As its name suggests, Chaat Masala is a chaat and Indian street food restaurant. Located on the ground floor of the Al Shaya building towards the end of Street 2B behind the Park Regis Hotel in Karama, the restaurant looks like it was built for Thumbelina – it’s two tables and a cash counter small. I was hoping the saying, good things come in small packages, would apply to this little eatery when I squeezed in.
Hankering for Pani Puri like a pregnant woman craving chips and fries, I ordered Pani Puri, Bhel Puri, Dahi Puri and a Masala Thumbs Up to wash it all down with. My uncle ordered Gulab Jamun – really? Interestingly, I’ve had Pani Puri at many of the outlets in the immediate vicinity of Chaat Masala and was able to do a little comparison.
I rated Chaat Masala’s Pani Puri third behind, in first place, the Mint Pani Puri Shot at Dhaba Lane and joint second, Chowpatty Xpress (next door) and Urban Tadka (one street down). And just so you have the full score, last place goes to Haj Ali Juice Center (next door). I think Chaat Masala’s Pani Puri would have scored higher if it had been served one-by-one over the counter like Chowpatty Xpress and Urban Tadka’s. But my favourite Pani Puri remains the one at Chatori Gali.
I liked what I ordered at Chaat Masala, but it wasn’t fantastic, nor do I think I will go back. I need something with altogether a lot more kick to entice me. And this place just didn’t have it. That said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the restaurant (as small as it is) and the food. Although I haven’t tried the momos, it certainly isn’t a one rated establishment as one angry reviewer suggested. In fact, it’s definitely worth a visit.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.