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Toddy Shop at Chai Ki

Restaurants, Indian Canary Wharf
3 out of 5 stars
 (© Paul Winch-Furness)
© Paul Winch-Furness
 (© Paul Winch-Furness)
© Paul Winch-Furness
 (© Paul Winch-Furness)
© Paul Winch-Furness
 (© Paul Winch-Furness)
© Paul Winch-Furness
 (© Paul Winch-Furness)
© Paul Winch-Furness

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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Newly opened Chai Ki is inspired by south India’s roadside drinking dens, although there’s little that remains of this scrubbed-up venue to link it with the original spit and sawdust shacks back home. A sister concern to Roti Chai, it is a spacious all-day Indian restaurant and bar, frequented by mainly smart young professionals.  Décor focuses on industrial chic – steel ducting pipes across the high ceiling, concrete walls, hanging lights and modern wooden tables.

The menu takes its cue from dishes often served with toddy, a boozy brew made from the sap of palm trees.  Food served here is slanted towards the use of south Indian spicing, although a generous dollop of artistic licence is taken with the offering.  It’s an extensive choice of creative cocktails and feel-good mocktails, spiced breakfast dishes, small plates and traditional curries.  Expect the likes of bacon rolls sauced with tamarind-tomato ketchup, coconutty masalas from lunch onwards, and an occasional north Indian interloper of chicken tikka-topped naan alongside Indo-Chinese paneer dressed with sizzling green chillies. 

Highlights on our visit included fried squid, sliced, lightly battered and dipped in crunchy jaggery-caramel coating.  Equally satisfying was slow-cooked pulled pork shoulder, simmered in curry leaf-infused stock, before being piled onto a griddle-cooked Malabhar paratha.  Other dishes were good in parts - flavoursome sambhar (lentils sharpened with tamarind) exhibited an appealing tartness, but was let down by stodgy idlis (steamed rice cakes). 

Despite occasional disappointments, this restaurant puts on a good show of bringing affordable, sun-kissed cooking to the table.  And, if you fancy a brisk walk afterwards, head to the rooftop garden at Crossrail Place for a spot of zen-like contemplation. 

By: Roopa Gulati



Address: 1 Crossrail Place
E14 5LQ
Transport: Tube: Canary Wharf
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service around £50
Opening hours: Open 7am-11pm Mon-Fri, Sat; 10am-11pm, Sun; 10am-10pm.
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