Wednesday, December 18, 2019


Harlem Bespoke: Chaiwali on Lenox just south of 124th Street shuttered well over a year ago and has just finished up some renovation which shone brightly last night at a special celebratory event before the grand opening dinner service this Friday, December 20th.  Chef Anita Trehan brought back the magic with gilded gold ceilings within the two floor boutique brownstone eatery  in the Mount Morris Park Historic District and showed her appreciation with a spectacular tasting menu for the revelry at hand.

The night started out with a gracious early evening champagne toast and then a set of vegetarian dishes arrived which reminded everyone of the unique qualities of the offerings at Chaiwali.  Puchkas puffs with hollow recesses provided the crunch to a freshly sprouted moong bean filling which guests were instructed to mix together and tiny south Indian rice dumplings called Idli in a tossed salad was a surprise hit for this first course.

We had a specially imported South African wine called Pinotage which was a rich and smooth red wine that prepared the palate for the robust 2nd course which included the famous house Lamb chops with pickled onions that had the table lit with excitement.  A vegetarian platter of Poha & Haryali Romenesco was also included and the vegetarian dish was a meaty alternative with a savory punch.  The 3rd round brought out such standards as the excellent Velvet Carrot Butter Chicken along with the Mirchi Mumbai Prawns which is probably the best uptown shrimp dish to try out because the flavors are just extraordinary.  Freshly made Daal also provided some starch which paired well with smokey egglplant Balchao which was a sleeper hit at the table.

A chilled saffron pear dish with edible nasturtium buds was the finale which was not overly sweet and  was more like a refreshing fresh fruit presentation that was a nice palate cleanser to all of the energizing spices of the evening.  With all that said, we really just missed having this great restaurant around and everything is really back and better than before.  Read more about the fabulous Chaiwali in our pasts post: LINK 2019

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