December 10th, 2010
En route to our dinner, we were distracted briefly by a pop up bar in a second hand shop on Redchurch Street. Speedie’s was full of 50’s and 60′ gramophones and a good selection of vintage, Scandinavian, dining chairs, not to mention people dressed like university students circa 1950’s Lucky Jim. A shared, mulled wine was in order.
We made it, slightly late, to Chaat, an authentic Bangladeshi tea room/restaurant/bar/gallery, in what I believe was originally an old fashioned English cafe – other than the shape of the room, no trace of egg and chips remains. Chaat has a novel menu, it’s laid out in a 5 item formula of: Chit Chaat (starters), main course, mopper (rice or bread), accompaniment (vegetable) and dip (yoghurt or condiment). Shanaz, the owner, who treats her customers like old friends, ordered for us and as usual, the food was excellent.
We were treated to crispy vegetable samosas, prawn and spinach, served with torn chapati (pictured), followed by my absolute favourite, Chitol Koptah – fish balls blended with toasted spices and fresh coriander, in a garam masala sauce. We also had Keema – minced lamb, potato and peas, infused with cloves, cardamom and cinamon. To accompany the main courses, we had cauliflower and aubergine, cooked with a sprinkling of mustard seeds and some hot aloo – chilli potatoes with poppy seeds. The food was good and somehow I was very hungry again – I definitely didn’t need a doggy bag!
Chaat is at 36 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, E2 7DP. According to Time Out, Chaat serves more authentic Bangladeshi food than Brick Lane! The owners are so nice that Shanaz’s husband ran after us with a half finished bottle of wine! Is this really London? For anyone on the monthly, First Thursday, art gallery opening, booze cruise, Chat is the place to visit afterwards.
Somehow I ended up back in The Outside World, drinking a bottle of champagne as a nightcap. I must have gone home on a white charger! That was a day to rival the feasting at Christmas.