Disclaimer – Its always difficult to review a place which belongs to friends/family. More so when this place belongs to my relatives (in-laws side). 🙂 So you can imagine my initial apprehension in giving a review as I just cant do injustice by not being honest. Also would like to mention that I didn’t pay for the food.
Chat Chaupati (CC) is a new place in New Alipore. Kolkata is known for its chat, one is spoiled for choice as so many places offer absolutely incredible chaat at very VFM prices. To open a chat shop in Kolkata is somewhat like opening a Chinese place in China. Competition is ruthless and tons of competitors around.
TD;LR – After going here, I asked myself why should I visit this place considering other chat places like Lake Kali Mandir, Russel Street, Vardaan Market (outside), etc and unfortunately I didn’t have an answer. Everything else being equal in terms of taste CC has a lot of catch up to do.
People go all the way to have chaat at the places I mentioned. And CC is not one of them, at-least not yet.
So lets get started.
(Image above taken from Zomato)
Ambiance – Here surprisingly CC has an edge compared to other places which are all literally on the street. CC has a separate place as its located inside a building. So enough space and they also have chairs. Since they have the space, I would strongly recommend they also get a few tables set-up. When tables are there, it offers convenience and people usually tend to order more things. While standing one can only eat and enjoy a limited no. of things.
They have three counters, one exclusively for Golas and other drinks like Sharbat, Soda Shikanjee, etc. Other two are for food. On the food counters they should add those hanging labels as to what is available on what counter. Otherwise people would wonder which counter to go to. It will only increase the confusion when crowd is more. Full marks to hygiene which is surely lacking from other chat places.
Service – I was offered top service being a guest, but as an observation to other customers I found the service lax. An order of dahi puchka by two college goers took ages to arrive and follow-up by the owners (family including youngsters) left a lot to be desired. When it was finally ready, they(customers) were asked to get it. If I was there and seeing the delay I would have stood besides the place where it was being prepared and ensured I served them myself. This shows that guests are important and taken care of. Its the guest who have made a call to come here in-spite of other places and that they deserved to be served and not the other way around. Customers are king and should be treated the same way regardless of the place.
Food – what all I tried :
Pasta (mix of both sauces) – Super. Very saucy, good flavors! Pasta was not under-cooked and was able to absorb the sauce. Must have and highly recommended. This was the star of the meal.
Aloo Dum, Raj Kachori, Papdi Chaat – Strictly average. The problem was, it was not chatpata as chaat should be. Everything was more on the sweeter side or very mild and bland in flavors. Kolkata chaat is super tangy and this didn’t do justice at all. Turn up the chatpata flavors a few notches.
Corn Cheese Sandwich – Decent but again a bit sweeter and lacked adequate salt. It was also a bit soggy and not crisp which was very surprising.
Khus Soda, Soda Shikanjee – Excellent stuff. They have a different counter for Golas and in summer time, I am sure it will be highly in demand.
Prices are very VFM and as an example Pasta was for around Rs. 70.
They accept Paytm, but need to advertise the same. Only when I inquired I came to know. Cards acceptance would start soon too.
Keeping in mind that this is a very new place, hardly 5-6 weeks since they opened, CC has loads of work on their hands.
Though during my brief visit, they had decent numbers of people walking in but to build a loyal clientele they MUST work on the food. And as a bonus they need to be on their feet and give the guests the best possible service.
I had rather have less variety but delicious food than having a lot of variety with average taste.
I wish CC all the very best as the intent behind the family is definitely positive which is to offer a good culinary experience.