pancake-like flat bread filled with tomatoes and onions that tastes amazing with the coconut chutney. It was spicy, sweet, flavorful, not overly greasy, and basically perfect. Seriously, it was sooo hard to stop eating the uttapam and make myself sample the other dishes!
I had trouble making up my mind about the pakori chaat (lentil dumplings with yogurt, tamarind, and mint chutney). When I tasted the sauce of yummy yogurt all mixed up with tamarind and mint chutney I got too excited and I ended up being disappointed by the almost soggy matzo ball texture of the lentil dumplings. Still, even after I had set it aside and moved on to eating more uttapam and the chicken, I kept reaching over and taking one more bite. Id love to try this dish again and see if the dumplings are less soggy if eaten immediately, or try something else with the complex yogurt sauce (which I think was the real strong point)!
The final item was the chicken kathi kabab which was cubes of spicy chicken and onions wrapped in white bread and served with mint sauce. I often have trouble with Indian chicken dishes because I dont usually like anything but chicken breast meat, but that really wasnt an issue here. I found the chicken very flavorful but not fatty and a little too spicy but balanced out by the cooling mint sauce. I guess my only complaint would be that the bread was kind of greasy and too doughy for my taste. Once again this could be a problem that is corrected when the dish is eaten fresh or maybe I just want something that tastes healthy (which Im not going to easily find at Viks!).
The overall consensus from my take out experience is that its definitely worth it to sample as many items on Viks menu as possible. Furthermore, I think that at least some of the dishes travel well and, while you lose the eccentric atmosphere of Viks, take-out is a worthwhile option when youre in a pinch. I dont think that any of the new dishes replaced the bhatura cholle as my all time favorite, but Ill definitely order them again sometime. . . which could be next weekend when I go back to try the dhokla!