One of South Philadelphia’s favorite Indian restaurants, Chaat and Chai, is leaving for The Bourse Food Court at Independence Mall. Opening in November 2015, the street cart style Indian food and BYO option was an instant hit with neighbors and visitors.
But aside from its looks, the restaurant made a splash with a menu that featured dishes and specialties uncommon to Philly’s North-Indian-dominated Indian restaurant scene. Chef-owner Anney Thomas comes from South Indian roots, so her kitchen offered regional street foods like Chettinad curry bowls and Karela-style beef short ribs (which Inquirer food critic Craig LaBan named one of the 12 best dishes of 2016).
Thomas (who lives in the neighborhood) says, “Most of my customer base lives in Center City, West Philly or the suburbs. The Bourse just makes more sense.” Plus, all of the food hall’s new tenants will have access to The Bourse’s liquor license (she says she’s been toying around with Indian-spiced cocktails). Her Old City station will offer a pared down version of the original: “more street-food-focused.” – Foobooz