Named after the raised platform where Indian families traditionally eat, Chowki applies the cheap, fast, quality formula of Busaba Eathai, Cha Cha Moon et al to Indian food.
The value really is amazing: a typical starter will set you back £5, a main around £13.50 – and that includes a curry, a dal, rice and a bread. That means you can eat heartily, for under £20, making it cheaper than most average-at-best locals; consider that Chowki is in the heart of Piccadilly and you wonder if someone has seriously got their sums wrong!
Every month, the menu features a ‘home-style’ dishes from three different Indian regions, profiling the various areas’ different ingredients, herbs, spices and methods of cooking. There’s a vegetarian option for each region, the fresh cooked aspect of the dishes means they can take allergies into consideration and, if a region’s traditions demand a certain sense of heat, the spicing isn’t shy. Chowki may be a crowd pleaser but it sticks to its culinary guns with admirable tenacity; even the extras – the dals, nan breads, etc – are excellent, and not the “filler” the deal might suggest.
Service is crisp and efficient, whilst the restaurant itself is kitted out in plently a contemporary wood and steel interior. A big thumbs up.
Cuisine type – ‘Home-style’ Indian
Dinner for 2 (ex. drinks) – £40
Beer – £3
Wine – £3
Good for – a lively meal, good quick lunch/dinner
2-3 Denman Street, London W1
020 7439 1330