Jun 21, 2011

Chowpatty – Al Khuwair

Chowpatty (Telephone: 2448 8829 – Map) is an Indian chaat restaurant located in Al Khuwair on Dohat Al Adab Street somewhat near Muscat International Hotel.

Chowpatty is a relatively small restaurant with a nice modern theme that looks much prettier than what you would expect from looking at it from the outside. I have been twice to Chowpatty and it was never too crowded.

Similar to The Bollywood, Chowpatty serves Indian chaat which is a kind of cuisine that does a variety of small vegetarian snack-like dishes. The menu of Chowpatty is divided into five sections: “Snacks” – which has things like samosas, “Pav Bhaji” for dishes which are served in or with a bun, “Chats” which are a variety of light snacks, and “South Indian” section which has some “Dosa” and other Indian specialities, and “Sandwiches”.

The problem I faced in both of my visits to Chowpatty is that I do not understand anything from the menu, there are more than 50 different items on it with names like Dahi Sev Puri, Tawa Alu Chat, Pav Bhaji, and Mayasore Uttapam? There are no pictures of these dishes and  no descriptions or mention of the ingredients of these items. The waiters do not really speak good enough English to be able to explain what these things are. So what I ended up doing in both times is just order random things and then try to guess what’s in them.

Out of all the things I tried I thought the Dosa’s (from “South Indian” section of the menu) were my favorite, these are wraps made up with the crepe-like Indian pancake and have all sorts of fillings that can go with them. You can have them plain, with cheese, with spicy masala, or even  with chocolate if that’s what you want. Some of them come with a dip and cut into smaller pieces like the picture above, while others come as a whole piece like the picture below.  Both times I thought that the dosa’s I tried were delicious.

I tried a dessert at Chowpatty, but as I said in a previous blog post, I really do not like Indian desserts. This thing was milky, had coco nut and saffron, and like all Indian desserts – was too intense for me to do.

The first time I tried Chowpatty I tried their cocktail fresh juice and it was horrible. My friend tried some other juice too and he did not like it at all. I do not recommend any of the juices at Chowpatty.

I thought that the service at Chowpatty was good and the the staff were friendly and welcome even though they were hopefully when it came to explaining what’s actually on the menu. It is cheap – only 2 items out of the 50 or so on the menu cost more than RO 1. I do think that Chowpatty serves some really good food, but it is a big challenge to go there if you do not know anything about chaat because it is almost like playing a lottery as there are no pictures or descriptions of the dishes served