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Chai Ki

Restaurants, Indian Canary Wharf
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(11user reviews)
1/4
James French
2/4
3/4
4/4

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

The restaurant sharing a space with Toddy Shop at Chai Ki.

In a city where many of us still think of Indian food as an either/or situation (hottest thing on the menu lads/chicken korma wimps) it's a pleasure to eat in a restaurant where the special spice blends that go into our surrogate national cuisine are really allowed to sing. It's frankly a surprise to find it (after spending a considerable percentage of phone battery on trying to locate the bloody place) in Canary Wharf, where it takes a great deal to make us feel comfortable about parting with money. Once you're in you'll need to choose between eating in the Toddy Shop – the slightly less formal front section of the restaurant – where the menu is effectively Indian tapas, and the more traditional dining area at the back, where you can order three courses without confusing the staff.

The food at Chai Ki is clearly presented by someone who cares about flavour. Not every dish we tried was a knockout but where there were failings it was down to being overambitious rather than unskilled; succulent quail slightly overpowered by tangy pomegranate molasses, say. But most of the menu offers satisfying, moreish, complex dishes, the kind you always want from an Indian restaurant and so rarely get. Yes, we did order the butter chicken (wimps) and yes, its tandoori thigh meat, fenugreek sauce, crispy spinach, melon seeds and miso base combines to become something absolutely delicious.

Details

Address: 1 Crossrail Place
London
E14 5AR
Transport: Tube: Canary Wharf
Price: Main courses £6.50-£16.80
Contact:
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Users say (11)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|11
1 person listening
tastemaker

Chai Ki is one of the best places for Indian food, particularly the bar plates like the puris (excellent). There are also some unusual dishes like the lamb porridge - all delicious.  They also serve fab seasonal cocktails, like Christmas blinis. A fun place for tasty food particularly if you are in a large group. 


Had dinner last night and the family loved it, great food and excellent service. Will definitely revisit.

tastemaker

This venue is split into 2 areas, with 2 different menus.  The front and bar area is the Toddy shop with a wide selection of 'sharing plates', the back a more traditional restaurant setting.  We went to the restaurant, which wasn't as busy as the bar when we arrived but filled up with bigger groups as the evening progressed.  The space is very impressive and has a nice atmosphere, with high ceilings and warm lighting.  It feels modern and high end.  We went for the £35 set menu, which was excellent value.  A cocktail, selection of starters, main dish with sides to share and a desert.  The cocktail list looks impressive although I restricted myself to just the one included in my menu.  We started with a 'shot' of lentil and red pepper soup, which was strong and delicious, then we each got a plate of chicken tikka, a vegetarian croquette and lamb kebab. The portions were probably just right - although I could have easily eaten double.  Each item tasted really good and the spice levels weren't overpowering.  

The main course was choice of prawn or butter chicken.  I had the chicken, about 6 small chicken thighs in a lovely mildly spiced sauce with coriander dressing.  We had paneer, dhal, plain rice and naan to share and even got offered more.  The naan was particularly good, light and crispy smothered in melted butter.  I also really enjoyed the dhal.  When we'd eaten our fill we were then offered a choice of 3 deserts - the cheesecake was recommended as it's apparently home made daily (not sure what that means for the other items on the menu).  It was a bit rich after the meal we'd just had but was a good cheesecake and it was still technically christmas so I happily obliged. 

The food was excellent in the restaurant and I would definitely like to return to the toddy shop for drinks and nibbles.

The only negative point was the service - some staff seemed professional and efficient but there were a couple we had that were really uninterested, unhelpful and slow.  

tastemaker

Modern South Asian cuisine with some dishes comparable to Dishoom. Initially, I was not impressed with the service. We were early and still waiting for friends. Our table was not ready so had to wait by the bar area, bearing in mind the restaurant was NOT busy with plenty of other free tables AND the bar was high with high seating so not accessible for a wheelchair user. This was quickly rectified by someone I assumed is the manager, who approached us to apologise and offer another table for us to sit at to enjoy our drinks while waiting for the rest of the party to arrive.

After this initial hiccup, everything else was quite smooth. Waiting staff had good knowledge of the menu and could recommend dishes which were not too spicy (I'm weak when it comes to chilli hot food). The food itself was full of flavour and enjoyable. The Himilayan baby back ribs were spicy but so good, I endured it anyway (to be honest it's really not that spicy but as mentioned before I'm rubbish). There wasn't a dish I didn't like from the mains but I wasn't too fond of the desserts. The cheese cake and custard tart were too heavy for me.

Other than the bar area, everything else was wheelchair accessible with toilets too. Good for groups who like to try a variety of dishes and share food.

tastemaker

Ok food, with high prices and small portions. Often chaotic service. Better restaurants for Indian do exist.


tastemaker

Canary Wharf doesn’t feel like a natural choice for a funky little restaurant, and indeed it feels somewhat out of place amidst chains and high-end sandwich shops. However, Crossrail Place has an increasingly impressive collection of restaurants and Chai Ki might just be the crowning jewel. It’s got a great menu with options familiar enough to navigate, but contemporary and individual enough to feel like ‘somewhere special’. I went during brunch where they had an extensive selection for lunch and brunch options. The ribs were amazing, flavoursome and tender and just the right side of sticky. The chicken and chilli was a bit spicy for me, but washed down an ice chai tea was still tasty. The restaurant itself is light and airy with an amazing selection of booze, and the staff are friendly with the prices reasonable.

tastemaker

I recently went to Chai Ki for dinner on a Saturday night - and the first thing that struck me was the ambiance of the restaurant. The high ceilings, simple but stylish decor and orange-ish lighting really enhanced the dining experience. With a view of the water behind the restaurant, it's located in Crossrail place in Canary Wharf. The service was more than excellent - with really helpful front of house staff in particular. My only gripe would be that the food was really small portions. But having said that the food was excellent modern take on Indian food. The butter chicken in particular was really tasty - and I will certainly be going back again!

Tastemaker

I went to the Toddy shop for cocktails. The ambience of the restaurant is nice and tranquil. On the side is the toddy bar. It has a nice collection of infusion cocktails. Unfortunately for the price £8-10, they did not taste very nice. Hopefully the food here is better, but don't go just for the cocktails.

Tastemaker

Newly opened Chai Ki has a menu inspired by south India’s roadside drinking dens and street food. This sister venue to Roti Chai in Marylebone, it is a spacious all-day Indian restaurant and toddy shop bar, with industrial chic décor composed of steel ducting pipes, high ceiling, concrete walls and hanging lights all combined with a bright colour palate to make an extremely inviting restaurant space.


The menu here offers an extensive choice of creative cocktails, mocktails and chais all infusing south Asian flavours, as well as breakfast dishes, sharing plates and traditional curries.


The dishes and flavours on the menu at Chai Ki are immensely attractively and as a result we ended up ordering quite a few dishes!


I was a particular fan of the authentic street food served at Roti Chai but I am now an even bigger fan or Chai Ki. The large dining space, creative menu, eclectic drinks means and relaxed vibe mean I will definitely be frequently the restaurant much more!

"title"

Tastemaker

Having walked passed this new addition to Crossrail Place on many occasions , I finally walked in to try it last Friday. I was impressed. The decor was stylish. It has a modern take to Asian food. There was a list of cocktails to suit everyone's tastes. The food consists of sharing plates and main meals. I had the duck porridge served with brioche bun. It was delicious; subtly spicy and comforting at the same time. Bhel puri and sweet potato chaat at my neighbour's table also looked amasing. There's no doubt I'll be back to sample more from the menu.

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