Cool Camden. It seems to be the destination for tourists visiting Camden Market or people driving through on their way to Chalk Farm or Hampstead. Linger a while as there are some hidden delights here.
Chai Thali is a pleasant surprise. A newly opened Indian eatery housed in a large ground floor space of a commercial building. It is a few streets away from the main stretch. The decor is part industrial chic, part street savvy but the private room is a bit posh.
The decor is part industrial chic, part street savvy but the private room is a bit posh. Boothes that line the wall are named after cities. We sat in Lucknow, and were disappointed to find that they didn’t have the famous Lucknow lamb kebabs on the menu. However, there was a lot of other delicious offerings.
The very comprehensive menu encompasses choices from our street food favourites and main courses that are more familiar. The food served at Chai Thali is not from one region but is a curated list of the best street food from around India. There will be something for everyone on this menu.
They have an inventive cocktail menu with choices like the Incredible India below. Made with Captain Morgan’s Dry Rum, Bacardi, Malibu, Blue Curacao, orange juice, lychee juice and pineapple juice.
For starters, we followed the recommendation of our very sweet server and ordered these crispy pani poori with a tamarind sauce, some tender lamb chops, tandoori prawns and crispy okra. We loved the
We loved the marinaded charred flavour of the giant prawns and the spicy tender lamb chops, which will give a certain place in the East End a run for its money. If you are not a fan of okra, their crispy fried okra will convert you. The pani poori was not what I expected. I was thinking of Chaat with the yoghurt, chutney and tamarind sauce.
Choices abound for main courses. If you can’t decide, they offer 2 types of Thali, a vegetarian one and one for meat eaters with a choice of 2 chicken curries and a lamb dish.
We could not resist the Hyderabadi Dum Biryani, aromatic rice, lightly spiced and cooked with pieces of lamb. It’s the kind of dish that you can’t stop eating. We added the Murg Makhani, a rich and creamy chicken curry.
For balance, we had the vegetable curry which was a mix of fresh vegetables cooked in an onion and tomato masala and the most deliciously comforting Maa Ki Daal. The daal is made with black gram lentils, chana dal and kidney beans that’s been slow cooked for 12 hours.
To round off our fabulous Indian feast we shared a Gaajar Halwa, made with carrots cooked in sweet milk topped with pistachios. Of course, lastly, a glass of Masala Chai.
Gaajar Halwa and some Masala Chai
For a new restaurant with such a massive menu, they delivered an excellent experience. Delicious food, friendly and efficient service, fun casual setting. There are plans for more branches of Chai Thali around London and I can see this being a real favourite around town. If you are in Camden, go find this place. Go now and beat the inevitable crowds.
19 Mandela Street,
Camden NW1 0DU
EatCookExplore was a guest of Chai Thali