Most people reckon the Canary Wharf area in London is just a concrete jungle full of financial whizz-kids. But if you look closely enough, there’s actually quite a bit there – especially places to eat! With the construction of the crossrail, there’s even more choice.
This week, we tried out Chai Ki – a fancy restaurant serving up modern Indian dishes. Upon entry, you’re greeted by the friendly staff. The restaurant looked small at first, with a selection of high and low tables and chairs, quite closely packed in front of the bar. But there’s actually an equal sized section at the back of the restaurant which is facing the water – very nice view.
It was just before 5:00pm when we got there, so it was still pretty quiet. Our friendly waitress gave us the time we needed to study the menu, which although was only one page, was still hard to decide on. The concept of Chai Ki’s menu fits the surrounding area – sharing plates of food for an after work catch-up over some drinks.
The drinks menu is quite extensive and you’re bound to find something you like. As we were on the look out for something special, we couldn’t resist going for the teapot cocktails. Literally, a cocktail served in a teapot! Great for sharing and if you like to sip at your drink slowly. Each pot serves four small glasses, which may or may not be enough, depending on how much you like to drink.
We chose the Lychee Teapot (£12.50) – which consisted of lychee, cinnamon and chai spice infusion and vodka. This was more like a lychee juice drink than a cocktail. We couldn’t really taste the cinnamon and chai spice infusion though, which was a shame because it could’ve made this drink really special.
First of our dishes was the Koliwada Calamari (£8.20). The squid was fried in strips like the salt and pepper squid you’d get in a Chinese restaurant. But instead these were covered with Indian spices. There was a coating of jaggery cane sugar over the squid which made the dish quite sweet. It also meant the squid lost its crispiness. But its still a good choice if you want some finger food.
Coorgi Pulled Pork (£7.90) – this is one for the spice lovers! Pulled pork shoulder mixed in a creamy coconut curry. Served on top of a layered bread called malaba paratha – which was crispy and flaky like a roti. This was super yummy. The curry leaf hits you first, then you get the explosion of all the other different Indian spices. This dish did well in bringing the Western and Indian cultures together and is definitely one to try.
The highlight of the night was definitely the Dakshini Korma (£7.60 without rice). A creamy vegetarian curry, consisting of sweet potato, red and green peppers, courgette (although the menu said aubergine), mange tout, baby corn and crispy kale. All the different textures and flavours of the vegetables worked really well with the curry. The fragrance of the coconut together with the mild spices were really nice.
Instead of rice, we ordered a side portion of the Malaba Paratha (£2.50) to go with our Korma instead. A really good combination – creamy curry with a crispy flaky bread. Don’t be fooled by the presentation though, you only get one piece. So it’s pretty pricey for what it is.
So overall we’re giving Chai Ki a total of 3 yums. The food was good, but not quite enough to blow us away. It was also a little pricey for the food we had. However this was in Canary Wharf afterall. So if you’re in the area, then maybe give Chai Ki a try.
Opening times: Mon-Fri 0700-2300; Sat 1000-2300; Sun 1000-2200
Location: Crossrail Place, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AR