The “joyous riot of exotic color” that is Chaat and Chai Indian restaurant received a visit from The Inquirer’s food critic, Craig Laban. The restaurant opened at 1532 Snyder Ave. in November, serving traditional Indian street foods with a modern twist.
According to Laban, this Snyder Avenue restaurant is worthy of two bells. Beyond his positive feedback on the dishes served here, he also ponders the placement of this restaurant, eventually saying that, “this welcome burst of evocative color and bright Indian street-food flavors already feels like it belongs.”
More from the review:
The chaat salads, in particular, make for an especially refreshing start. Each one, whether anchored by samosas, cuminy warm chicken, or slow-stewed chickpeas, offers an intricate display of different crunchy snacks layered upon one another – puffed rice, round papdi crackers, tiny shreds of sev gram noodles, itsy beads of fried chickpea flour boondi – tossed in swirls of tart yogurt, minty green chutney, and tangy-sweet brown tamarind deepened with date paste and jaggery brown sugar. A dusting of Kashmiri chili-spiked masala spice and tangy mango powder lift the aromas off the plate.
There are limitations here, due to the fact that Thomas and Felton do not have a fryer or tandoor oven. The breads and samosas, for example, are brought in. But Chaat & Chai is resourceful, focusing most of its menu beyond the room-temperature chaats on slow-cooked pot foods and distinctive Indian pickles, like the gingery carrots piqued with mustard oil and earthy fenugreek that come alongside those short rib tacos.
Have you tried Chaat and Chai? What are your thoughts?