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CHAAT serves up an enticing array of street food favourites from across India

With a population of over 1.35 billion souls, India boasts one of the world’s most vibrant, expansive culinary cultures, so much so that embarking on a quest to try every one of its dishes would be all but impossible in one lifetime. One particular high-end eatery, though, is bringing a very specific aspect of Indian cuisine to Hong Kong’s discerning diners – CHAAT, the Rosewood Hong Kong’s all-new Indian restaurant. 

CHAAT serves up an enticing array of street food favourites from across India gafencu magazine taste (4)

Headed by Chef de Cuisine Madav Tuli, CHAAT is a celebration of the vast country’s most beloved street foods. “We bring everything that is served on the streets of India, not just from the north, south or west,” explains Tuli, adding: “CHAAT is all about finger-licking good food that is raw in its nature, but that is then refined to fit into a Rosewood culture.”

CHAAT serves up an enticing array of street food favourites from across India gafencu magazine taste

Raj Kachori

Perched on the fifth floor of the luxurious Rosewood Hong Kong, CHAAT boasts a wholly contemporary appeal that is at once welcoming and sophisticated. This is the arena where Chef Tuli takes his guests on a nostalgic romp through favourite dishes from such far-flung regions of India as Delhi, Kerala, Hyderabad, Punjab and Bengal. Each dish represents a separate cooking tradition, albeit with a refined twist, and no two plates taste the same, so the restaurant’s diners can explore numerous facets of the subcontinent’s street food at their leisure.

CHAAT serves up an enticing array of street food

CHAAT Tandoori

In keeping with this vision, for our own tasting, Chef Tuli prepared a staggering 13-course menu. While every dish was scrumptious, a few in particular merit special mention, as is the case with Raj Kachori. This savoury appetiser is not just a visual feast, every bite packs a multi-flavoured punch. Here, a crispy lentil puff is filled with potatoes, deep-fried lentils and pomegranate, liberally drizzled with tamarind, chutney and yoghurt, giving every mouthful a refreshingly light mouth-feel. 

CHAAT serves up an enticing array of street food favourites from across India gafencu magazine taste (6)

Black Pepper Chicken Tikka

CHAAT’s kebabs – sizzling meaty morsels that are lovingly cooked in the restaurant’s traditional Indian tandoor ovens – were also a major hit. First came the Kerala Grouper Tikka, a dish inspired by Hong Kong’s own love affair with the famed fish. Here, delicated slabs of Grouper are marinated in yoghurt before being cooked and what results is a melt-in-your-mouth concoction, with the yoghurt coating proffering an added layer of creaminess without overpowering the subtlety of the fish. 

“CHAAT is about taking iconic Indian street foods and giving it a refined finesse”

It was perhaps the CHAAT Tandoori platter, though, that was a true stunner. Featuring an array of iconic kebabs – featuring traditional offerings like Lamb Seekh Kebab, Sarson Prawn and Black Pepper Chicken Tikka as well as the slightly more unusual Black Angus Beef Short Rib Kebab – the selection was the perfect exploration of kebab culture. The beef was a particular surprise, not least because beef rarely appears on the menu for the country’s largely Hindu population, but the prime cut of juicy meat was a true palate pleaser. 
 
CHAAT serves up an enticing array of street food favourites from across India gafencu magazine taste (2)

Pork Cheek Vindaloo

Of the mains, it was perhaps the Pork Cheek Vindaloo that stands out as the star of the show. An iconic dish from Goa, Kerala and other former Portuguese colony regions, this particular version of the curry sees pieces of pork simmered in a rich sauce brimming with garlic, vinegar, ginger, chili and spices until the meat is so tender it falls off the fork. Unlike other iterations, CHAAT’s take isn’t mind-numbingly spicy. Instead, it offers a slow burn that still allows the pork flavour to shine through – a deft showcase of Chef Tuli’s dedication to balancing flavours. 

CHAAT serves up an enticing array of street food favourites from across India gafencu magazine taste (3)

Turning to dessert, it was the Nimbu Tart that stole the show. This Indian take on the lemon tart sees lime as the hero ingredient of the cream, while the pastry has been infused with the subtle taste of cardamom for a delicate, spiced finish. Light, tangy and delicious, it served as the perfect counterpoint to the richness of the previous courses in another deft display of Chef Tuli’s ability to balance flavours and ingredients with refined finesse.

CHAAT, (852) 5239 9220. 

2020-10-20T14:46:31+00:00 October 02, 2020|Dining, Taste, Video|