Thursday, August 26, 2004

Indian Chaat and Sweets, Berkeley, CA

  • Visit India Chaat and Sweets Website Here


  • 824 University Avenue
    Berkeley, CA 94704
    Tel: (510) 704-1200
    Fax: (510) 704-0357

    Sun -Thurs
    11:30 am - 9:30 pm
    Fri - Sat
    11:30 am - 10:00 pm




    Tonight I was part of a visit by the "Masala Hound" contingent of the Bay Area Chowhounders to a 'Curry Dive'. There were Fourteen Hounds in Total. It was interesting to finally meet some of the faces behind the names on the Chowhound Message Board

  • The Chowhoud Proposal for tonight's event


  • A chowhound meal consists of ordering lots of dishes and then everyone sharing them all, so that each person can have a little taster of everything that is on offer. We started with the 'chaat' which are a selection indian roadside snacks. The reason I wanted to be a part of this meal is because when I was a strict vegetarian back in the late 80's in London, I used to frequent Indian Vegetarian restaurants specializing in these kinds of dishes and I hadn't tried any in the US yet. Overall the chaat plates seem to include lots of little crispy fried things, like puris, also cubed potatoes, raw onions, chickpeas, tamarind and yoghurt. At 'India Chaat and Sweets' I found the things that were supposed to be crispy were sometimes a little stale, soggy and not quite as fresh as they should have been. My favourite, the Papdi Chaat, was sufficiently mouth-tingling and fresh to make an impression. I thought the main curries were a little overpriced at $10.95 each, especially for the vegetable dishes. However I loved the creamy Kofta and the delicious okra. I liked the thinner of the meat curries too, which was supposed to be goat but tasted like lamb to me. The naan was too dry, not buttery enough. The saffron chicken was too saffron for my taste, but maybe that was because I landed a large clump of the decorative stamen in my own spoonful. I didn't care much for the desserts which were all obviously made with condensed milk causing them to be very creamy and sweet, with out enough chill or flavour to cut through the clawing richness.
    Price per person (including $5 corkage for each wine bottle we opened[7?], and tip) was $23.50



  • Visit this link to see a full set of photographs from the evening
  • Indian Chaat and Sweets, Berkeley, CA

    3 Comments:

    • At 11/5/08 19:04, Anonymous Kathy said…

      Hi Sam, quick story of my life then a question, lived my first 45 years in the East End of London, Bethnal Green (home of Brick Lane no less), moved to the Bay Area kicking and screaming on account of my husband's new job!!. now proud owners of our Green cards, and fully intergrated in CA life, and loving every minute of it, I (because my husband refused outright to help me) have finally stopped bringing case loads of British/Indian food I simply could not live without back from every trip home. We really enjoy all the cuisine the Bay area has to offer, except for one. We cannot find a decent curry, we and our taste buds have just not found one that we would summon up enough effort to make a second visit. We admit that our research has not been that extensive as we want one on our doorstep like we were used to back home, We would however be willing to make a special journey into the city if it was "worth our while" and could always go to Lefty's for a pint after. please help us!! before I resort to trying to smuggle a certain chef from a certain curry house just off bricklane back with me in my suitcase!!. ps love your blog, off to read everything. Thank you, Kathy, oh we live in Benicia.

       
    • At 30/3/09 17:08, Anonymous Chilli said…

      I love this blog! I've been reading it for a while although relatively quietly. Anything I previously thought about saying seemed already said and better. I love your thoughts on food and realise many of mine run the same way. Please continue to enthrall us. I hope you carry on writing this blog for a long, long time.
      Seeing that there are no responses here, with your permission, I'd like to try to answer the question posed by your reader. Of course, she must be looking for an answer from you. But I see the word 'curry' and lose all perspective and reason. Here are my two cents.
      I understand the phenomenon of 'curry house' is a bit different in the UK from my beloved curries served at home and in restaurants everywhere in India. But I've found some restaurants with decent curries in San Francisco, though maybe in a different format than the one you are used to, Kathy. If you are in the city, please do try Chutney on Jones Street, between O'Farrell and Geary or Pakwan in the Mission district on Valencia. Those would be my recommendations. A British friend of mine also swears by Naan-n-curry. I'm ambivalent about it. Then there also is Kennedy Irish Pub at Columbus and Powell that seems to draw some mixed reviews. There's a fantastic upscale restaurant called Amber, right next to the Four Season opposite the new Jewish Museum that San Francisco is lucky to have and I cautiously recommend. The food is divine but it is pricey. Hope one of these helps you find something you like.
      And Sam thanks again for this wonderful, fun blog!

       
    • At 30/3/09 17:14, Anonymous Chilli said…

      *Sorry if this is a double post. Please do delete it if it is. I got no confirmation that the previous one had/will post. My browser can be very screwy*

      I love this blog! I've been quite the avid reader for a while, although a relatively quiet one. Anything I previously thought about saying seemed already said and better. I love your thoughts on food and realise many of mine run the same way. Please continue to enthrall us. I hope you continue to write this blog for a long, long time.
      Seeing that there are no responses here, with your permission, I'd like to try to answer the question posed by your reader. Of course, she must be looking for an answer from you. But I see the word 'curry' and lose all perspective and reason. Here are my two cents.
      I understand the phenomenon of 'curry house' is a bit different in the UK from my beloved curries served at home and in restaurants everywhere in India. But I've found some restaurants with decent curries in San Francisco, though maybe in a different format than the one you are used to, Kathy. If you are in the city, please do try Chutney on Jones Street, between O'Farrell and Geary or Pakwan in the Mission district on Valencia. Those would be my recommendations. A British friend of mine also swears by Naan-n-curry. I'm ambivalent about it. Then there also is Kennedy Irish Pub at Columbus and Powell that seems to draw some mixed reviews. There's a fantastic upscale restaurant called Amber, right next to the Four Season opposite the new Jewish Museum that San Francisco is lucky to have and I cautiously recommend. The food is divine but it is pricey. Hope one of these helps you find something you like.
      And Sam thanks again for this wonderful, fun blog!

       

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