Thursday, November 5, 2015


Many have been waiting for Chaiwali on Lenox and 124th Street to start dinner service and Harlem's newest eatery has done just that.  We dropped by at the beginning of the evening at 6:00PM when more formal dining fare started to be offered up and was surprised that the restaurant was already half full.  Could this just be guests from the end of lunch service who just took their time finishing up?  It actually turns out that the word of mouth has been really good for the new restaurant and there was already a dinner crowd who knew about the new menu.

One of the standout offerings of the evening was the fresh ceviche which had large lime-marinated shrimp, mango and just enough spice to make things interesting.  The traditional puffed crispies on the side added on as a crunchy topping coupled with the crisp plantain provided another layer of texture to what is probably the best version of this dish we have tried uptown thus far.  Seasoning fresh seafood seems quite simple but can be a disaster if not prepared correctly and this dish is an example of how it should be done.

Our main entrĂ©e for the evening was the Vindaloo Lamb chops with mustard mashed potatoes and smashed peas.  Served up medium well, the lamb did not disappoint with the perfect amount of char and the requisite seasonings that Chaiwali is now known for.  We actually like the mustard potatoes since it has a lot of flavor to it but this is definitely not the traditional American mash.  Sweet peas provided a colorful balance to the heat on the plate and diners who want a little adventure with their meals will not be disappointed with this selection.

A dessert of Jamaican Rum & Biscuit Pudding with espresso cream was more like a tiramisu with coffee accents and had a charming Marie biscuits crust in between each layer.  Those who like tiramisu and espresso should definitely try this take on the classic dish using the famous sweet British tea cookies.

On a final note, we have to say that eating at Chaiwali is almost like going on vacation since the atmosphere is so fresh and relaxing at the same time.  For some reason, a lot of restaurants these days have a focus on loud music and a bustling bar scene which to us detracts from just enjoying the food.  Chaiwali has done the opposite of this and provides a dining experience for uptowners that feels like going on a voyage elsewhere but without the hassle of taking a trip to the airport.

1 comment:

  1. I stopped in the other day and was extremely impressed. I had the kale-avocado burger and a cup of chai. It was phenomenal. Highly recommend this place.